I learned pretty quickly that my son wasn’t going to be a “textbook baby;” he rarely hit the big milestones at the same time as other babies. We would go long stretches without anything new happening, and then it seemed like everything happened at once. His eighth month of life was rather monumental. It was when I learned the cliché “they grow so fast” was truer than I wanted it to be.
To celebrate Micah’s eight-month birthday, we went to pick up some frozen fruit for him to teethe on in his mesh feeder. At the store, he sat in the shopping cart by himself for the first time ever. While this isn’t an often talked about milestone, it really did change all of our lives. We no longer had to schlep in the infant carrier (unless he was sleeping), which made shopping so much easier. Micah was now able to view the world in an upright position, and boy, did he like it. That same day while riding in the cart, he waved goodbye to the cashier at checkout. Not only did he look adorable as he backwards waved his itty-bitty hand, he was now able to communicate with others.
Once he started, he couldn’t stop. He wanted to communicate more and more. Two days later, he used the baby sign for “more” while eating lunch at Kids ‘R’ Kids. His teachers told me when I picked him up, and they were so proud of him. Mommy and Daddy were so proud when he said “mama” that same week during a diaper change. I had heard from many people that most babies say “da-da” first, but I had been obsessively showing him how to form his mouth to make the “ma” sound for weeks! I know he had no clue what he was saying, but in the eight months I had been a mom, nothing made my heart beat faster than hearing those two syllables for the first time. There are things you know you’ll never forget, and that moment is imprinted on my memory wall forever. Not one to prefer one parent over the other, Micah began saying “da-da” later that week.
He finished the month with a milestone we had been waiting patiently for—his first tooth! After months of teething pain and swollen gums, his bottom tooth finally cut through. At the last few visits to the doctor’s office, the nurse kept assuring us it was coming soon, and here it was. I remember feeling so relieved for him the morning I saw the jagged edges cutting through his gums. He had been in so much pain the week leading up to it—his sleep was disrupted, he was a drooling mess, and let’s not even talk about the diapers! Although it had been a while since he was an actual newborn, it was with the arrival of his first tooth that it finally sunk in – my baby was changing right before my eyes. I still cringe when people tell me to enjoy it “because it goes by so fast.” I keep secretly hoping they’re all wrong!