As I sit here writing this you are sat up in your cot crying. You are knackered and well overdue your morning nap, but you don’t want to go to sleep (you were having more fun picking the baubles off the Christmas tree and trying to eat them). You will celebrate your 1st birthday tomorrow and you already think you know better than me. I’m sure this will continue for the rest of my life, so you are being kind by getting me used to it now.
Last year at this time I was nine months pregnant, redecorating our kitchen (yes, I don’t listen to people either) singing Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is you” to the bump that was you. I desperately wanted you to come before Christmas day and we managed it together one week before.
From the first day we met you, you’ve rocked our world. You won’t understand the love you have for a child until you have one yourself, but it’s completely unconditional and infinite. Your Dad and I will admit that we were a little overwhelmed during your first few months on earth and found it difficult to adjust to the reality of constant demands and sleepless nights. We lived a fairly peaceful and self-indulgent life before you. I don’t think you liked being so dependent on us either and being a newborn didn’t really suit your determined and independent personality.
It didn’t take you long to figure out that you are your own person and you haven’t stopped pushing the boundaries and exploring your world ever since. I’ve loved watching you grow and develop over your first year and I’ve cherished every minute over the last 365 days that I’ve spent with you.
I admit that I was never really that maternal before I got pregnant with you, but motherhood has changed me in so many ways. I’m more compassionate, less selfish and more grateful for every day. I cherish the present as opposed to always looking forward to the next holiday, the next pay rise, the next big night out. I savour the little things in life and appreciate family and friends more than ever before. I’m a little softer around the edges – and I’m not just talking about my hips.
Every month just gets better and as you approach your 1st birthday you really are a giggle. You’ve got such a cheeky little personality and you make us laugh every day. The books say that you understand the word ‘no’ by now, but you choose not to listen to it. Instead you look at me, give me your cheekiest grin and crawl at the speed of light to whichever ‘out of bounds’ place you were heading to (usually the shower, the dog bowl or the fire). Other times you wag your finger at me and mimic my ‘ah ah ah’ sounds – which make me stifle a grin as I look away. And you know it. The other day you were standing up at the TV, hammering the palm of your hand on the screen. I came over to tell you ‘no’ and you literally full-on belly laughed at me. I’d love to box up your giggle and take it with me everywhere I go.
Your dad is the most amazing father. He utterly adores you and would move mountains for you if you asked. He’s definitely your ‘fun time’ and is still totally your favourite person. ‘Dadda’ is the word of the moment and as soon as you hear his car pull up on the driveway each evening you start squealing his name as you bomb over to the door. Max trying to fight you for his attention. It’s so cute. As soon as he comes through the door he’s so excited to see you. He always tries to be home early enough so that he can give you your dinner and bath you before you go to bed. You really are lucky to have such a wonderful dad.
You’ve fallen asleep now, I told you Mum always knows best.
Your 1st birthday milestones
- You aren’t walking independently yet and I think it will be a while, you’re still pretty unsteady on your feet – probably because they’re still so tiny!
- You’ve just mastered how to use your walker, but you still pull it back on top of yourself sometimes! In your defense, I don’t think our wooden floors help.
- You’ve now sussed how to get back down from a standing position so you are climbing up onto everything at the moment and give yourself a big clap each time you get down without falling.
- You are babbling all of the time. My favourite time of day is at the dinner table. You don’t appreciate Mum and Dad leaving you out of the conversation so you literally give us everything you’ve got – all of the sounds, facial expressions, shrieks, laughs, raspberries and animated hand and head movements. It gets our full attention, much to your delight.
- You still aren’t really much of a cuddler, but you had a cold recently so we took full advantage of all of the hugs you wanted. You now even lean in for a kiss (when it suits you) which gets both of us a little too giddy. Thank God nobody else can see us.
- You still flirt with everyone you meet and your favourite outing is to the supermarket where (in between pulling items out of the trolley) you spend the duration smiling and waving at everyone who passes you. If they don’t coo over you, you look seriously offended.
- You are just starting to find the TV interesting and will watch it for all of two minutes before you move onto something else (which is one minute more than before).
How you look
- Super cute! I am biased of course, but you seem to get cuter to me with each month.
- Your hair is really growing every week now and you have a couple of curls at the bottom. It’s still a dark blonde colour.
- You have nine teeth which I’m told is a lot for your age. One of your molars came through a couple of weeks ago which you seemed to handle like a trooper. You hate me brushing them and push the toothbrush out with your tongue.
- You are still quite petite for your age, but we had your 12 month check-up yesterday and your weight is perfectly proportionate to your height. On your 1st birthday you weigh just under 20lbs.
- You are as cheeky as ever and know exactly what you want.
- You smile and giggle a lot and love playing games. Your current favourite is throwing the ball for Max which has you in hysterics. You also like building towers (at least trying to) and hiding behind the curtains waiting for Mum to find you. You also like opening and closing draws and trying to climb inside the fridge/dishwasher. As well as unraveling/eating toilet paper whilst Mum tries to get it off you.
- You’ve started to throw proper tantrums over the past couple of months and will arch your back and wriggle free if I try and move you away from something you want to get at. Luckily distraction still works a treat.
- You still love your food and there’s nothing that a cheese puff won’t solve.
- Your favourite foods are cheesy pasta and shepherd’s pie. You also have a new-found love for cucumber and have decided that you like banana again. You’ve totally gone off scrambled egg which immediately gets thrown on the floor and you also seem to get very offended by tomatoes.
- You are finally drinking cow’s milk – woohooo! I can’t tell you how happy we are to be ditching the powder. You are down to just two bottles each day now.
- You are also loving your breakfast at the moment and can easily put away two Weetabix!
- You continue to sleep through the night which Mum and Dad are ever thankful for. You still go out when we put you down at 7pm and you wake up 6-7am.
- You’re still having two daytime naps at 9.30 and 1.30. You can take a while to fall to sleep, but you always get there in the end.
We have a little party planned for your 1st birthday. Your Nanna’s making the cake and your dad even picked you out a party dress especially for the occasion. I’m so excited to have my little one year old for Christmas – I know we had you for Christmas day last year, but we will be so much more relaxed (and refreshed!) this year.
Happy 1st birthday my little munchkin, here’s to many more years of creating happy memories.