Monday, March 28, 2016

Baby James: One Year

The Bear Series: 12 months
My precious boy,

One! You are one year old, a proper little man.  You might weigh 19 pounds by now but it's not likely.  You still have only 5 teeth as no new ones have come through in the past month, but the 6th one is just about there to make 4 on the top.  You are nicely filling out your 6-9 month clothes and just starting to wear some 9-12 month items.  Although you don't seem to have grown physically much bigger, your verbal, social and motor skills are expanding loads.  You definitely say mama now, so I'm claiming that one - your first word in month 12.  You can make kissing sounds and click your tongue.  Although your specific babbling sounds haven't increased much in variety, you are getting quite good at trying to imitate sounds you do hear.  The other day, we were looking at a farm animals book and you offered a passable imitation of my quack and the buck-buck sound for a chicken.

You still love dismantling the toy shelf organisation, but now you've added the charming habit of deliberately rearranging the toys, or pieces of them, back onto the shelves.  When you decide where something should go, you are determined in your effort to place it there, even if it's a bit out of reach and the item falls down.  While you don't have a system that is consistent from day to day, you definitely have your ideas about where things should go.  I put things back in the same place each day and it makes me smile when I see random items carefully placed on the shelves.  It's clear your ideas of organisation don't mesh with mine, and I'm trying to be okay with that.

You've also started throwing proper little temper tantrums.  They are often triggered by frustration or tiredness and usually short lived, but comical in their determined intensity.  You've become obsessed with your stacking ring toy, but sometimes the ability to place the ring on the unstable, rocking stacker eludes you and you throw the ring in frustration or beat it on the floor, barking your disapproval of the situation with an odd, sharp little sound.

Your motor skills are improving all the time.  You've developed the leg strength to stand up from your knees without hauling yourself up with your arms, and to squat up and down rather than simply fall to your bum.  You've even cruised along furniture for a few steps now and then.  I was amazed one day at the library when you were moving along a low window sill under a library table, thinking this will all end in tears, then you casually stepped first one foot and the other over the table base so you wouldn't trip like you'd been doing it your whole life.  I find it amazing to watch you learn and grow, figuring out so much for yourself.

You are, as ever, a social little thing, and now you've started playing interactive games.  One that you invented during grandma's visit and love to play all the time is the mouth game.  You like to carry a toy in your mouth while you play, and now you want to put one in other people's mouths as well.  Bonus points if we can pass the toy from mouth to mouth.  But separation anxiety, as it were, seems to have set in, and the golden period when I could leave you in your room to play went as quickly as it came.  Now you loudly voice your disapproval when we walk out of the room you are in.  The irony is, the more you develop the ability to engage with the people and objects around you, the more exhausting I find it to keep up with you and your sister together.  So although spending time with you is more and more fun, and I miss you like crazy when I go to work, there's a part of me that is relieved someone else is on duty for a bit.

It is fortunate that your desire for company is still relatively indiscriminate.  Since I went back to work the day after your birthday, you've settled in beautifully at nursery and transition easily into the care of the lovely ladies each morning.  There you've been more willing to explore different foods and started to accept milk from a sippy cup, and these are big steps forward.  You've always napped well at home, and this adjustment has been rough on your daytime sleep schedule, so you arrive home exhausted and ready to nurse and get to bed.  I'm sure this will get better as you transition to one nap, and I'm hoping that you will finally grow out of your restless night-time sleep because mummy's a bit tired too you see.

This past year has flown by, accelerating even as the days pass inexorably until the sweet relief of bedtime when, watching you sleep, one could be forgiven for believing you an angel.  It seems only a moment ago that you were placed squirming and blinking onto my chest - a squishy newborn piece of loveliness - now here you are a grinning, babbling, crawling, opinionated package of delight and exasperation all rolled into one and as ever, my son... I love you with all my heart.