Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One Year

Dear Peeper:

You are one year old today, and I just can't believe it.

There's been a party and everything, and I still can't believe it.

But more about that later. First, what is a one-year-old Peeper like?

Despite everyone's predictions over the past few months, you're still not quite walking, but you have really started seriously cruising over the past couple of weeks.

Your preferred method of locomotion is still walking holding onto me or Mommy, and you're getting very good at only using one hand.

You always look like you're about to just take off across the room, but on the rare occassions that you've let go, you haven't stayed upright very long, so I guess you're not quite ready yet.

You have managed to pull yourself up from sitting to standing a few times. Each time, I've been your pulling-post, but I've not actually helped you at all. I wouldn't be surprised to see you start trying that with inanimate objects, soon.

Your signs haven't changed much in the past month - you're still using "more" and "all done" quite emphatically, but often interchangably, and often to indicate some nebulous thing that you want.

You are definitely signing "doggy" in context now, and use it to mean both the dogs and the cats, and possibly other smallish quadripeds. (I think, maybe, you did it while looking at the "Here come pig feet" page of The Foot Book.)

You are signing "milk," some, but I'm usually not quite sure if I'm reading too much into your little hands.

You don't really need to sign it that often, because you use other ways of telling me you're ready to nurse, but at dinner last night, you were in Mommy's lap eating, and when you were finished, you looked across the table at me and signed it, pretty clearly.

I wasn't sure if I should believe you, but I held you while she packed up your things, and without explicitly offering, I put you in a position from which it was easy for you to throw yourself into nursing position and sure enough, you did, and then nursed for several minutes.

So, I'm definitely counting that among the signs that you have now!

We're just about convinced that you're saying "Mama/Mommy" intentionally, at least on occassion.

Sometimes we hear a very clear "Mama" and sometimes it's more of a "mumumum." It's possible that "Mama" is me (duh) and "Mum-mum" is Mommy. Maybe.

(But you use them sort of interchangably, and you also make those same sounds rather randomly, as well, so maybe that's all just wishful thinking.")

At times, you seem to be trying to say "kitty" - to both the cats and dogs. I can't quite reproduce the consonant sound in that word; it's somewhere between a "g" and a "t" if that even makes sense.

Maybe, maybe, maybe you're trying to say "goody," but I think that might be a stretch.

You still love your books, and still zoom through them much faster than we can read. You're getting even better at turning the pages, picking them up and manipulating them - especially opening the flaps on your "peekaboo" books.

A couple of months ago, I had to reinforce all the pages of Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings, because you were tearing them as you clumbsily opened the flaps, but now you're doing it almost as well as I do. You just open the flap, play with the texture, close the flap, turn the page, and repeat, like it's no big deal.

A week or so ago, you impressed the hell out of by finding several of your books, one after the others, when I asked for them by title. Even ones that were on the shelf, or partially hidden. Even ones with rather obscure titles.

Mommy tells me that you did it for her the next day, so she knows I wasn't making it up.

You haven't done it since then, though.

Maybe you are just refusing to "perform," or maybe you already know what book you want to read next, so you're ignoring my suggestions?

Or maybe it's because I bragged so much about you doing it that one time.

You're still willing to eat pretty much anything we put in front of you, and we put just about anything in front of you.

We try to keep it on the healthier side, but you have had some tastes of ice cream, cookie, brownie and, of course, birthday cake.

You had several 'Nilla Wafers at a party this weekend. I figured you were probably dropping them partially-eaten, and wasn't too concerned - until I watched you devour one completely oops.

You'll eat things that are hotter than I would expect, both "with pepper" and "with fire," and you love barbecue. Now that you're a year old, I'm looking forward to introducing you to the wonders of honey mustard!

You are still quite a Mama's/Mommy's girl, but you are getting a little more comfortable with going to other people for short periods, if we're around. You've even started reaching for or approaching them on your own sometimes.

If one of us is holding you, though, you are happy to interact with anyone.

I love taking you places, because so many people stop to talk to you, and they tell me how beautiful you are, and you give them the biggest grin ever, and then they tell me what a happy girl you are, and I am just so proud.

You are loving your music class and the fact that you're the youngest kid there doesn't seem to bother you a bit. You dance with me and Mommy, and watch the big kids, and sit on the listening blanket with them for story time, and eat play the instruments, and really enjoy yourself.

I wish we could do more things like that, but most of the baby activities are in the morning, when we're still asleep.

We continue to debate about what - if anything - we can do about that.

We sure do like our family bedtime, but since you've dropped to two naps, you sometimes go to sleep for the night before Mommy gets home, which is also nice.

A couple of times lately, you were down by midnight and slept until noon. Then, you were up four hours before your "first" nap (usually it's two, maybe three hours) - which turned out to be your only nap.

I'm not so sure I really like that pattern. I'm rather fond of your naptimes.

I could say that I need you to nap, "so I can get things done," but that would be a lie.

I need you to nap so I just have a break from walking you around, playing with you and so on. And so I can play on the computer.

That's pretty much what I do the whole time, since you're napping in my lap. Which is fine by me, because honestly, if you were elsewhere, I'd probably still be spending my "free time" playing on the computer instead of getting things done -and then I'd have to feel guilty about it.

Oh, my little Roo-Roo. Again, it's hard to say anything that doesn't sound completely cliched and trite, but I just cannot believe how big you are getting, and how much of a little person you are.

Over the past couple of months, you've really gotten to the point where it really feels like you are interacting and understanding and communicating with us.

The first several months, talking to you felt kind of like talking to the dogs and cats, honestly. It was really more for our benefit than yours, I think.

But now, you not only respond to simple commands (at least as well as the dogs, in most cases) but you can answer back, at least in your limited way.

You may only have a few signs, and even less (if any) words, but you do an amazing job of letting us know what you want - and don't want.

Looking at photos of your baby cousins these past few weeks, and hearing about them, on the one hand, it's so hard to even remember you being that tiny.

When your Uncle BabyBro saw the photos from your birthday party, he told me that it seems like you have more in common with us grown-ups than you do with his newborns!

Seeing them, and seeing your old photos, brings back so many memories of your early days - but good and not-so-good.

Remembering the sleep deprivation, and our breastfeeding difficulties, and the thousands of teeny diapers and the whole "what are we supposed to do now?!" of having a newborn, and of course, so so many doctor's appointments - it somehow makes me both so thankful that we are past all that, and yet somehow nostalgic for it.

I can only image that a year - or two, or twenty - from now, that's exactly how I will feel about today, too.

Happy Birthday, my big girl, I love you so much.


1 comment:

What say you?