A Letter to My One-Year-Old
Happy birthday, my dear one. I have many names for you, but you know I'm being especially affectionate when I call you my Yummy. Because you are so, so yummy. You're chubby in all the right places. You have cheeks like pillows that you press against my face when you hug me. You like the silliest games, like gently tapping your forehead against mine so I'll say "Bonk!"
You're funny and easily amused and you're already showing signs of some serious toddlerhood about to burst forth. When you want something, you want it, and you know just how to shriek so I'll give it to you just to make you stop screaming. You want to be like your big brothers, and you want to torment them, and you want them to show you all the things you need to know about being a big boy. You chase them around and delight in being chased. You toddle happily along behind them and cry piteously when they disappear into a room you're not allowed into.
You're nosy. You have to know what's in the refrigerator, the pantry, my closet, the laundry room. You peer into boxes with the curiosity of a kitten (and about as much caution). You love to look out the window behind my bed, and you still forget to make sure you can sit safely before plunking your little tush down wherever you are.
You like socks. Thank you so much for bringing me a sock the other morning in the shower. A wet sock is just the thing for a hot day!
You like your brother's pajamas. I'm so happy I had a matching set for you to wear, so you could be just like him. Your smile of joy when I found them in your drawer was surely a Kodak moment.
You're fearless, and yet you always make sure I'm around. You're adventurous, but you won't go too far without me. You're mischievous and playful. You drop things just so you can say, "Uh-oh!", but you have such pride in your eyes that you have a word to say!
You insist on using a fork, just like Mommy and Daddy and your brothers. You insist on eating whatever I'm eating. You know when we're sitting down for a meal and toddle over to your chair to join us. You've figured out where my boobs are and have started making it clear in no uncertain terms when you want to nurse. That, by the way, needs to stop, my lovely one. I've been trying to teach you a sign to make when you're hungry. Feel free to try that.
I loved watching you learn to walk. You're so determined. You decide to learn something, and every day you work on it and work on it until you've mastered it. You're already choosing walking over crawling, no matter how many times you fall on the way. Keep that determination, that tenaciousness. It will serve you well in life.
You only have four teeth, but you use them to great effect. I appreciate when you remember to open your mouth before pulling away from me while nursing. You still nurse at least four times a day and countless times a night (or so it feels). I wouldn't mind seeing you sleep better, but at least your naps are reasonably predictable.
I can't wait to see how much you've grown, my big, squooshy one. You're well over 20 pounds, but I don't think you'll match your biggest brother's incredible size. Still, you're no lightweight! You like to be held, but sometimes my arms are just too tired, sweet boy. I'm so glad you can walk, now, so I can put you down. You were so cute wandering around at the bank.
I think my heart is most warmed by watching your brothers interact with you. N, your biggest brother, is so good to you. So nurturing. He helps you, plays with you, carries you (even though I tell him not to!). He's the care-giving one, the protector. S wants you to be a playmate, but he doesn't understand that you're still too little. He's so happy to see you growing, becoming more interesting and interested in him. You give as good as you get with him, horseplay and all. And he loves your toys. You're too young to understand sharing, but when you've had your fill of a toy, you're content to let him play. You may be too young to understand sharing, but you're also to young to understand MINE. That won't last!
I look forward to seeing what kind of little person you become during the next year and beyond. You're the third child, so you'll have to have a lot of personality to shine from behind your brothers. Somehow, I don't think I have to worry about you. I can already tell you're bright and stubborn. You'll need both to keep up!
Enjoy your day, my funny little guy. You're one now. The world is yours for the taking!