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One year and one month

I have this sweet baby, who is now one year and one month. His head no longer smells like newborn, but his hair is still baby-soft against my cheek. He's so much bigger than he was, in the way of very young things, but also still so little and so dependent upon his big people, also in the way of very young things. Some nights, after I get him to sleep, I just want to stay and snuggle and hold him as he silently sleeps beside me. Other days he's infuriating, throwing food of his highchair and screeching so-so loud. Some days, moment one and moment two are about fifteen minutes apart. I remember from the older ones that the first year is brutal with sleep deprivation and all, and it's not felt as hard as the last time, but it's not been easy either. Last weekend alone we missed two evening events I was looking forward to because it was clear that One was done for the day, and it's in everyone's best interest to follow the baby's lead on that. One is that precarious balance of loving the baby, and looking forward to the toddler that is going to start taking steps any day. And then probably running the day after that. One is great, and exhausting, and delightful, and hard, and perfect, and noisy all at the same time. Like all of us, One contains multitudes, and I am so glad to get to love One up close.

One is social. He's like a tiny mayor, or the ambassador for all baby kind. "Hi!" he says, "Hi!", "Hi!" as if every person everywhere in the world needs a personal greeting. Many people seem surprised to be hailed by one so small, but the ones who say hi back are rewarded with a big smile, and another "Hi!". One is not the kind of baby who makes strange. Rather he reaches out to strangers, beckoning them with his little fingers "come." he says, leaning his body toward them "come.". Sometimes he just wants a moment of being in their arms, but for the people he likes, he lingers. He loves his big sibling and wants to do what ever they are doing.

One takes great pleasure in having an impact on his environment. He wants to move things. Books, when not getting read to him, or being carefully examined page by page by him, get flung off the side of the bed. He wants to find out what kind of noise a thing will make when it is struck. He wants to put a thing in a thing. One is the nemesis of fridge magnets, and now he knows where the dustpan and brush live he's very effective at rapidly clearing them off the fridge. If there is a door, he wants to open it. If there is a drawer, he would like to open it and get in it, if there is a thing to climb, he will. One wants to know all the secrets of a place and sets about exploring.

One is full of strong emotions. He loves things, he rejects things by throwing things away. He reaches, he beseeches, he gestures. Between his clarity and the time he has invested in training us, what he wants is usually readily apparent, even if what he wants is up when he is down, and down when he is up. Over and over again. On a recent grocery trip, he pointed at the bananas and shouted "nana", and while they were not in my cart at that moment, they sure were after.

One is committed to decoding language. He talks in a steady stream and increasingly it sounds more and more like words. Maybe he did say "thank you"? Maybe he did say "help me"? He uses his dozen or so words loudly and emphatically, "fish" is said with great delight, face pressed against the fish tank, "up" is full of expectation. "Me" and "more" are most often used at meals and come with great desperation. It's true, words get you things and he is working on acquiring as many as he can.

Six lists One's words as: hi, oh-oh, fish, yay, more, me, come, up, book, hey, Abba, Papa, dog, mine, oh-no, baby, na-na (banana), that.

One sings. He loves a rhythm, and will sing along with a song on the radio, or a protest chant. The words aren't clear, but the rhythm is, and he is very pleased to be part of the group. He loves a game of making the same sounds back and forth. There will be call and repeat songs in our future!

One is most often a baby of great good cheer. One loves peek-a-boo. One loves a ball. One loves swimming. One loves chasing and catching a ball in a swimming pool. Although chasing and catching a ball in the house is now a thing too. He laughs to see me throw the ball up in the air and catch it again and has such a lovely chuckle. One is generally very pleased to be tickled or zerberted, and now that he understands the work of the zerbert will blow raspberries in the air if he can't reach someone's skin. It's a sign of love. In the last week he has discovered the playground slide and wants to go up and down, and up and down it. He slides on his belly, feet first and is delighted.

One is basically a cat. If there is a box, he wants to be in it. In the box, out of the box. In the box, out of the box. He knows how cute he is while he does this.

When travelling he prefers the bike to the car, although he has made relative peace with the car at this point, which is good. Early trips to visit grandparents were hard on everyone. One knows when he is being mischievous. The first time I saw this, he was at the end of our bed, and made something crinkle. He hid the crinkling thing and made a face of great innocence. He knows he's not suppose to climb the stairs alone, but seems to think its a game to race up them without adult accompaniment.

One likes food. Most food, almost any time. He likes to feed himself, and also others, in fact the best part of my lunch today were the goldfish he put in my mouth. First one at a time, and then as a big bunch. But still, it seems good that when he has a snack he likes, he wants to share. He seems to like spicier foods than his big sibling, but like his big sibling is not put off by a blue cheese or a strong flavour. One has sixteen teeth! Sixteen! And yet, he is committed to nursing, and even as I want less of it, he's clearly not ready to cut back. Yet.

One climbs everything. One loves to stand and bounce on the trampoline. One does not walk. Yet.

One also likes this car. Very much.

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