Teddy, I’m addressing this one directly to you.
Your mom often asks questions about what I was like as a kid. I’m no good for answers because I can barely remember the start of this day, and my parents only offer up generalities: Dave was quiet, stayed in his room a lot, was on the computer all the time, was very pale. Frankly, we were afraid he might kill us in our sleep. So, I don’t know that much about what I was like as I kid, and what I want to tell you here is exactly what you were like when you just turned one.
Your favourite pastime right now is bouncing heavy toys off the hardwood floor. Actually, what you like even better is when you throw something against the hardwood and then it bounces under the couch. Then you try to retrieve it… and you can’t… and you get angry and shouty… and then we dig it out for you… and then you throw it back under. At present, that’s your idea of a good time.
You also like to slap the cats. Gunther especially, but that’s only because he’ll endure it. He’ll let you get three or four shots in before running away, whereas Moe won’t get close enough for you to clobber him. You’re also a big grabber of faces. When you first started, you’d reach out with just one finger and touch my lip, but now it’s all clasping, squeezing, pulling. If I let you, you’d probably twist my mouth into a corkscrew. (In case it needs to be said: I don’t let you.)
When you’re sleeping in your crib for any length of time, you push away from your covers bit by bit under you’ve somehow wedged yourself into a corner of the crib, and then you wake up angry. This usually happens between midnight and four o’clock in the morning. You also have a great talent for getting your soother stuck underneath you, typically in the small of your back. Again with the angry waking; again with the less than ideal timeslot.
Okay, fine – I’ve front-loaded this post with the ‘bad stuff,’ but the truth is that the bad stuff isn’t really that bad (and I’ve exaggerated all of it). The truth is: you’re an incredibly easy kid to raise. We lucked out with you.
You’re very funny right now, although when you make us laugh you never understand why. When you laugh back at us it’s that I don’t know what’s going on but I’m gonna act like I get it kind of laugh. Usually it’s your sounds that kill us, like a well placed raspberry. Or it’s the way you sway side to side in your high chair when you’re eating something you like. Or when you shift gears all of a sudden—you’re rubbing your eyes because you’re super-tired, and then out of nowhere you burst out laughing and break into jazz hands.
Crib-shenanigans aside, you’re a great sleeper these days. We’re into the third week of daycare and it’s got your nighttime routine down pretty solid. You have a great time at Daphne’s but you are wiped at the end of the day. 6:45, we go up, get you changed, give you a bottle; 7:00 I put you in your crib and you’re done. No fuss, no tears, just zzzzzzzs. You even cut two new teeth last weekend and still slept like a pro.
We suspect you’re extroverted (and you can thank your mom for that). It might be a bit early for us to label you that way, but you just seem to really like people. You’re ecstatic when someone you know comes by, and you’re even totally cool with the people you don’t know that well. You haven’t made strange yet, and call me optimistic but I don’t know if that’ll ever happen.
You’re a champ of an eater. I can’t name all the stuff we’ve put on your plate that you’ve gladly gobbled up. Nine nights out of ten, you eat what we eat, and it makes meals so very easy. Not to mention that, excepting purees (which are pretty much on their way out anyway), you feed yourself. To be honest though, your sippy cup skills could use a polish. (Full disclosure: you have no sippy cup skills. That’ll be the next frontier.)
Your favourite TV show is Glee—not that you watch much TV at all, but we show you a clip here or there. Your favourite movie is The Lion King—by virtue of the fact that it’s the only movie you’ve ever watched (and I’d suspect you paid attention to 12% of it). Your favourite album would probably be a tie between Snacktime! and the Teddy’s Playtime CD that Shelley made for you. Your favourite book is probably The Gruffalo from Aunt Beth (and by ‘favourite book’, I mean ‘the book you enjoy slapping the most.’)
You have huge eyes, and that’s the first thing that people compliment you on. You also have big hands and big feet; you’re like a puppy in that way. Neither me nor your mom are giants, but sometimes I look at your hands and think Geez, this kid’s gonna be huge. Maybe you’ll be a pianist. Or a magician. Or a bare-knuckle boxer. As a rule, I’m against any hobbies that are expensive or have me up early in the morning, so that leaves only one of those three as an option.
How has your birthday gone so far? Well, it started about five in the morning, so clearly you couldn’t wait to get it started. You had breakfast with your mom (blueberry eggos—a favourite of yours), I got you changed and dressed, played with you for longer than usual (see again: your wake-up time), then took you to Daphne’s where one of the kids said, “It’s the birthday boy!” the moment we came in the door. Tonight, your grandparents are coming by. Grandma Nonna’s making chicken and potatoes (another favourite), as well as a cake (which I’m hoping you get to crush, at least a little bit). Then we’ll get some phone calls, open presents, and put you to bed—surely exhausted. Ten or possibly twenty minutes after that, your parents will be out too. (In case we haven’t told you yet: your parents are rock stars.)
Happy birthday, Teddy. Hope you’ve enjoyed this first year at least half as much as we have.