Our tiny tot turned one on Friday, and sadly, I did not present him with a handwritten letter filled with all the precious memories of his first 365 days on this earth. No, at 6:30 a.m. I handed him to his daddy, who had the day off, showered, then scrambled to find my hair dryer, and sped off to work after I gave both gents a goodbye kiss and a cornbread muffin, one for each of the them.
I came home at lunch (since, as you well know, mothers who work on their children's birthdays may as well take parenting classes from Putin--cold, heartless, anti-American weasel!), and we took our one-year-old to buy a real pair of shoes. We also bought cupcakes, most of which were eaten by his two adoring parents.
Anyway, it was a fun day, but it was also kind of anti-climactic. I had to go back to work for a few hours after twelve glorious days away. He didn't even know why we were eating cupcakes, or why we kept asking him if he was having a good day. He protested and refused to take his second nap, which led to the longest witching hour of all time.
The whole thing made me realize: This might not actually get easier. He's not sleeping from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. as I once prayed he would. He tends to fling food. But I have not wasted all this reflective holiday thinking time, either. I've realized a lot of good, and I am writing it here in lieu of a handwritten birthday letter. I'm only two days late.
Little D's Best Features, Age 1, According to Mom
- Dancing feet. They start kicking at the slightest jingle, and he has started to do this funky wave with his right hand when he's really grooving. I think maybe he'll be friends with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel's firstborn child, which would give him the chance to cultivate both his moves and his popularity.
- Greetings. Do you know someone who is just GREAT at saying hello? I do. My baby, he's the best. When you walk in the room, even if it's only been five minutes, he turns and looks you in the eye, and waves both hands and says, Heyyyy! Everyone should be greeted so warmly. It makes you feel like a million dollars.
- Night-snuggling. It's true that he still wakes up nearly every night at 4 a.m., but when someone that squishy, who smells that good, wants to snuggle in the night, you don't turn him away. You keep him in your bed until the alarm goes off, and you give up approximately 1.5 million hours of deep sleep for dozing next to him.
- Eating. We had a rough start when it came to eating, didn't we? But despite the naysayers, my baby 1) can identify me as his own mama (bonded!), 2) has yet to get an ear infection or need antibiotics...at all, and 3) is not obese. So I'd say the bottles turned out just fine, despite the lactation lady who leaned toward the can of formula on our counter that February morning and whispered, "You don't know what's in that stuff." Now this little guy chows on avocados, minestrone, fish tacos (how he loves the fish!), and the occasional stray Cheerio. He loves to eat at restaurants, where he can fling his food and make new friends at the same time.
- Zip/Pep. His gaze can be quite steely when he's thinking hard, but on the whole, our little man is a lightning bolt. He is ZIP and he is PEP, and sometimes he's both at the same time. BOOM goes the lamp, over. WHIZZ goes the barstool as he pushes it across the room. CRASH goes the empty bottle, launched across the room once no longer useful to him. We know he's awake in the morning when we hear pacifiers hitting our shared wall. He takes his collection and throws each "baba" as hard as he can--let's GO, people!