Thirteen months.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

You are over one year old now, sweet fella. I can hardly believe that. It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was nursing you in our chair, the copper leaves glowing on the oaks outside, as I ached for your struggling kidney and learned your face and the feel of your dear sweet body in my arms. You still lay in my arms for a while each night before bedtime, but now your arms and legs splay out from my body; you're so very big, but still we settle in for some nursing and a bottle, rocking in the dark. You are still my baby, just an evergrowing and everchanging one.

You're crawling now, at last, a sweet grabby little belly-slither that isn't quite perfected but nonetheless gets you where you'd like to go. Where do you most like to go? To our feet, to be picked up and snuggled in our arms. Your contentedness with our arms (and your bouncer, and exersaucer) is doubtless some of the reason that movement's coming late to you. And that's fine. All in due time, buddy. At your own pace.

We x-rayed your head at your checkup this week, just to make sure you did have teeth. They're in there, taking their time just as your movement is, hanging out, slow to appear. In the meantime, you're managing to eat an amazing array of food without teeth. Prunes; crackers; chopped chicken; cooked veggies. No problem for my fella! Gums of Steel!

Your laugh has two sounds to it: a lovely gravelly huh-huh-huh, and when you're seriously tickled at something, a lovely inbreath of a squeak. The squeak developed first, and the huh-huh followed a few months later, and both of them can make me breathless with love for you. You smile often, your eyes dancing with what looks like mischief.

Twenty pounds, six ounces. Three months ago, you were thirteen pounds. Apparently you needed some extra calories; we added some formula to your diet, and you've grown like a weed ever since. I'm so proud of your chubby little legs and your round little face now. It feels like we've conquered this together (along with your surgery, along with that nasty scalp infection last spring). You've been through a lot, little guy, and you just keep marching on, overcoming your hurdles and impressing the heck out of me. Out of all of us, actually.

Your hair was black when you were born, and you were almost bald for a little while, but now you're growing in a spiky, cowlicked head of dark blonde or light brown hair. Your once-blue eyes are turning brown, the same lovely deep brown that your daddy has. Your feet are still a little small (or is it that your sister's are huge and I'm unaccustomed to normal feet?). Your head seems big, since hats for your age group generally are too small for you.

The past month has been chaotic at our house; your mom and dad decided to remove some ugly paneling and add some drywall to parts of the house, and our world's been covered in drywall dust and mud splatters and primer and paint and (tomorrow, thank God) new carpet and re-installed moldings. You've hardly noticed; you soldier on, hanging out with us in the safe areas of the house, walking through the chaos just to get to bed. I sure hope that we're in this house for many many years, and that you'll ask someday to see pictures of how funky and dated this house was when we bought it, and be amazed.

Things you love: Your grammy and aunt Leigh. Your sister, always, even when she's bossing you around. Our sweet Clairedog. Being outside whenever possible. Toys. (No particular favorite, but you can sit with a basketful of toys for quite a while, playing with one and then another.) You love Cheerios, but seem to love pureed food and cereal a bit more, flapping and cooing with enthusiasm when we sit down with a bowl to feed you. Oh, and television, most especially the Fraggles DVDs at Grammy's house. Your binky (just like your sister at your age, one is absolutely required for bedtime). And always, always, you love to be held, love your milk (both kinds), and love your momma most of all.

And I eat that up. You are such a blessing, Quinton. The next year will bring your first steps, your first sentences, the beginnings of a relationship with you that's more verbal and less tactile. I'm looking forward to all that, but I must admit: I also love this gentle time of cuddles and bottles and watching you learn to crawl. Thanks for stretching your babyhood out a little longer; it is a treasure to me--

As are you. Happy Birthday, buddy.


Angie Says:

4:27 AM

I so love your writing, Kim. What a precious gift for your children.

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