I'm not sure anything can get better than Ralph at 9 months.
Ralph at 9 months is awesome. And funny. And ever so slightly naughty. And mobile. To Ralph, the world is a giant playground full of wicker basket and chair leg obstacle courses. The child has serious ambition, and not even the slightest bit of fear-- and he has the bumps and bruises to prove it. From the minute he wakes up until the minute he crashes in his crib, Ralph is a tiny blur of pulling himself up and tumbling back down, crawling and reaching and grabbing and twisting and banging and smacking. Just tonight he figured out how to climb the stairs. When it happened Ryan and I looked at each other with equal amounts of pride and fear in our faces. We're in trouble, and we know it.
But oh man, is he the sweetest baby. He's all smiles and chuckles, especially around Ryan, and has turned out to be the best little napper. He still nurses twice a night, and I'm in no hurry to change that-- I'd gladly give up one hour of sleep a night in exchange for extra nap hours during the day. Those extra nap hours give me time to get the dishes or laundry done or, quite often, a chance to sit on the couch resting my limp noodly body before the baby tornado wakes again.
There are, however, a handful of things that will keep Ralphie still for longer than 20 seconds while he's awake. His favorite toys these days are blocks and books and a couple wooden spoons. And if I'm really desperate for a moment of calm, I just give him a mum mum or two to crunch on. He and his seven teeth really enjoy those mum mums. And applesauce! And carrots, and peaches, and bananas, and peas, and pears, and oatmeal, and cheerios. But not chicken. Never chicken.
But, do you want to know what the absolute best parts of 9 months is? The times when I lift Ralph from his crib after a nap and he sleepily says, "Ummmmmm...." while burrowing his fluffy head into my neck. Or when he squeals all the way up the stairs when he knows he's about to have a bath. Or when he lays in my lap, smiles, and looks back and forth between Ryan and I while we sing his prayers to him before bed. Those are the best parts, for sure.
Ralph, you're a dream and a half, and the sweetest little blessing. Your momma loves you.