The Little Man is one year old now.
When I look at photos of him from his birthday I realize that he's not a baby anymore. He's a little boy.
He's been walking for about 6 weeks now, and he's become much more interactive. Now that he's more active he's taken to eating solids with more gusto, and also takes a two hour nap around mid-day. He uses words like mama and dada, hi and yay. He vocalizes a fair amount, but isn't really talking yet. That will be a while down the road, I know.
He's still this amazingly happy, chipper little guy, thankfully. But I notice him concentrating, trying to decipher things. I see the frown on his forehead sometimes when I'm talking to him, and I know he's trying to understand me.
We spend a lot of time outside. There are lots of parks near home, plus we have a great outdoor space at the house. One of his birthday gifts was a child-height sandbox that he seems to enjoy playing in rather a lot. I put down a tarp to capture the sand he enthusiastically shovels out of it. It was a good idea of mine to underplant all the potted palms with herbs and strawberries, because he's got his little hands in the pots all the time.
He's teething again, after a two month break. I'm not sure yet where the new tooth or teeth will be coming in, but all the drooling and constant gnawing on things is a good indicator that something will be breaking the surface of his gums soon.
It is strange to realize that a whole year has gone by since I cursed and cried and screamed and pushed him into this world. As painful as the birth was, it's the week afterwards that I remember most vividly, with a level 2 tear and no pain meds and constipation. I didn't sit if I could help it, and could only stay in bed for so long, which is why I was doing things like cleaning the floors and baking cheesecakes that first week or two. I wasn't being super-mom -- I was trying to distract myself from my discomfort, which was far greater than my exhaustion.
I've got to admit that M was right about most of the first year. His time building the Baby Center site means he knew more about babies than I did. The first three months were the hardest because the Little Man was so dependent and wasn't a day-sleeper / napper. But he did sleep well at night almost from the very beginning, so that helped. He was sitting up at about 5 months I think, and that was a huge help. Well, as long as he remembered he wanted to be sitting up. When he forgot, he'd fall over and cry. Once I stopped making milk at 6 months, things got easier, too. No more waking up every 3.5 to 4 hours to pump and feed.
When he developed mobility -- the ability to crawl -- things changed radically. I had to childproof because he was pulling himself up and reaching for things, but he also became much more self-entertaining. He would go to what interested him rather than relying on me to entertain him. He mostly does, anyway.
He's great with people. We had various members of M's family visiting for the past two weeks and he did wonderfully with the disruptions and new faces.
M and I are intact. We don't get to snuggle up and sleep together as much as we'd like, but we're loving being parents and I think our bond is stronger than ever. Certainly he's happier than I've ever known him to be. And I think I am, too. I have a good life, and lots of love, and a sweet little boy who brings me much joy. I really can't complain about anything.
Except maybe that I'd sure like some more "me" time.