Today is Christmas Eve and you are fourteen months old. You’re definitely more aware of Christmas this year than last, and it’s been so fun to experience these firsts with you. We have been having some great days lately, I hardly know where to begin in describing your awesomeness. So I’ll start with today. And a video. We opened one present this morning before your dad had to go to work. Aunt Deb sent us some packages wrapped in beautiful metallic paper. And though you did also enjoy the gift itself, the paper was a total bonus. We spent the afternoon stepping all over it, and I was amused enough with the activity that I tried to capture it before you realized that there was a camera in close proximity to your grasp.
So it’s been increasingly difficult to get all the photos I’ve wanted to because as soon as you realize I’m trying to take your picture, you stop doing whatever cute thing you’re doing and become a rabid animal that will not rest until he sees the image on the LCD screen and gets to press a button or two.
You are starting to realize that you are capable of speed on two feet. Unfortunately, sometimes you get so excited that you forget to actually look where you are running and proceed to run into the couch, walls, pack-n-play, your parents, etc. It’s pretty funny. Like having my own personal slapstick show on all the time. Because most of the time, you manage to avoid injury serious enough to make you cry.
You love to go in circles around and around the ottoman, especially if there are parent-shaped obstacles in your path. You can climb up onto both couches now and are getting better at the stairs every day. You love to chase and be chased. Your favorite “safe” spot is behind the rocker in your bedroom. You think that we can’t get to you there, though we most definitely can and have on a few occasions.
It’s amazing how much you are able to understand now that you didn’t before. I can’t even begin to list everything to which you have become aware, but it’s hard to believe that there was a period of time when you didn’t show any sign of knowing what came next in our bedtime routine or how to make the popcorn popping toy go. You point to objects and pictures like you could use some more information about this world of ours, and you make a valiant effort to repeat the words I use to try to explain to you. You understand “no” pretty well, but you seem to think that it’s negotiable. You’ll stand there, eyeing the forbidden object or activity, and jabber in your own language, gesturing with your hands and imploring facial expressions, which is better than the screaming and foot stamping temper tantrums, but still doesn’t work to get you where you want to be.
You are the happiest kid I know. Always excited about something, and easy to amuse. Peek-a-boo still hasn’t gotten old, and the little piggies have seen a comeback. You like to explore, to pull things out of drawers, to discover objects that have previously been out of reach and hoard them in your own way (until you abandon them along the way somewhere and I return them to their former place of residence). You like to sing and dance and run around without pants. You love people, and you will stare and stare at new faces without saying anything, and they will usually talk and wave to you, and when they turn from you to go about their business, that’s when you say “hi.” I’m not sure if you’re just working on some form of shyness, or if you have to make sure that people don’t forget about you, but it’s pretty funny and completely charms pretty much everyone you meet. Your smile probably helps with that, too.
You love most food, though sometimes if we put it down in front of you to feed yourself, you decide that it’s not at all the right thing and either ignore it, toss it around, or put it in your mouth only to spit it back out again. I’m getting a little tired of the spitting thing already, though it’s still a fairly new trick. When you do it, you seem to be fishing for a reaction, a laugh, a warning, something. So as hard as it is, I just have to ignore it, because then you stop. When you share Mommy or Daddy’s food, however, it always stays in your mouth and is the best tasting thing in the world because you must have more and more. Including chili. And bacon. But we knew that already from before you were born.
I hate to write this next paragraph because the last time I wrote something on the subject, I think we had a little bit of a jinx situation on our hands. But we have all been sleeping so much lately it’s hard to know what to do with all that sleep. My dreams actually have complete plot lines again. You don’t need to nurse anymore overnight, and you rarely wake enough to need help going back to sleep. Sometimes we hear you, but you are fine talking yourself back into dreamland. Not only that, but for the last week or so, you’ve been sleeping past 8:00am. This is a double-edged sword, however, because you don’t need a morning nap anymore. So now instead of taking my time in the shower while you sleep, I get to hurry up and bathe before you get too mad about being confined somewhere away from trouble for a few minutes.
You are extremely affectionate. You give smiles and hugs and kisses freely, sometimes without us even having to ask. I love it when you run into my arms for a big squeeze, and I love how you wedge yourself in between your dad and me when we’re hugging or kissing each other, demanding your share of the love. Sweetheart, I promise that you will never want for love. We have such an abundance here in our home, and it is one of the most amazing things, of all the amazing things that you do, to see you participate with such enthusiasm. You are super fun, and I’m so glad to have you in my life. Merry Christmas.