This past December was such a whirlwind: Christmas, travel and.....a first birthday! I was so proud and sad all at once that my baby was one. All those little stages he went through: rolling, crawling, cruising, are all things of the past. Essentially, the things he is able to do now -walking, talking, feeding himself- are skills he will have from now on, but the baby ones are gone. I am proud that William is so active, so sturdy, so big; but I miss my wee baby, never to be seen again. And even more sadly, I can't really remember him as a really little baby. I have flashes of memory, but trying to recall the feel and look of him when really small....gone in the mists of time, like my baby is.
(OK I am crying a little writing this)
I put effort into planning William's first birthday, but there were sweet gifts from Grace as well. The day began with us all snuggled up in the big bed together, William and I nursing, and Greg dozing. It rained that morning, and as we lay like bears in our den we listened to the rain pitter pattering, and felt sweet content. We then helped William open his gift that we had bought him months ago in Prague, and he loved it: a little monkey (just like our monkey) wooden toy that plays a zylophone when you pull him along. He has gotten hours of entertainment out of it.
I spent that whole morning with William, just doing all the things he loves best: yoga, dancing, reading books and playing with my blowdryer (the BEST toy!!). He then napped while I got ready for the party. And napped. And napped and napped! Everyone had already arrived and the guest of honor had to be woken up, much to his displeasure. He remained sleepy and weepy for the first hour of the party, not letting me put him down for even a second. It was his party, and he could cry if he wanted to! (Interestingly enough, my Mom says that I slept through most of my first birthday party too....I guess we are easily overwhelmed, William and I). Little did I know that the classic separation anxiety of this stage had begun. However, he loved his banana birthday muffin, and later, his chocolate cupcake that he had so Dad could see him with icing all over his face!
Developmentally, my big baby just gets better and better at walking. He now roams all over the apartment. His balance is still precarious, and so he walks with elbows akimbo and his knees lifting sargeant major style. He looks more like he is riding a unicycle than walking! He prefers to hold a grown up finger, and I have precious pictures of us walking along together. Soon, I know, he won't want to be held back by any finger holding. William uses his new found locomation to run away from Daddy after his bath, running nakedy snakedy all over the apartment. He is also into so much more now. He broke a favorite lamp of mine, and managed to lock the washing machine with a wet load in it. And the guide book is in french, so it took me all day to get around to getting out the dictionary and figuring out how to unlock. So this is life with a toddler!
But William is so cute I can't stay mad for long. He now has two front teeth with an adorable gap in them which really changes his smile. He is discovering all the things these new teeth can do: clicking together, grinding and biting Mommy's nipple, yikes! His favorite word is 'didah' which can be said loudly, caressingly, excitedly...it seems to be a catch all. After nursing in bed in the morning, William wakes Daddy up by poking him and saying Didah! But other words are more recognizable: he told me "all done" looking at a book, and "no thanks" when I offered some apple.
On a less happy note, William was quite sick this month with an ear infection. All medication for French babies are designed to go in bottles, which William will not take....all he wants to do is nurse when he is sick. So Mummy got creative and mixed his medication up in a wineglass, then we had 'wine' during supper. He thought that was great fun, and was pretty adept with a wineglass...that's my boy!