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Dear Zella: Month Eight

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  • Commenters cousin caroline

Dear Zella,

A few days ago, I turned my back while you were playing in a room with a younger baby who was sitting in a bouncy seat. When I turned back, you had efficiently crawled over to her and hoisted yourself up to standing, steadying yourself with one hand on the seat while you used the other hand to carefully explore the baby’s face. I am constantly turning around to find you pulled up to standing, peering into some garbage can or bookshelf or open drawer.

You are also determined to do whatever Ezra does. His toys are fascinating, yours are boring. You want to be in the middle of his train tracks, fit in his puzzle pieces, propped up with his stuffed animals. Sometimes he thinks this is great, sometimes I hear anguished cries of “no, Zella!” over and over again. Sometimes there is some pushing. Occasionally one or more of you ends up crying. I know that this will have an ebb and flow over time, as you eventually find games you can play together.

I have loved watching you interact with Ezra this month. I especially enjoy coming into your shared bedroom and finding you standing in the crib, giggling at something Ezra just did, something I didn’t get to see. You are beginning to build a relationship with each other, and it’s kind of thrilling. Ezra adores you, and as you have become more mobile, he is much more interested in interacting with you physically — picking you up, hugging you, and, his favorite, smushing you. He likes to roll on top of you, and you are more than happy to oblige, smiling and giggling even as your parents rush unnecessarily to the rescue.

Unnecessary rushing is kind of a theme for me this month. After you and Ezra started sharing a room, I was terrified that your nighttime cries would wake him, so I would jump to get you as soon as I heard the tiniest noise. But over the days, I’ve noticed that he barely even stirs anymore, even if you have gone from cooing to talking to wailing before I arrive, so I’m slowing it down a little, and hoping to catch a bit of a break from the 3-a-night wake ups we’ve been doing recently.

I know that some of those wakeup were about this bright and shiny (and barely visible) new tooth. You are using its tiny ridged edge to help you tear into bread, crackers, cheerios, rice cakes, and any other hunks of solid food you can find. You’ll let me feed you from a spoon, but you would so much rather use your little fists. I gave you a little mesh pouch of apples yesterday, and when I looked back at you, you were totally blissed out, your whole head covered in a shiny glaze of applesauce.

I have to sigh a little, noting how many of my stories about you are about putting you down, going to take care of Ezra or some household task, and then turning back to you. There are certainly days where I do this far too much, but you are a champ about it. You may end up eating more of Ezra’s breakfast leftovers off the floor than I would like, you may pull down more garbage cans than I would hope for, but I really do like to see what you come up with on your own, where your hands and knees and very soon your feet will take you.

Here’s to another month of adventures.
Much love,



cousin caroline

Oct 24 / 23:09
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