One. Oh. My. Goodness. You are ONE.
Yes. It will be redundant of me to say how fast this time has gone. I still think about your birth often. I think about you coming quick and surprising into our lives, into our family. And you have spent the year with us claiming your place in our hearts. Demanding to participate in everything and interact with everyone you see. And you get really, really dramatic when you can’t. You throw yourself on the floor, sometimes from a seated position, arching your back and knocking your head on the carpet. Sometimes you’ll collapse forward and roll around. And I’m sure these little baby tantrums are only going to get worse, but right now, they’re actually kind of adorable.
You have gotten FAST. You’re not quite running, but your walk gets you where you need to be not long after you decide you need to be there. You still love being chased and as you run away, your mouth is wide open and smiley, and your voice is loud. A daring yell. You love this game. Especially when you get up to take off in the middle of a diaper change.
You will kill me one day for posting this, but when we get that diaper off, you hop up with that mischievious twinkle in your eye, grab your junk and hobble off down the hallway as fast as your legs will go. Then you come back to the bedroom doorway to peek in at me again and laugh and laugh, holding your boy bits all the while and running away as soon as you’ve caught my eye.
This month, the weather has finally gotten nicer, and now that the ground is often dry and you so much more steady on your feet, I have let you out of the carrier and onto the ground. You go. You grin so wide, your eyes light up so brightly, and you are free to roam. And roam you do. You run, you carry things around, you trip and fall. You don’t mind. You get right back up again. You are fascinated and thrilled with the grass, the concrete, the sidewalk chalk, the rocks, the leaves and the dirt. You have learned that you don’t enjoy the taste of the latter few, the dirt being especially difficult to get out of your mouth when you realized how offensive it was. But you just can’t believe how amazing this wide world really is, how much there is to examine, and you babble and make sure to point it all out to me whenever you get the chance.
And speaking of chalk and dirt, you will eat anything. You no longer appreciate it if we offer you food that is different from what’s on our own plates. You know when you’re missing out on something and you are not shy about letting us know that you’ve gotten wise. You love spaghetti and meatballs, lentils, chicken, olives, pickles, spinach dip, grapes, goulash, potato pancakes and more foods than I can remember to name.
Awhile ago, we started to encourage you to sign a few simple words. Essentially, “more,” and “food,” and “please,” because the way you were asking for it was damaging our ears and hurting our brains with the decibel of your screaming. You combined the sign for “more” and “food,” I think, so you haven’t exactly mastered the signs we showed you, but at least we know what you mean when you take your index finger and point to the palm of your other hand. It means you want more. Usually food. Usually my food.
You are such a helper. You want to stir pots of food on the stove. You press your face against the window of the oven when something is baking. You pull the towels down from their hanging places and rub them over the fronts of cabinets and across the floors. When Michael helps take the laundry out of the washer and hands it to me to put in the dryer, you reach out and grab some with your little hands, too, thrilled to be a part of the process. You put clothes (and occasionally trucks) in the hamper from the floor and remove clean clothes from the laundry basket. You even help pick up toys at night or outside when it’s time to go in. Sometimes you also take them back out again, but I know you mean well.
You always want to be part of the action. You find it hard to nap if there are people around or even in the car unless you are completely wiped. You’re just too excited to see what’s coming next. You are smiley and strong and completely in love with the world and the people around you. You’re lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family members in your life. And even though you are completely attached to your mommy still, you manage to give lots of love to lots of others. You like to be held at adult level, and as long as there is an adult around with a free arm, you will walk over and reach up. And not one of them so far has been able to look down at your big smiling face and outstretched hands and deny you that simple request.
There’s usually some hugs in it for us, and you give really, really good ones.