The day after my last letter to you, we had your first birthday party. Friends and relatives came from far and wide to help celebrate your special day. We had a cookout, we had games, we had presents galore. You were your typical cute little self, but were so interested in everything that was going on that you refused to go down for a nap. Right up until it was time to open presents and have cake. Then all you wanted was sleep.
Nevertheless, you were a sport and sat obediently for your first taste of chocolate. We baked cupcakes so you could have a special little cake of your own. What did you do? You sat and stared at it, wondering if it would mind if you just dozed off first. Eventually you got into it though and dug your hands right into your cupcake. I can’t say that you were terribly impressed, but you seemed to like it. Or at least you liked the texture of it.
While we’re on the subject of food, I must tell you: you’re a great eater. I hope I didn’t just jinx myself by saying that, but you really do love eating regular food. Anything we’ve given you, you’ve accepted without question. Aspargus? Sure. Crabmeat? Why not? Your favorites right now seem to be shrimp, ice cream and blueberries. I swear, I could feed you blueberries until you turned blue! I have to be careful not to give you too many because you’ll keep eating them as long as I keep handing them to you. And let’s just say that it’s made for some, um… interesting diapers. The first time I gave you ice cream it was like a whole new world opened up to you. You made a face at first because of the unfamiliar temperature of this new food, but as soon as you swallowed you were opening your mouth and begging for more. I have definitely awoken a monster within you.
This month has brought you a few additions that will help you find more favorite foods. Your top two front teeth have broken through in the last couple weeks, and I believe you’re working on your one year molars. As with the bottom teeth, you haven’t been especially cranky, but you have been a little bit less than happy about cutting new teeth. I wish I could take the pain and aggravation away for you, but for the most part you’re really doing remarkably well. Now if I could just get you to stop grinding your top and bottom teeth against each other.
A few milestones from this month all have to do with your abilities on two feet. You’re becoming more and more comfortable with those two feet of yours, that’s for sure. You still don’t seem to believe that you can stand on your own, but you definitely can. If I’m holding you up and am able to let go before you notice, you’ll stand for several seconds before realizing you’re on your own and slowly lower yourself to the floor. Or occasionally you’ll be standing against the couch and will pull the remote control or some other beloved piece of technology off and will be so wrapped up in all the lovely buttons that you don’t notice you’re standing freely.
Despite the fact that you aren’t yet quite certain of your ability to stand, you’re determined to learn to walk sooner rather than later. All you want to do lately is walk, walk, walk. First I was breaking my back carrying you around. Now I’m breaking my back being hunched over holding your hands as you walk from the living room to the dining room to the kitchen, round and round we go! You used to be nervous about going to new people, but if they’re willing you’ll recruit anyone and everyone to help you walk around.
Something you’ve just discovered this past month is dancing. Whether it be to the music your toys make, the commercials on TV, or even just the steady beat of the washer and dryer, you’ve definitely found joy in dance. I’m trying to expose you to all sorts of music now – from latin and Mexican music to big band and swing. Anything at all to keep from having toddler tunes on constant repeat. If I get stuck with “Hickory Dickory Dock” stuck in my head one more time this month I might just bang my head against the proverbial clock.
This month you increased your vocabulary by 50%! Not only do you say “Mama” and “Dada” and know that those words refer to your father and me, but now you also say “kitty.” It’s not a surprise to me really, because every time the kitties were within sight I was saying “kitty” over and over to you. But now you say it on your own, and I think it’s become your new favorite word. It’s not a clear “kitty,” more of “kih-gee,” but there’s no mistaking that you’re referring to one of the kitties when you say it. Before I know it, you’ll be walking and talking!
Once again, I’m amazed at how much you can change and learn in just one short month. I can’t wait to see what the next month will bring.