Dear Otis- 11 Months

Dear Otis,

I am writing you on the eve of your 11 month birthday. You are asleep upstairs and your dad is out of town playing a gig with his band. I know I am a truly lucky lady because I saw both of you today and yet I am sitting on the couch missing you guys. That’s love for sure! How lucky I am to have a family that I can’t get enough of!

Today was a day of ups and downs. You came with me to a festival in Petaluma that I had agreed to volunteer at, and you were the most scrumptious little boy. It was 90 degrees out and you were drenched in sweat down to every last curl, yet you were contagiously happy. Your happiness is an inspiration.


Later you had a friend over, a little girl who is only a few weeks older than you. You haven’t started crawling yet and she is walking. You only respond to “up” (you put your arms up to be picked up) and “in the mouth” (you put food in your mouth rather than throwing it on the floor) and she seems to respond to the entire english language. Later your silly mom was worrying about the differences in the two of you and then turned around to find you eating dog food. Luckily I fished it out of your mouth and calmed you down.  I chastised myself that you could have choked and that I need to be more diligent in keeping my eye on you. I worried that I wasn’t being a good enough mom, that maybe I wasn’t giving you enough attention or stimulation to help you reach your next milestones.  This is where your dad usually offers me some perspective, but as I said before, he wasn’t home.  So I sent a text to my beloved mom friends and they calmed me down and even made me promise to send a picture of your poop if there was dog food in it 🙂

And then I put you to bed and you reiterated their sentiments by cuddling, babbling, smiling, and oozing your special brand of Otis magic. You reminded me that exactly who you are is exactly who I want you to be.

And just who is 11 month Otis?

11 month Otis has a huge heart. You want to share everything with everyone. You share your food with your dad and I and, much to our chagrine, with Lani dog. You even tried to pluck a hair off of your dad’s arm and share it with me.


11 month Otis is a goofball. You laugh a lot and it is my favorite sound of all. I toss you in the air and crawl on the floor and tickle you just to hear that chuckle. You love to fall down. In fact I think you’d probably be walking by now if you didn’t think falling over was more fun.


11 month Otis is curious. You inspect all sides of your toys and are especially enamored with the screws that hold them together. You just know that they are important and love to touch them. You like to put toys inside other toys and take them back out again. You love to touch the leaves of plants when we go on walks. You are fascinated by the world around you.


Here you are being curious about Dad's beer
Here you are being curious about Dad’s beer

11 month Otis is a foodie. You don’t want baby food or even bland kid food. This week we let you try tilapia with mango salsa and you devoured it. The more flavor, the more you like things.  Some of your favorite foods are chicken, broccoli, and hummus.


11 month Otis is a roly poly. You have not started crawling, but you are definitely moving. You inchworm forward and scoot backwards on your tummy, you do 360s on both your tummy and bum and you roll all over the place.  You also love to hold onto things and stand.


11 month Otis likes to do things himself.  You feed yourself and drink from your sippy cup all by yourself.  You are very independent.


In short, 11 month Otis is a complete and utter delight.  You love to dance and play music.  You love to talk and giggle.  You love people and animals and life.  I love every part of you and wouldn’t change an ounce of who you are.  Thanks for bringing so much magic into my life!




3 thoughts on “Dear Otis- 11 Months”

  1. Dear Becky,
    You have outdone yourself in your blog today. It brought me to tears, laughter, and everything in-between. You expressed so eloquently the fears that most (or maybe all) mothers have, but few of us verbalize: that we’re not doing all we should be doing, or could be doing, to raise/parent the perfect child/teenager/adult offspring. But you also articulate what we all (hopefully) know to be true: that in spite of (or maybe because of) our parental imperfections (real or imagined), this marvelous child is just what he should be…which is Wonderful. Amazing. Miraculous.

    So many of Otis’s characteristics that you describe are so obviously a reflection of his mom or his dad, or both. Giggling, talking, dancing, making music, exploring, being goofy… I know that I’ve seen these traits before! And his happy nature is such a mirror of the love that he learns at home, every day.

    To put child development and heredity in perspective: On July 20, 1981, little Brad took his very first steps. On July 21, as you know, he turned one. And on July 23, same year, I noted in my low-tech records, “Really cruising along the furniture. There’s no stopping him now!”

    And, as you know, there’s still no stopping him.

    Sorry to ramble on your blog. You struck a note!
    Love, Grammie


    1. Bonnie,

      I was planning on replying to Becky’s post. However, you eloquently expressed my thoughts and feelings in your post. There are definitely some universal aspects to “motherhood”. Becky, worries, concerns and self doubt will come your way, but know that you will always come to a place of peace as you allow Otis to open your eyes as he did today. In your own words, “You (Otis) reminded me that exactly who you are is exactly who I want you to be. You and Brad a re wise and loving parents.


      Liked by 1 person

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