Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear Mia: Part 6

You are 11 months old today. How did that happen? Just yesterday you were a little loaf I could put down in one place and you didn't move an inch. Now you are all over the place. You have finally figured out that walking is an adequate way to get around. And if you fall down you crawl like the your butt is on fire. If anyone leaves a room you are in, even if there are still 10 people left in the room, you follow them. Because they must be going some place fun. I knew it would be exhausting chasing you around all day, (and it wouldn't be nearly so if you would just learn to listen when I say "no," as you empty every book off of my shelves) but I love watching you stomp around the house and you are so dang proud of yourself. I wouldn't trade it for that little loaf any day.

The other day your dad was getting you undressed for your bath while I was running the water, and he put you down and told you to walk to the bathroom. Holy cow, a little tiny naked lady who's just learned to walk stomping down the hall may just be the cutest thing I've ever seen. I have burned that image into my brain. I never want to forget it.

You, my dear, are a picky eater. I had no idea a baby could even be a picky eater. And I can find no discernible rhyme or reason to the things you like and dislike on any given day. You refuse any green vegetable except puréed green beans, so you have a jar with dinner every night. I'm a little worried I will have to send you off to college with a box of 4 ounce jars of puréed green beans to get your quota of greens every day. The only foods you'll eat without a fuss are: goldfish crackers, yogurt, cottage cheese, hummus, beans, bananas and grapes.

You have begun to really communicate lately. You seem to understand a lot of what we say. You follow simple commands. When I say hi to you, you wave. When I say the word "clap" or any word that sounds like it, you clap. When I tell you daddy's coming home, you look at the door and sometimes crawl over to it to look out the window. If you are playing and get frustrated with a toy, you take my hand and put the toy in it as your way of asking for help.

I'm pretty sure your first word is "hat," which sounds more like "hot," and is accompanied by either putting your hand on your head or trying to put your hat on your head. You repeat sounds a lot, but this is the first word I've heard you say independently while identifying the object.

It is just so awesome to feel like this relationship is not just so one sided anymore. I am not just talking for the sake of hearing my own voice all day long.

Your favorite activity is by far looking at your basket full of books. You love to sit and look through them yourself. When you want to be read to, you hold a book out to me, and I ask "do you want me to read this?" and you give a big smile and scramble to get into my lap.

I've been wondering since I was pregnant whether you would be left handed like your dad and me. It's kind of like a science experiment waiting to see. When you first started sucking your thumb, it was your left thumb, but now you have no preference. You suck both thumbs. But you seem to hold things with your right hand more often, so we will have to wait and see about that.

You are a rambunctious little thing. You are no shrinking violet. But you are also so sweet and snugly, especially when you are tired or hungry. You'll let me hold you against my chest while you suck your thumb, and I lap it up. Oh, my girl, I have to remind myself that there will come a day when I won't be able to bury my face in your neck any time I want. I wonder if my own mother still longs to kiss my neck whenever she sees me. I can't imagine there will be a time when I don't want to go crazy kissing your face. We have years of neck nuzzling left, yes? (Just lie and say yes)

You continue to sleep pretty well at night. You'll go weeks of sleeping until 6:30 (which seems SO luxurious these days), and then something will wake you up at 5:30 one day. After that we spend weeks getting you back to sleeping that extra hour. Let's just say I pretty much hate everything before 6am, so while we are currently on an "off" week of waking at 5:30, I am not too happy.

With the good comes the bad though, and you have begun throwing monster tantrums when you don't get your way, complete with screaming, crocodile tears, and back arching. The Terrible Twos may find you put out with the garbage. The whining already has me wishing myself deaf.

You show affection and frustration by head butting. Twice I have thought you must have given me a bloody nose with the power of your love. You head butt the cats and other babies at story time at the library. And when you get frustrated with something you sit on the floor and bang your head on it. Obviously, we are working on this. Gentle is not a word you understand just yet.

I am planning your first birthday with as much care as I put into my wedding. I am so excited about it. Excuse me if I make this more about me than about you, but the more birthdays you have the more they become a celebration of whatever age you're turning and less an actual celebration of the anniversary of your birth. So, on the first anniversary of your birth, I want to remember where I was a year ago, the last time I felt you swimming in my belly, the first time I looked into your face. The joy, the pain, the frustration. Next year, and all the years that follow March 28th will be your day. We will celebrate you turning 2 and 10 and 25 (eek!) by looking forward, but this year I just want to reminisce a little bit and see how far we've come, because March 28th wasn't just the day you were born, it was also the day I became a mom.