One Amazing Year

13 06 2006

Dear Ethan,

Today you are celebrating your very first birthday. Actually, your father and I are celebrating it; you, I’m sure, will go about your day as usual, munching on puffs, pulling my hair to get my attention, refusing to take an afternoon nap, etc., completely unaware of the huge milestone this day represents- a milestone so momentous that all my rules will go out the window and you’ll be allowed to gorge yourself on birthday cake.

ta_daUntil recently, the milestones had been pretty few and far between. For awhile there, I was convinced you were a true Baby Genius. You rolled over at a few weeks old, for goodness’ sake. You were holding your head up by yourself around the same age, and I swear you said the word “ridiculous” when you were, like, a month old (too bad I’m the only one that was around to hear it). You were clapping and dancing on command at around 6 months. But then you hit 7 months, and, well… things kind of slowed down. Not only did you not really do anything new or exciting or entertaining, but you also kind of stopped growing. I’m not kidding. You still wear your size 6-9 month baby clothes. And you’re the smallest kid in the class at Gymboree. Sometimes I worry that you have that Webster disease. But then I look at your father and realize that really, I should only be worried if you were any BIGGER than you are (no offense, Jeff!).

(I was also a little worried when you took to falling asleep sitting up; true, I was also highly amused by this, but honestly, I was a little concerned. Thankfully, after a few times of going to check on you, finding you asleep folded over in half, and having to unfold you and push you back down, you figured out how to lie down on your own. That was a nice day.)

walkingBut you totally made up for your lack of growth two weeks ago, while we were in Connecticut for “Aunt” Julia and “Uncle” Nate‘s wedding. In the short span of a week, you: got 4 new teeth, learned to crawl, and took your first assisted steps. The walking part came about as a result of Daddy making you stand up while I stripped you of the pj’s you’d just pooped all over. Right there in the bathroom, in nothin’ but your diaper, poop smeared down your leg, you took a couple of steps, and I cried. I’ve never been so proud! Daddy cried too (even though he won’t admit it), but that was probably only because your poop bomb had exploded on him, too.

Ever since then, you have been ALL OVER THE PLACE, messing with the tv, attacking shelves, yanking everything off them and casting each item away with disgust. You forced us to entirely baby-proof one room in the house, and in it, we let you work out all your angst and rip everything you come in contact with to shreds. I don’t know mess_makingwhere you get this anger from. Back in the good old days, the ones I didn’t appreciate enough, when you were immobile, you used to get your anger out by clapping. Aggressively. You’d clap really really hard and that used to make you feel better. I thought it was weird, but hey, whatever works. Now you fling your little body around, and throw things. Oh, AND YOU PINCH. Who taught you how to do that???

But for as much of a little terror as you’re becoming (which you really aren’t at all, I tend to exaggerate), you’re also hilarious. I love when you point and shake your index finger at me, and try to say the words along with me, when we get to the part of the song that goes “No more monkies jumpin’ on the bed!” (Video coming soon!) I literally have never seen anything cuter. That right there is the reason you will have a sister or brother someday. And that yelling thing your father taught you? Sometimes you get it right, but usually all you succeed in doing is opening your mouth really, really wide, and for some reason, rolling your eyes back in your head. You could totally rival the comedic stylings of Jim Carrey.

Your favorite things to do lately are stick your head into containers and “drink” the air (or, in some cases, the dirty bathwater). I think you’re doing this because you are so good at drinking out of a cup that you feel the need to show it off whenever possible. generousThat or you’re just odd. You also LOVE to hand me things. When I go into your room to get you after you’ve woken up, you’ll be sitting there, feet hanging out the bars of your crib, and the first thing you do is yank your pacifier out of your mouth and hand it to me. It is so considerate of you, realizing how exhausting being a Mommy must make me, to try to save me the trouble of having to actually take it out of your mouth myself.

Or you will sit there and empty an entire drawer of folded clothes, and hand each article to me. And I, dying a little inside as each item needlessly becomes unfolded, will do my best to smile and take the onesie and act like it is EXACTLY what I was wishing for- not a shower, no, or 2 seconds alone so I can go pee in peace, maybe, or even a couple extra minutes of sleep, NO! a onesie is all I want!- and through clenched teeth give you a hearty “Thank you so much, Ethan! You are such a nice boy to unfold this shirt and give it to mommy after she JUST folded it and put it away! How nice of you!”

freshThis morning I will make you a special pancake breakfast- pancakes that will hopefully be in recognizable shapes, like Mickey Mouse. Or hearts. Or circles, I think I could handle circles. And I’ll watch you feed yourself your pancakes/throw your pancakes on the floor, but I’ll be seeing my tiny, jaundiced little newborn with the squeaky hiccups at the same time. Because one amazing year has already flown by. And I can’t even imagine what life would be like without you.





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