It’s true. Sometimes you don’t need words because pictures communicate more than you can say. But this is my blog, which means I’ve got the talking stick, so here I go…

Pape, you’re quickly approaching the nine-month mark. The past three months, well, they’ve made the first six totally worth it. Your little big personality is just exploding. It seems like every day you’re learning a new skill or trick. Just today, your dad emailed reminders of some of your recent milestones:

– first two teeth at 7.5 months
– pulled to standing on his own at 8.5 months
– started crawling at just over 8 months
– learned to clap at just over 8 months
– third tooth at 8.5 months (earned you the nickname ‘White Fang’)
– sneezed baby food all over dad at 8.5 months

Fun stuff, kiddo.

Your favorite things are talking and eating. We’re not sure which parent you get that from… So far you love zucchini, mango and avocado. But really you’ve liked everything but papaya. (You get that from your grandfather.)

Most days you eat rice or oatmeal cereal, zucchini, green beans or peas, carrots or butternut squash, apples or pears, banana, mango, avocado and prunes. Just recently you’ve added egg yolks and lait caillé (like plain yogurt). Like I said, you enjoy eating!

People are always amazed by how you tune in to a person’s voice and just watch their face as they talk. It’s like you’re studying their every word and facial expression.

Your favorite time of day is bath o’clock. It is unbelievable how much water you can splash outside of the tub. (It is also unbelievable how much food you can store in your chins.)

You like to talk and sing. And babble and holler. If no one is paying attention to you, you just start TALKING LOUDER so people won’t ignore you. But as soon as they look at you and smile or interact a bit, you quiet back down and go back to giving your speech in a normal voice.

You still don’t nap very much, maybe two hours a day in all. When you’re falling asleep, we play Brahms’ Lullaby. Even hearing the first few notes makes your eyes heavy.

You love beards and goatees. We think it’s a hair envy thing, although just this past week you’ve started fluffing up. After your bath you look like a wet dandelion. With little teeth.

You don’t like the stroller. Still. So far your max stroller time is 11 minutes. So I still tie you on using the Moby Wrap or mbott. That makes you happy, so we go with it

The word we hear most to describe you is ‘alert’. You are aware of everything happening around you, but not distracted by it. Just taking it all in. (I think you will be a great multi-tasker one day.)

You know you are loved. When we sit you between us, either on the floor or the couch, you just turn your head from one side to the other and back again. Smiling the whole time, you love being right there where you belong.