Dear Natalie: Week 35

Dear Natalie,

You are eight months old this week. EIGHT. MONTHS.

I’ve heard the phrase “the days are long, but the years are short” many times, but I don’t think I really understood it until now. I would also argue that the nights are longer than the days, but, we’re working on that.

The months, though? They’ve absolutely flown by. ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM, and suddenly we’re rounding the corner on the home stretch to your first birthday.


I can’t write about everything that I want to remember about you at this age, because otherwise this letter would never end. At eight months you’re occupying a special pocket of time where one moment I look at you and I see my sweet, chubby baby girl who is still distinctly a baby, and the next your expression shifts and my baby has been replaced by an independent, determined toddler.

At eight months you can pull yourself up to standing on pretty much anything, and are starting to take tentative steps around the perimeter of the couch. You take big, bold steps while holding tightly to our hands and wobble confidently around the living room, a pint-sized Godzilla baby terrorizing the cats’ once-peaceful metropolis.

At eight months you make the most delightful sound when you’re frustrated (particularly when you’re sitting in the highchair and have decided that you want out). It’s a high-pitched, keening screech, one note held continuously until we pick you up or placate you with some puffs, at which point it dissolves immediately into a grin.

At eight months most of your wardrobe is 18-month clothing. You’re a very large baby who wears cloth diapers, which means almost no pants in existence fit you. Most babies who weigh as much as you do (22 pounds as of several weeks ago) have slimmed down and lost their baby roundness. Not so for you, my little butterball, so all of your pants fit snugly around your bum and are hopelessly, comically long. Thank goodness summer is approaching and soon we can do away with pants entirely.

At eight months you are focused. You study people’s faces and watch what they’re doing with a quiet intensity that suggests you’re filing it all away for future reference. You have a fantastic sense of humor, but it takes you a little bit to decide whether something is funny or not — you definitely have to think about it first.

At eight months you’re experiencing some separation anxiety, which is a very nice way of saying you burst into tears and have a complete meltdown if I walk out of your sight when we’re out of the house (at home, it’s no problem at all). It’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, you sitting there with tears streaming down your face and a runny nose, the corners of your mouth turned down as you wail and flail about, looking for me. I pick you up and you bury your head in my shoulder, making soft snuffly noises and the occasional hiccup while you calm down.

At eight months you are still waking up twice to eat at night, but oh good lord child you are so close to dropping that second feeding. Let it go.

Eight months is amazing. Even when it’s hard, even when we’re tired, even when you throw your entire dinner on the floor and don’t eat a single bite. 

It’s worth it.

Love always,


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