As of the minute that this post is published, Twig is one year old. I wrote this letter to her to celebrate.
It’s hard to believe that you’re already one year old. Time flies so quickly. At the same time, it feels like you’ve been here forever. You started off as all babies do, though maybe not as small as most babies do, and you’ve turned into a little person. You have a full blown personality. Let’s start at the beginning.
Right from the get go, you made it clear that you’re a much different person from big sister. You slept more regularly and soundly, you didn’t mind falling asleep on other people, you took regular naps, and did I mention that you actually slept?! It was a far cry from your Peanut, who fought sleep at every turn. You also nursed and pooped. That’s pretty much all newborns do.
You were always happy when in a carrier with mama. Everyone that saw you, whether it be friends and family or strangers, would comment on how happy you were. They still do. You’re happy to smile at anyone who smiles at you, especially if you’re on mama’s back. Once you started to smile, you just couldn’t stop. It wasn’t really the case with laughing and for what seemed like forever, the only person who could make you laugh was your sister. I called you a stingy laugher. Now you laugh much more readily, but still not as much as big sister.
What those seeing you in the wrap didn’t know was that you could also be a very mad little baby. Mostly just in the car, but oh man, you had some lungs! Once you got to the point where you could be entertained by your sister next to you, your crying decreased dramatically. I’m very thankful for that.
When you were just shy of four months, you started to sit up on your own. This didn’t change the amount of spitting up that you did (which was a lot) like I hoped it would, but you were thrilled to be able to see more of the world around you. Of course, you spent most of your days watching big sister. From day one, she’s been the coolest person in the world to you. You love to follow her around and do everything that she does. This sometimes gets you into trouble, but you mostly don’t mind. Even when sister is being overly rough with you, it takes quite a bit for you to call mercy.
Also from day one, you’ve loved music. You started going to our Music Together class when you were just one week old. Even thought it fell in a sleepy time for you, you almost always stayed awake and happy during the class. It always calmed you at home too. When you’d get upset during a diaper change, mama would just start singing one of the songs from class and you’d calm down and we’d finish up changing you. During the evenings when babies get upset, singing while rocking and nursing you almost always did the trick. Now we have dance parties with all sorts of music. You particularly like Gangnam Style and bounce up and down mimicking what they do in the video (and what sister does right next to you, because she has some mad dancing skills!).
You loved putting the musical instruments in your mouth too (and still do!). Actually, you love putting anything in your mouth. I know this can be said about any baby, but for you it seemed especially so. From the second that you could get that hand to your mouth, you were putting anything you could find in your mouth. One may think that this would be a big problem when you put things you shouldn’t in your mouth, but we actually have a nifty little trick for that. I simply say “Can I have that?” and hold my hand out under your mouth. 99% of the time you use your tongue to push out whatever you had into my hand! It’s amazing what simply asking can accomplish. On the other hand, forgetting to ask, as Mema did the other day, results in a huge tantrum.
When you figured out that you could roll over and then do it again, there was no stopping you. This happened around when you were five months old and you didn’t crawl until closer to seven months. I blame the fact that you already had a perfectly acceptable mode of transportation! Then immediately after crawling you started standing and walking along furniture. After that it was a few more months until you finally started walking, around 10.5 months. I guess growth and development really do come in spurts. After immediately being proficient in walking (many people who hadn’t seen you in a while thought you had been walking for much longer), you started to climb on everything. Oh boy, you like to try to get yourself into trouble with your climbing. You’re always getting stuck somewhere or falling off, but you just go right at it again. No stopping you!
When you were six months old, you started to eat solid food. You were reaching for it far before that, but mama insisted that you wait until your gut was more mature. Just like with your sister, we skipped the rice cereal and baby food and went straight to table foods. The first time you ate food you were initially thrilled that what you put in your mouth tasted so good (it was watermelon), but then very disturbed that some came off in your mouth! You pushed it back out with your tongue and started to cry. Pretty soon though, you were trying everything and loving it. You’re often initially hesitant when trying a new food, like you were the other day when we first tried kiwi. It took you a few minutes to actually eat the first bite (after tasting it a few times), but after that first bite you were screaming for more faster than I could get chunks out with the spoon. And when I say screaming, I mean screaming.
You’re a very vocal baby. Of course this comes in the common form of babble, but it also very much comes in the form of screaming. It’s not a mad scream, just a scream. Usually it’s a “I want something” scream, though you often scream for the fun of it too. This especially applies to food, which makes it awkward to take you out to restaurants. It seems like I fill up your tray and it’s empty again in a minute flat. You sure do love your food, which makes sense with you being a big baby. It’s been difficult to keep you in clothes that fit. You’re already wearing some stuff that’s 24 months! Now that you’re older, the babble is starting to turn into words. You sign milk when you want to nurse and you can say boo (like pee-a-boo), cat/dog (pssss), bye, and I’m pretty sure that you say dada, though it’s not 100% confirmed yet.
Another thing you love besides food is water. I’m not talking in the drinking sort, though you think that drinking water is pretty fun too, but more in the bath sort. If I could set you in the tub and just let the faucet keep running all day, you’d be a happy camper. You love to see what happens when you stick a hand or cup in the jet of water. You also love taking baths with sister. When you were a baby, we used to all take a bath together, but now that you’re bigger (our bathtub is pathetically small) and can sit up on your own, it’s just the two of you. You girls play and play and play until all of a sudden someone gets upset and bath time is over. I’m fairly sure I gave birth to two fish.
You also quite enjoy putting things away. Putting lids on the jars that they go on, picking up blocks, and that sort of thing. If I sing to you “A-waaaay” like they do in music class, you’ll put whatever you have in your hand into whatever container I’m motioning towards. It’s really convenient, actually. All the other little kids your age have fits when it’s time to clean up, but you’re happy to be the one that puts the toy in the box. Lest the internets think that you’re the perfect baby, I will insert here that you also enjoy un-putting things away. I swear you spend half your day walking around the house purposely trashing it. You push the books off the table, move the boots to the other side of the room, dump out mama’s purse, and all for no reason that I can see from the outside. Once you’ve destroyed one area, you just move along to the next. It’s why I call you my little wrecking ball. Only in the most loving way, of course.
It’s been amazing to see you transform from a blob of newborn into a real little person, and I know that the best is yet to come. I’m excited to see how your personality keeps developing as you grow. Here’s to another wonderful year.