Dear Natalie: Week 39

Dear Natalie,

This week you are nine months old, which means you’ve been been out for almost as long as you were in.

At 39 weeks pregnant, I wondered so much about you. Whether you were a boy or a girl, who you’d look like, what your voice would sound like.

The answer to that last question is: a Jurassic Park raptor.

You have a kind of happy shriek that could also be the precursor to a dino attack. You love the sound of your own voice and frequently let loose a mighty squawk at your highest octave and volume, rendering any other conversation impossible.

When you’re motoring around the living room floor and pulling yourself up to standing, you make a soft, puttering noise continuously: ah-pu, ah-pu, ah-pu. And then when something (cat food, dirty socks, electrical cords, etc.) catches your eye, that sound changes to a Peter Griffin-like “heh-heh-heh-heh-heh” as you change course and head straight towards it.

Your poker face could use some work.

When we pick you up and move you back three spaces before you reach whatever it is that babies are definitely not supposed to have, you giggle furiously and launch yourself right back towards it. This is a SUPER fun game for you, especially when the object in question is one of the cats. Thumper and Roo watch you warily and will get up and walk away if you get too close. Beckham, on the other hand, lets you practically fall on top of him and then acts shocked when you keep pestering him. All of this is, of course, hilarious, and narrated by you accordingly.

If you’ve had your fill of baby jail the pack ‘n play, you pull the corners of your mouth all the way back and open up just enough so that the most delightful “EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” sound can escape. You also do that when you’re done with dinner, only it’s accompanied with furious foot-kicking and arm-flapping.

You’re starting to make sounds that I’ve almost deluded myself into thinking are quite close to “mama,” although your consonants are indistinct enough that we can’t tell if you’re saying “buh” or “muh.” You don’t have any words yet, and why would you? You have my complete attention all day, every day, and can make your needs known quite clearly without actual language.

This is so much more entertaining than when you were a newborn and we could only parse your communication into “was that a hungry cry or a tired cry, or maybe a cry because her diaper is wet?” I love that you have a few more tools at your disposal now other than crying.

We received a Baby Sign Language book and DVD before you were born, but haven’t really started signing with you. I think now is the time, even though the book suggests you won’t be able to sign back for a while. That’s ok, because you’re a little sponge who soaks up everything we say and do, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least bit  if you just started signing out of the blue.

Until then your raptor shriek will have to do.

Love always,



  1. Dear Natalie: Week 40 | Happy Helmraths - May 7, 2014

    […] Last week I wrote that it allllmost sounded like you were saying, “mama.” Scratch that. There’s no question that’s what you’re saying. […]

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