From your first birthday until now, we celebrated a lot of firsts – first steps, words, front teeth, double ear infection, trip to the beach.
You started walking consistently the week of July 17th. We packed up the car (and the dog) and headed to the beach for the week. Something about the layout of the new digs launched you into full-on walking mode, and you haven’t stopped since. Your foot is a size 5.5 and you wear this shoe nearly nonstop. You want to walk everywhere. You want to run everywhere. Grocery shopping… hell, ANY shopping, has taken on a whole new level of dread. You will NOT stay in the cart, or the stroller, or the high-chair at a restaurant. You will squeal like a stuck pig.
You talk a lot.. some things we understand: mama, kitty, dog, Moses (the dog’s name), water, bottle, bye bye, I’ll do it, You do it (you’re very bossy), read, this, yes, thanks, and probably some I’m forgetting. You also speak in tongues about things we do not understand. We all have a lot of conversations in which I desperately wish I had a translator (example video at the bottom of this post). You talk all the time. You are also an excellent mimic. You also might think your name is NayNay, which is a whole other post.
I’ve never met a baby that loves books as much as you do. I blame your mother, the librarian. But you devour books… one by one, methodically, over and over until spines are broken and lift-the-flaps have been amputated and taped back on. At school, your notes at the end of the day almost always say: “RR enjoyed reading books all day today.” In fact, whenever your upset, all we have to say is “One hippo, all alone” and you’ll stop dead in your tracks.
You’re still a pretty good eater, but for Pete’s sake child, stop feeding the dog. It’s doing neither of you any good. My favorite, though, is when you put the food in his mouth, take it out, and then put it in yours. Maybe this is why you’re so healthy? His head is at high chair level, and we’ve developed a couple of barriers (chairs, boxes, electric fence) to put around your chair so that you can eat in peace, and he can be encouraged to be a good dog. It’s a hard fight. I think you and he are still winning. Your favorite foods these days? Peas, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and watermelon.
You’re a hard kid to have out in public, which is a shame, since you are so damn adorable. But high chairs and shopping carts are a nightmare (see, Walking above). We’ve taken to grocery shopping with you in the backpack, which buys us some time to divide and conquer the Kroger, but even then, your patience runs out quickly. This weekend, we’re having a babysitter come hang out with you so that we can grocery shop, if that’s any indication of the problem. Pieces of sample cheese or snacks only buy so much time, but are sufficient for short trips. We don’t take you out to eat. Period. Your only public redeeming quality is when you’re in your stroller and insist on waving at everyone as they pass you. Like you’re practicing to be a princess on a float. Most of the time, people even wave back. Next thing we know, you’ll want to throw candy at them.
You are a 9-12 month bottom and a 18-24 month top. I’m really sorry that you inherited my low waist and short legs. Sorry, baby girl. One word: leggings. I’ve never been so happy to have a little girl than when your mom and I are picking out leggings… stripes, spots, crazy designs. That + diaper butt + t-shirt + crazy socks = overwhelmingly adorable.
Other than this whole being-terrible-in-public, you’re a really good kid. So much so that we’ve had to baby-proof little around the house. And by little, I might mean none? I mean, we had your Grandpa install a cat door to the basement so that you can’t fall down the stairs, but that’s it. You’re not interested in opening cupboards or drinking Drano. If you do something we don’t approve of, we say, “No Ma’am” and then you (usually) stop. Those times usually involve you wanting to load/unload the dishwasher, or contemplating playing in the kitty water fountain (which, I don’t blame you). You shake your head “no” a lot… even if the answer is yes. I think you just like to shake your head?
This is a video of you last week, when we were home together during the double ear infection. Babbling, “Mama,” balancing things on your head, and squealing at the end when you realize I have the iPhone and you want it (which is so flattering). PS – Turn up the volume.
I love you, kiddo. Every day, you’re everything I hope you’d be, and more.