July 22, 2009

To Ethan (9 Months)

Dear Ethan:

You are 9 months old today. 9 months, this is as long as you stayed inside me before you came out. Ethan, I want to tell you that you've been such a good boy since the day you were formed. I think I've experienced the best pregnancy that any other mom-to-be would dream of. Except the frequent bathroom visits, swollen boobs (not a bad thing as your dad loved them) and a little backache, I was as usual as before I was pregnant. Thank you so much for not giving me serious nausea, or I would've died over that 6-hour flight to Florida when I was 2 months pregnant. I never had mid-night food craving which totally saved your daddy's life. Not too much weight gain was such a blessing. People could never tell I was pregnant by looking at my back. My bump didn't even really show until the 5th month. You've got me tone up my biceps by holding you all the time. Yes, you made me a hot mama!

You did kick a lot though. Sometimes I felt like you were trying to kick away my organs so that you could have more space to somersault inside me. You loved to slide your hand (maybe your foot) across my belly that I could actually see the wave bumping over my belly. Ethan, it's the most surreal and amazing feeling I've ever experienced. I just miss that.

This month, you started to say "nana". So, you say "dada", then you jump to "nana". You know between the letters "d" and "n", there is "m" which makes up words like "mama", "mom", "mommy", "mother"? And you just skip it? How can you skip it? You are so having alphabet training NOW. You don't need any pronunciation trainings though because I'm sure how you pronounce your "nana" is the most accurate in the universe. You press the tip of your tongue against the tooth ridge so tightly that it looks like you are grinding and clenching your jaw really hard! You say "nana" mostly because you are unhappy about being trapped into the swing chair, and you want me to hold you right away. I would usually leave you there for a little bit longer because I love to listen to your "nana" a lot! Your strong but cute nasal sound really defines the perfect baby talk that warms parents' hearts. If I could, I would definitely record it and set it as my ringtone. But you mommy is such a low-tech old schooler who still finds blackberry and iPhone too complicated. Not until you were born, I didn't think having wallpaper shown on my phone was a big deal.

Since you've picked up "nana", you've got to understand "NO". Actually I did wonder if you really don't understand, or you just pretend you don't. You love to blow bubbles with your saliva......really hard......in the public......and onto people's face. At the beginning, I put my furious face on and said a blunt "NO" to you. You looked at me straight in the eyes with an astounding look for 5 seconds and made another blow. I pointed my finger to your mouth saying "NO" again, then you blew even harder. Yeah, that "NO" thing is so working.

You've always been fascinated to see me say "pak pak pak" while I clap my hands. You'd enlarge your already humongous eyeballs and lock them onto my moving hands figuring out why my huge palms can make such sound. Over the past few weeks, you've got it. You've discovered how to clap your hands. You basically bang you right palm onto your left palm whenever I say "pak pak pak". You always beam with glee when you do that by wearing a broad grin showing your first 2 teeth which have been growing FOREVER. You know, Ethan, so do I. I love witnessing you how to pick up every new skill. So, now you've learnt a new trick, you can definitely compete with Koby!

When you were still a newborn, it always confused me if I should reserve you a seat when we brought you to a restaurant. Apparently you were not able to use the table utensils and eat what they had on the menu. Sometimes I wonder I might disappoint the waiter if he finds out that one of the three customers on the table is not gonna help to jack up the bill amount because that little customer would just take up a seat but eat nothing and pay no tips. But you daddy just didn't care less. He thought we did come to the restaurant as a family of three, and you did need a space when we could put you in with your car-seat or stroller. Now you've grown bigger, we've been trying to introduce you to restaurant high-chairs. First, you have to believe that in your generation, no restaurant owners have kids of their own. Because if they do, they should've put their kids to try and tell them how uncomfortable and unsanitary the chairs are, so they won't have these chairs now to serve their customers' kids, like you. You could never stay in one for a decent amount of time that we could at least half finish our meal. You would grunt, moan, slide down to the very front of the chair that only your head was above the table, and your crotch was going to slip by the strap. If it's only 3 of us, we would usually shorten our meal to avoid complaints from other customers. That's a good way to spend less though as we usually couldn't wait to leave before having dessert. But for our weekly family dinners that no way we could just leave in the middle of the meal when everyone is supposed to have good time together, you would be the center of attention that everyone is taking turn to hold you, feed you, play with you, throw you in the air to make you happy. Ethan, we are having fun eating together, not sweating like hell exercising on you. You did make me feel guilty watching everyone being tortured by you little devil, and I did hesitate to even bring you to the dinners. It was last Sunday night that God has given me help. You were taking one of the seats around the dinner table sitting on the high-chair for a freaking hour without growling. The key was both me and your daddy kept feeding you small bites of adult food NON-STOP! So, you nine-month-old little monster, you've already had sea bass, roast duck, soy sauce chicken......

I forgot since when exactly, whenever I hold you up against my chest, you'd snuggle your head into my shoulder. Sometimes you lay your pillowy cheek on me while you look outside to the forest or gaze at the spinning fan; sometimes you rest your double chin on me while you coo and babble to yourself.
The very first time it happened, my neck vein was like exploding that all the blood rushed up to my brain, and I had to constrain myself from screaming. Ethan, that's the most peaceful and heart-warming moment that I would sacrifice my everything for. I wish the world would stop moving so nothing would distract you away.

This month, Michael Jackson, the music legends and the King of Pop, has died. I did admire his irreplaceable electrifying performance on stage that made him an important icon in music history.
Probably because I was too into Canto-pop when he's at his peak in the '80s, I wasn't a big fan of him. I didn't drop a tear until days after his death, one of his young daughters, Paris, spoke at his memorial service. She gave an impromptu speech about how she loved her daddy that really wrenched my heart. In his later life, he'd been written off as a freak because of his rumored child molestation and race-shifting cosmetic surgeries. But it doesn't take him away from the contributions he'd made in the music world, and most importantly, it doesn't take him away from the hearts of his children.