Next time I write a blog post for you, it will be because you are one year old. One. Year. Old. Never before in my life has the number One seemed so large, and yet still so tiny.
There are many things about you that I don’t need to remember, because I imagine they will be part of your personality and character for years to come. There is no need for memory when there is relationship. And I plan on growing a deep and lasting relationship with you, my little lady and sweet sweet pal.
I would like to commemorate the things I see in your little soul, however, for they are a blessing to me and they fill my heart with joy. So, here it is; here you go; here is the (incomplete and always growing) list of things I love about you, on the eve of your first birthday:
You love people, especially other babies. You love to kiss people, especially babies.
When someone is hurt or crying, you are concerned. You stand by, and if the opportunity presents itself, you lean in to kiss whoever is crying in an effort to help. You do this whether or not you were the source of the pain. When you accidentally hurt me, you stand by, worried, while I cry in pain; and when I stop, you hurriedly lean over to kiss me and make it right. Your gentle and responsive spirit is amazing.
You love giving raspberries. You sometimes give me a whole line-up of wet, messy raspberries on my belly for up to a half hour at a time. You have even been known to raspberry me on the nipple right after nursing, which is just about the most hilarious thing ever. When you attempt to raspberry your (hairy) Papa, though, you always lean back in shock at how different his belly is than Mama’s. It’s cute that you keep trying, though.
One of your favorite things is for Papa and me to sing to you. Lullabies, waking-up songs, bath time playlists…you name it. You also like dancing to jazz and the Dave Ramsey theme song.
You love being tossed on the bed. Repeatedly.
You love Scooter. You are incredibly gentle with Scooter, and you sometimes follow her all around the house. (Scooter doesn’t want you to know it, but I can tell she loves the attention she gets from you, too!)
You are an explorer. I don’t think you’ve ever met something you didn’t like. And you are becoming increasingly independent and adventuresome, which is bittersweet. I am happy for you that you are growing into such a vibrant young girl, and I am grateful that I get to be a part of almost every moment of your life.
(Talking about poop!) You are an excellent pottier. You poop in the potty (almost never in the diaper anymore!), even though you’ve been teething and experiencing a ton of different foods. You also hold your pee at night most of the time, too. And when we’re out and about, you keep your diaper dry, as well.
You started sleeping much more soundly at night, letting Mama and Papa often have 6 hour stretches or more! You still love sleeping with us, and you are a big cuddle monkey. And, unless you’re restless because you need to pee, you are mostly a calm sleeper. Which I am very grateful for. Your naps during the day are getting longer, too. You often sleep for 1h15 – 2h15 stretches, twice a day.
You have no use for TV. Which is amusing. And while I’d like to be able to chill out and watch a show with you from time to time, your disinterest in sedentary pursuits just makes me giggle and be grateful.
You love books. You are learning how to be gentle with Mama & Papa’s books (we’ve lost a few pages along the way). And your favorite pasttime in the car is to leaf through your own board books.
Our favorite game is a version of hide and seek where I run into another room of the house and hide under a green blanket. You come to find me, tear off the green blanket, and then I run to another room. This game is great, great fun for us both!
I realize now that there aren’t any pictures of me and you from the past month, except for the pictures of us nursing. Nursing has been easy for us, and I know that that is a blessing. Your interest in nursing waxes and wanes depending on the week, but lately you have been very attached and seeking comfort, and I am grateful to be able to give it to you in this way.
Up until recently, I pretty much knew what you were thinking about most of the time. But now I’ll often catch you lost in an idea or staring off into space and I’ll have no idea what is going through your mind. You are getting very complex, little one!
You understand baby signs, but you are boycotting them for the most part. I think you are saving it all up for verbal language. You say some things intentionally, and your “vocabulary” is slowly expanding, but you are still mostly exploring sounds. I look forward to the day where I can ask you, “Phoebe, what are you thinking,” and you can tell me about things I’d never imagined.
These are all things that describe you, but these are not the reasons why I love you, my dear. I don’t love you because of anything you do or anything you are. I just love you. Unequivocally. Fully. Undeniably.
I always will.
2012-03-21 (a week late!)