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Dear Zella: Month Ten

  • Tagged The letters
  • Commenters Nana Adrienne

Dear Zella,

Thank you for being so cool. Running a puzzle hunt? Cool. Trip to NYC? Whatevs. It’s cool. On the plane ride home from New York, you had your only real meltdown of the trip — a trip that featured sleeping in a storage closet, getting kissed by a giant poodle, and a wedding — after another baby cried so hard that you woke up from a nice nap.

You’ve been mostly an angel about this month’s reboot of the room sharing project, going to sleep easily and still only waking up once a night for a little snack. On occasion, though, mostly at nap time, I do notice that it is you keeping Ezra awake and not the other way around. I have to listen carefully through the door to see if it’s a “Zella, wake up!” day, or a “Zella…lay down…be quiet…” day.

This month you like to share your deepest thoughts and feelings in a serious of carefully chosen syllables (“ba ba da da pa pa pa”) and then, after a moment of careful consideration, punctuate it with an endless rolling trill, the tip of your tongue vibrating against your teething gums like a tiny soothing jackhammer.

You still only have two tiny chiclet teeth in there, though cranky days and an obsession with frozen blueberries have me believing that a few more are on their way pretty soon. You are using them to eat everything you can get your hands on. Still no fan of the spoon, you can pincer even the smallest peas with ease. You are especially careful with those frozen blueberries, barely losing a single one, as your face and hands slowly turn bright purple.

You have had some minor successes in the standing alone department. Uncle Zach’s wedding had just enough complicated distractions to take your mind off your feet, and we got you standing for three or four seconds a few times before you remembered and slowly sank down to the ground. You might not be able to stand unassisted yet, but you are almost always standing. Holding chairs, table legs, the back of my pants, even a flat wall, you shimmy upright whenever you can. Always a daredevil, we’ve had to pull you back from some precarious situations, like when, in a flash, while we were looking elsewhere, you stood up in your high chair and reached across the counter for a bowl. At a restaurant in New York, you managed to crawl completely onto the table. Yes, I realize we should be doing a better job of buckling you into high chairs.

You are more and more interested in toys. Usually Ezra’s. While I spend a lot of time saying, “don’t push Zella,” and “don’t take things from Zella,” and Ezra spends a lot of time crying, “No, Zella! Don’t take it!” — this nascent sharing is ultimately a source of great joy for me. I love the sight of both of you kneeling in front of the box of train tracks, Ezra choosing his next route and you scrambling for whatever you can reach. Today he carefully selected two trains for you to play with, and for the 30 seconds before you wheeled around and caused a major earthquake on the line (“No, Zella!”), he was mesmerized, watching you examine the engines.

Before I wrote this, I looked back at Ezra’s ten month letter. I noticed that we have been remiss teaching you to play “How big is Zella? SO BIG!” and I have been working feverishly to correct this error. We do have a different call and response game already, though. If I say “fist bump!” you break out a huge grin and offer your fist. See, I told you you were cool.

Love and fist bumps,



Nana Adrienne

Dec 17 / 18:31
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