Letter to my Sunshine: 11 months.
June 25, 2010

Dear Charlotte,

You turned eleven months old on Father’s Day.  Obviously, this letter is a little later than usual; I blame this on the fact that you are ELEVEN MONTHS OLD, which means you travel everywhere at roughly the speed of light.  Only faster.

Also, you are entirely powered by shrieks of delight and ecstatic giggles, which makes me think that everyone should go out and get themselves an eleven-month-old pronto.  Those happy baby laughs of yours are the best sound in the world.

Scenes from your Daddy’s first Father’s Day!

As long as we’re on the topic of sounds, Chickadee, can we talk a little about silence?  As it turns out, SILENCE is my sworn enemy.  Because every time it is silent in this house, you are up to no good.  For months, all I wanted was ten straight minutes of peace and quiet.  These days, as soon as ten straight SECONDS of peace and quiet lapse, it means that the kitchen cabinets are being emptied or the dog’s tail is being tugged or the fireplace grate is being licked.

You are turning into a regular mischief-maker, my love.  Most of the time, you are sweet and charming, and people are always commenting on how adorable your smile is, but it’s all a deceptive ploy.  Underneath all those shy snuggles and magnetic grins is a pistol of a mischief-maker, a child who wants nothing more than to wreak havoc.  THIS, this is your father’s fault.  I engaged in my fair share of tomfoolery, don’t get me wrong, but one time your father set off a firework in his bedroom.

A firework.  IN HIS BEDROOM.

I just can’t compare with that sort of nefarious monkey business.  So when you know that you are not allowed to, say, touch the outlets?  But you completely ignore my warnings and touch them anyway?  And just try to worm your way out of trouble by giving me a coy smile and a kiss?  It’s 100% your father’s fault.  You get your addiction to applesauce from me and you get your ability to manipulate the hell out of me from your father.

Eleven months perfect.

This month has been filled with twice as much manipulation as last month, which I think is because you have spent the last couple months turning into a tiny little rocket.  For the past five weeks or so, you’ve been taking your first steps – a step between the table and the couch, two steps between the wall and the cabinet, three steps between my legs and the dresser, and so on.  You still rely on cruising and crawling for most of your mobility, but every now and then you just let go and propel your body forward with your legs, which absolutely astounds me.

I mean, you spent six months as a completely immobile lump of digestive processes and then BAM! a few months later, you can walk.  When it comes to infant development, nature apparently runs a feast or famine operation.  And for the first few weeks of you just taking random, intermittent steps, I refused to call it walking on the grounds that you moved more like an alcoholic zombie than a toddler.

But then, on Father’s Day, on the day you turned eleven months old, I saw you stand up on your own – without using anything to pull yourself up – and take seven steps away from me and then sit down.  In the space of a heartbeat, you walked across a couple feet of our living room.

Even though I wanted to be a little sad when it happened, even though I wanted to mourn that your babyhood is almost over, it was all I could do to keep my heart from exploding with pride.  So as your father and I watch you toddle about, this is what I am thinking instead: oh, little sunshine, how we love you so.

We love you more than bears love honey, (and everybody knows that’s an awful lot),
Momma and Daddy

*** The winner of this week’s book giveaway (Bloom: A Little Book About Finding Love by the uber-talented Maria Van Lieshout) is Jill.  Congratulations, Jill!

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  1. By Courtney L @ Bundle of Wonder on June 25, 2010

    Great pictures, especially of her tippy toes!  Ah, time flies so quickly with a little one.  I can’t even imagine Harper at 11 months.  It seems so far away, yet I know the time will go quickly.  Any idea what you want to do for her first birthday?

  2. By Sarah Christensen on June 25, 2010

    Courtney - We aren’t doing much.  In real life, we host family dinners twice monthly and have breakfast with my folks once a week.  We’re thinking we’ll just have a “hey, happy birthday” moment at that and call it a day.  When she’s older and she can enjoy a celebration, we’ll give her a proper party.  On the blog, also not much, although I will be giving away an entire set of eight books.  Cutest books ever, it’s taken every bit of willpower I have not to talk about them yet.

    When Charlotte was Harper’s age, I couldn’t imagine her at 11 months either.  It seemed so distant, like I had plenty of time before then.  It still seems like we had plenty of time and we enjoyed it all, but it also feels like it flew by lol.

  3. By Courtney L @ Bundle of Wonder on June 25, 2010

    Sounds like our plan!  We’re not going all out for her first birthday (should I even be thinking of this so early?!)  Just a cute little cake I can make and a family dinner is all I want for her.  It’s more for the parents/grandparents anyway I figure :0)

  4. By Alicia S. on June 25, 2010

    I love that you post your letters to Charlotte. I’ve actually come to look forward to them each month. Now that I’m pregnant with a daughter, they get to me two-fold… on the one hand they remind me of how far my son has blossomed since he was Charlotte’s age, and on the other hand, they remind me of how much I have to look forward to once Scarlett is born.

    P.S. That tippy-toe picture would be the coolest picture in the world to frame and hang up in a little girl’s bedroom.

  5. By Mailis on June 26, 2010

    Happy 11 months to your lovely little monkey… :)

  6. By emily bilbrey on June 26, 2010

    lovely post; beautiful girl!!!  11 months old through our current 14.5 with poppy have been AMAZING - as you said, the transformation from a drooly little butterlump into a KID!  who walks!  and makes decisions!  and has their own preferences!  sooooo cool.  love it. 

    i swear, every single week from where you’re at now will amaze you.  baby development always goes pretty fast but it really hits warp speed at around a year.  the past few months have been my favorite ever as a mom (but then again, i always say that…  heh!)  seriously though, happy to hear you’re enjoying yourself and your babe so much at this exciting time!

    happy almost-birthday, pretty girl!


  7. By Tabitha (From Single to Married) on June 27, 2010

    oh… she’s looking so big and so sweet!  Even if she is getting herself into trouble (you’re right - it’s probably all Donald’s fault). :)

  8. By Amber on June 28, 2010

    Sarah - I just stumbled on to your blog and had to tell you that I’ve only read two posts and I already LOVE it. My son turns 11 months in 2 weeks, so I can relate to so much of what you’re saying. Only my son got his inability to sleep and (I’m just sure of it) his future ability to climb out of his crib from his father - no fireworks thank goodness :)

  9. By on June 28, 2010

    So cute! Boy the time does fly by, I can’t believe how big she is, wow, she is the same size as my 16 month old! Enjoy your precious bundle.

  10. By Elizabeth on July 09, 2010

    The idea to leave letters to Charlotte is so great!





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