Ten months and growing.
Eliot is ten months old today! He's crawling, though slowly. His daycare provider calls him "the turtle." He thinks about where he wants to go before he starts out and then slowly and deliberately makes his way towards his destination. He's a very detail oriented baby, if you can believe that there is such a thing. Rather than knocking down block towers right away, he leans forward and slowly tries to remove the topmost block without knocking the others down. He turns toys over and over in his hands and examines them. He enjoys taking the colored rings on and off the stacking post.
Last night I gave him a bath for the first time. I know that sounds crazy, but I've had a phobia about it ever since he was a newborn and Eli just took over the responsibility of bathing him. It was kind of their bonding ritual. But Eli is working twelve hour shifts now and I knew he wouldn't be home in time to give Eliot a bath for the next three days, so after supper (an extremely messy supper), I took him into the bathroom and stripped him down while the tub was filling. I tested the water with a temperature strip to make sure it wasn't too hot and then slowly eased his naked little body in feet first so he could get used to the feel of the water. He sat and happily played with his bath toys while I washed his face and body and shampooed his hair. After I let go of the stress of worrying whether the water would be too hot or too cold, or he would be too slippery and I'd drop him trying to get him out, or whether I would get him clean enough or whether I'd get the shampoo rinsed out of his hair thoroughly enough...
I actually quite enjoyed it. There isn't any one thing I can think of in the world that's cuter than a naked little baby playing and grinning and splashing around in bathwater.
After the bath, I put him in his fleece footie jammies and combed his hair and then set him down to play on the living room floor with some toys as I was talking on the phone. After a while, he started getting cranky, so I sat down next to him and pulled him into my lap and started patting his back and rocking back and forth. Usually he'll permit this for a few moments before wriggling out of my grip and going back to playing, but last night he stayed quiet and let me rock him. Not ninety seconds later I looked down and saw he was drifting off to sleep. I held him in my arms for probably twenty more minutes before lying him down in the crib.
What a gift my little boy is.