10 months
And she’s got TEETH!

Scant days before the ten-month anniversary of her birth, Natalie decided she was tired of gumming her food. On Thursday, September 29, her first tooth — the lower right incisor — broke through to daylight. I stuck a non-silicone spoon in her mouth to verify the presence of the long-awaited dens primus, and was rewarded with a wonderful click-click-clicking sound as I tapped her lower gums. Eureka! Toothless no more!

Not to be outdone by its fellow, her second tooth promptly followed the next day. And if you hold her upside down (which you should, because she loves it, and there are few things as awesome as the appreciative belly laughs with which she’ll thank you) you can see that a pair of incisors worthy of Bugs Bunny are straining to emerge from Natalie’s upper gums. I may be imagining it, but it looks like she may have another tooth or two on deck as well. (Our restful nights of sleep, already a threatened species since Noodles recovered from her August fever, are now verging on extinction under the assault of the Midnight Teething Howler Demon.)

It’s another giant leap forward from babyhood to childhood. She’s been taking so many of these, it’s tough to keep up.

Look how thick her hair is getting. Look at the depth in that gaze. She’s looking less and less like a baby every day, especially as she gets better and better at standing up. She can’t do it unsupported yet, but she will pull up on anything she can reach — cabinets, furniture, her crib, the coffee table, the pack & play, even stairs (although she hasn’t quite figured out how to crawl up them yet; that may be next week’s achievement). She’s reached a respectable 18 pounds 13 ounces and 27.5 inches as of this morning’s ten-month checkup: dead-on 50th percentile for weight, slightly below for height, slightly above for head circumference. Clearly she’s getting adequate nutrition from all of the baby food that she isn’t spraying in our faces.

Watch that video again. There’s the most amazing new thing that Natalie has shown us in the past month, greater than clickable teeth or standing on two feet. Our daughter is developing a sense of comic timing. She not only laughs with us at things that are funny. She is learning how to make us laugh. In many small ways we see her coming to master the concept of cause and effect, but this may be our favorite.

And now our family mantra, “Every day we laugh together,” includes her too.