Dear Big Boy:
Last Wednesday you turned 12 months old. That’s right, Little Man, you’re one year old now. I’ve been waiting to write your newsletter until after your checkup today, so I’d have your big boy measurements. You now weigh 21 pounds, 13 ounces; and you’re 29 1/2 inches tall. That means, in the last 12 months, you’ve gained 13 pounds, 11 ounces; and you’ve grown 9 1/2 inches in height. You’ve also grown 4 clothing sizes, 3 diaper sizes, and 2 shoe sizes. It’s time to slow down, Son.
We showered you with gifts and stuffed you full of cake and ice cream. I don’t think you’ve ever been so FULL. After your second piece of cake, your eyes glazed over and you were sort of semi-catatonic, staring wistfully into space (perhaps wondering WHERE that chocolate frosting had been all your life?).
You’ve been a busy boy in the past month. And when I say “busy,” I mean YOU WILL NOT SIT STILL. Several times a day, every day, your daddy and I will look at you, then look at each other, and one of us will say, “He’s SO BUSY.” You never stop, Son, whether you’re playing with your toys, putting them in the toy box, and taking them out, putting them in, taking them out; or cruising around the furniture nonstop; or pulling the plastic mixing bowls out of the cabinet, unstacking and restacking them, unstacking and restacking; or “helping” me fold the laundry by taking clothes out of the basket, and putting them in, taking them out, putting them in, ad infinitum. I’ve never seen a baby who stays so busy ALL THE TIME.
You haven’t started walking just yet, – you’re still working on your balance – but you’re cruising around the furniture so quickly – almost running! – that I constantly worry about you tumbling over, face-first onto the floor. You’re pulling up on EVERYTHING now, and taking great delight in discovering new things you aren’t supposed to play with. We keep moving and rearranging everything, but you seem to have some sort of Stretch Armstrong-like qualities, being able to tiptoe and reeeeeach to get to…well, pretty much whatever you WANT to get to. I’m interested to know if you possess any OTHER superhero-like abilities? The power to turn vegetables into an ultra-healthy, fat-free, decadent chocolate concoction would come in handy for BOTH of us.
Speaking of healthy…you had your very first Happy Meal today. Such a milestone, don’t you think? Right up there with cutting your first tooth or getting your first tattoo. (It’s a joke, Son. NO tattoos, you hear me?)
Before your birthday party on Saturday, you had your very first haircut. I had been DREADING getting your hair cut, and putting it off, because every baby boy I’ve ever seen no longer looked like a baby after that first haircut. They all looked like big boys afterward. And (*sigh*) you were no exception. With just a few quick snips, you were transformed from a baby to a big boy. Even though I knew it would happen that way, my heart still hurt a little at yet another reminder of how quickly you’re growing up.
And you ARE growing up, Little One. You’ve finally (Praise the Lord and knock on wood) started sleeping better. For the past three weeks or so, you’ve been sleeping through the night, usually waking only once, sometime between 4:30 and 6:30, and then nursing and going back to sleep. You’re even napping well – sometimes – and often waking up very chipper, and jabbering to yourself for a few minutes before we come in to get you. Your daddy and I are SO THANKFUL that you’re not getting up eleventy hundred times a night anymore; but we’re almost afraid to breathe a sigh of relief and declare that you are, indeed, sleeping through the night, for fear that you’ll revert to your wicked old ways again.
Your vocabulary is slowly expanding. You can now say, “Ma-ma,” “Da-da,” “Dis” (this), and “Boo-Boo” (Nanny and Poppy’s dog’s name); and you can almost say “Kitty” (it sounds like “key”). You can also sign “milk,” but Mom and Dad haven’t been consistent enough for you to have caught on to the signs for “eat” and “more” yet. We’ll have to work on those.
Your current favorite activities are keeping yourself busybusybusy all the time, chasing Nanny and Poppy’s dog and cat (You are absolutely mesmerized at those furry, four-legged creatures.), and touching my and your sisters’ hair.
About the hair ‘thing’, Son…WHAT is up with that? You’ve been fascinated with my hair for months now, pulling at it, playing with it, chewing on it. But now? Well, your fascination seems to have turned into a fetish. You often put both of your hands behind my hair, then put your face in your hands, and turn your head back and forth, rubbing your face in my hair over and over, making a “buh-buh-buh” sound. It’s a little weird. It’s also very cute. You like to rub your face in your sisters’ long hair, too, and grab their ponytails when they turn their backs to you. But you get mad if I wear MY hair in a ponytail. You’ll pick and grab at it, until I finally pull it down for you; then you start rubbing your face in it again. I’m hoping you’ll outgrow this pretty soon. Otherwise I may have to warn your prom date: “Beware. He may look like he’s leaning in for a goodnight kiss, but he’s really going for THE HAIR!” In the meantime, though, it IS kinda sweet that touching my hair comforts you when you’re upset.
Big Boy, I’m still reeling from the irrefutable fact that you’ve been around for one whole year now. I could just SWEAR the calendar cheated us somehow. I mean, of COURSE I want you to grow and change and mature and learn new things and develop new skills and abilities….I just wish it didn’t have to happen so FAST. I’m just not ready for my last baby to be such a big boy. I must remember to hold on to each moment, to take notice of how you look, sound, smell, in this moment. Right here, right now, before it’s gone with all the rest.
Updated to add: The above photo was altered in Paint Shop Pro using the Dooce effect. My apologies for not including the link in the original post.
I love you, my Big Boy, my Little Man.