As hard as it is to believe, James is 1 today. And although I had intended to remember Every. Single. Minute, I have of course neglected to write things down/organize the pictures/imprint everything on my brain. So I thought I’d take a few minutes to write down some of the things he’s doing now in hopes that I can at least capture a little bit of a picture:
Words: His first word was “uh-oh,” although some people have questioned whether that counts. Since he used it in the appropriate context, I decided that, yes, it did. (I will not mention that he moved from “correct context” to throwing things off the edge of things and saying “uh-oh,” which, yes, disputes the whole statement, but still…) “Buh-buh,” whispered almost under his breath, and a wave represented “bye-bye.” It was said on the same day as “uh-oh,” but not used again for about a week. He now waves quite easily, but the actual “buh-buh” is saved for special occasions. “Ma-ma” came next, but I’m still not sure if that means me; sometimes it means a bottle, sometimes he just keeps saying ma-ma-ma-ma-ma as he putters along. The newest one is “moe,” meaning “more.” This most definitely means bottle, although he also uses it occasionally when he just wants something.
So, at one year old, his vocabulary consists of these four words. At the same time, he makes it extremely clear when he wants something and is not being attended to.
Walking: He is now at the point where he is taking 2-3 steps at a time and then collapsing into whatever (hopefully soft) thing he can find. He thinks this is all quite exciting, and often laughs hysterically while doing it. (Or perhaps is laughing hysterically at us as we lunge towards him, trying to prevent him from knocking his head on the ground.) Whenever possible, he is on his feet — whether that’s finding a toy or stool he can push around to use as a walker, something to hold on while he makes his way around the room, or someone’s hands as they walk with him. Even crawling involves being on his feet, as he never got down the hands and knees part, but rather just sticks his butt in the air and walks around on hands and feet. Surprisingly (or, I supposed, unsurprisingly to anyone who has been through this stage before) he is incredibly fast. I was trying to make spaghetti sauce tonight before Kelley and Lucy and Will got home and found that I could do one thing (turn on the oil, throw in the garlic, dump in a can of tomato sauce, etc.) in the time that it took for him to get from the sink to the bottom step of the back stairs. I have to say, it made making dinner a much more active process than I am used to. Then again, I’m not exactly what you’d call used to making dinner, so it certainly wasn’t the worst of things.
Food: James wants to eat whatever it is that you’re eating. Sometimes, as with his birthday spaghetti dinner, this is fine. When you are munching on an apple, however, not so much. (Actually, we tried with an apple — paper thin slices, then diced — but it was still too hard for him to eat. For now we’ll stick to much softer things.) He has complete disdain for baby food and only allows you to feed him from a spoon if it’s something that requires his adult companion to eat with a spoon as well — like yogurt. (And forget that whole Yo Baby thing. He sees the baby on the container and laughs. He wants the grown-up thing.) We have taken advantage of all the Gerber toddler snacks and finger foods, which do seem to work. Puffs and yogurt melts are particular favorites. This is indicated by the way he suddenly leans as forward as possible when he sees them, sticks a fist up in the air, kind of like a “Charge!” gesture, and starts yelling, “Moe! Moe! Moe!”
Teeth: Four at the moment, two bottom front, two top front, but if his drooling and fussiness over the past few days means anything, more are imminent.
Demeanor: I have to say, James is generally a pretty easy-going, smiley baby. Although he does cry when he’s unhappy, he doesn’t really have a tantrummy alter-ego the way Will did. (Um, does.) Although he does seem to be having a little bit more stranger and separation anxiety these days, he’s generally quite friendly and open with anyone he comes into contact with, and absolutely loves his big sister and brother. (The way he lights up when they come into a room is wonderful. And to see all three of them when they’re cooperating together? Priceless.) He’s rarely fussy for a prolonged amount of time, so far the only major exceptions being when he’s about a week away from teeth coming in. This week is actually almost the fussiest I’ve seen him, which I think is a combination between teeth and walking — that whole thing where major milestones also create enough upheaval in a baby’s life for them to show unhappiness about it.
Sleep: For the most part, he goes down without much fuss between 7:30 and 8. He does wake up occasionally, so it’s not like he’s a perfect sleeper (and I’ve of course guaranteed a bad night tonight), but he generally sleeps through until the next morning. By next morning, however, I mean 5:30/5:45 a.m. And according to the sleep “experts,” that’s the equivalent of sleeping through the night. We’re waiting for the day where James is old enough to keep Will company downstairs so that our two early risers can do their thing, while the rest of us sleep in.
What else? He bleats like a lamb when he’s excited. And then he squeezes his fists together, holds them in the air, and tightens up completely. Once I got past worrying that it was some kind of seizure, I thought it was great. (The daycare people love it. The daughter of the woman who runs the daycare tries to think of things that will attract his attention just so that he’ll be excited enough to do it.) … He likes to put his feet up and relax. Whatever he can find to rest his feet on, the trays of his high chair and stroller are particular favorites, he will. When we take him for a walk in the stroller, he grabs on to the stroller above him, puts his feet up, and is ready to roll. … Unlike Lucy and Will, he’s not a particular fan of being in the car. In fact, that’s one of the few times he just cries and cries. It’s gotten better as he’s gotten older, but until we’re actually moving, he’s not entirely happy.
The hair: Two haircuts before age 1, but the mohawk is still there. (see above)
Well, I’m sure there’s a lot more I could post, but I’ve been up since quarter to six this morning and I’m pretty damn tired. (Plus I’ve probably jinxed myself out of any decent night’s sleep tonight.) So, happy birthday, James. We love you!