This morning while sitting in Panera Bread eating breakfast with Addison, a woman walked in with her baby girl and sat at a table in our section.  Addison and I were splitting a bagel and a banana.    As soon as she spotted the baby her face lit up.  Addie let out a high-pitched squeal and started clapping.  The baby turned around to see what all the fuss was about and waved to Addison.  I love this age.

This Mom and I started talking since our babies seemed to be communicating so well.  It turns out the girls were born just a few weeks apart.  We started comparing the usual baby notes, as Moms of infants are wont to do.  This is one of the reasons, incidentally, that I do my best to avoid the baby chatter at story time and Gymboree.  I don’t like comparing Addison to other kids or the competitiveness with which some parents spout off their baby’s newest tricks.  Also, all of this comparing of babies can come off as obnoxious bragging.  I already brag obnoxiously about my baby to friends and family and the internet; I don’t need to do it to strangers too.  This Mom was nice though, and we were so amused by how our babies seemed to be talking; one reacting to the babbling of the other.  We both agreed that this was a great age and decided that we wouldn’t mind so much if they stayed just like this.

I’m sure I’ve said this about every stage of her life but I really am loving 9 months old.  Addison is at an age  where she’s so expressive.  One look at her and I know instantly if she’s scared or happy or tired.  She can’t talk yet but she can definitely communicate her needs, and at this point we’re getting better at anticipating them.  One thing that really surprises me is that she has developed a sense of humor so young.  Not only does she laugh at us and our silly faces but she does things that she thinks are funny and laughs at herself.  She does something new everyday that Scott and I never dreamed she’d be doing.  I think we had an idea in our heads that babies were just milk drinking little blobs for the entire first year.  This is kind of a nice surprise.

She’s still a baby but I’m seeing more and more toddler in her every day.  Six months ago I would never think that I could leave my house before 8 AM and sit down to have breakfast with my daughter without a panic  attack.  Six months ago I was still afraid to take Addison out in public for fear of her catching the plague.

The challenges are greater at this age though and we have some days that are just plain bad.  Days when Addison and I just can’t seem to get it together and we both end up in tears.  The constant mental stimulation that Addison requires can be exhausting too.  At 9 months old the cries are louder.  The falls and bumps and bruises are bigger.  But the smiles are bigger and the laughs and kisses are more frequent too.  And when I’m making dinner and Addie crawls into the kitchen to hug my leg?  That’s enough to make up for even our worst day.