Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wild thing, you make my heart sing

Well, you've gone and done it. You're not a baby anymore.

I hope you're happy.

(We are.)

Back when you were a baby (you know, yesterday), you were really a very sweet baby. I've already told the world the story of your birth, which sounds so misleading, doesn't it? The days leading up to your birth were crazy, but your birth itself was easy, and then you were here. That's how you are -- your addition into our family has made our lives crazy, but you yourself are really a calm baby one-year-old. The craziness isn't your fault, just as the snow wasn't, either. Three kids does a circus make, and it wouldn't be nearly so fun without you.

We had a little birthday party for you today. You didn't really care. You were really more interested in your bagel than your cake, and that's typical you: bagel first, everything else second.
Robot cake, because his sisters wanted to make robot cake pops.
One minute after cake. Exact moment of rubbing frosting in eyelashes. One minute before sugar freak.
The first year of life is maybe the most amazing one. The changes are so dramatic. You went from a snuggle-blob to a sitter and a crawler and a talker and (a bit of) a walker. I have learned how to put three kids to bed simultaneously. Your father has become adept at sleeping upright. You taught L the pride of being the bigger, and you brought forth E's gentle compassion. You improved all of us, just by being you.

You and your bright eyes and your squeezy thighs and your rubbable belly and your gap-toothed grin and your head-throwing giggle and your never-the-same-twice hair: you are a delicious joy. A very heavy joy, a scrumptious, drooly delight.

You talk with your fingertips as much as your syllables, touching them to each other as you reach for the stars or for me. You are curious and very strong and obdurate. You are also sweet and charming. And teething. Always with the teething, you are.

Not caring at all about the contents, G shredded wrapping paper with vigor.
You had, I believe, a fantastic baby year. You have engaged with the world and entwined with our hearts. You have friends, and routines, and preferences. (What kind of weirdo doesn't like blueberries? Oh, yeah -- you.) And now you're a toddler.

You're ready to be a toddler; you've been ready. You look like a one-year-old and you destroy order and cleanliness like a one-year-old. You know how to empty the blocks bin or the book basket. You will rip every diaper out of a new package and fling them about like oversized confetti. You will, when you want to let me know that you're not ready for sleep, climb out of my lap and straddle the arm of the rocking chair and slide to the carpet. Then you'll pull the heating grate out of the floor and the night light out of the socket. And then you'll clap for yourself.

You have a touch of the mischief, you know.

There's just a spot of baby left in you, and it's in when you finally do begin to fall asleep. Then you 'll nestle tight against my skin and you'll rev like an engine. You're bleeding the line, I think, until every last bit of energy is expended. You've done this for months, even, I dare say, for most of your lifetime, and it's a quirk that's unique in our family to you. You just can't let go until you're finished, and if there's even a drop of go-go-go-go left in you, you send it out through a rumbling sound.

I'll miss it, once your voicebox realizes you're no longer a baby.

But there are great adventures ahead of you. You're going to walk fluently this year, and maybe run. You're going to learn more words and reach higher things and move to a bigger kids' classroom. You're going to learn to sleep on a cot and drink from a straw. You're going to drink milk!

And oh, the other glories available to you now: you can have scrambled eggs. Yolk and everything. And fear not the botulism any longer: you're old enough for honey, and I think I'll put some in your oatmeal tomorrow.

You're going to interact more with your sisters and try so many new things. At some point this year, we'll even turn your car seat around to forward facing, and won't that be a revelation. But the honey, G, that might be a highlight -- there's nothing better than oatmeal with honey. 

There's just only one way to explain this to you:

toddlerhood is so badass, and you're going to be so good at it.

I love you all the way to the stars,
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