Wow – what a year we’ve had together. Although we had a very difficult start, and you made quite a dramatic entrance to the world, you have had a truly wonderful first year.
Somehow we seem to have avoided most of the concerns of new babies. Although you come from a family full of reflux sufferers, you have none at all. You haven’t been badly ill at all during the last year – 2 days of a running nose and watery eyes has been the worst. You’ve had a couple of small incidents with gas and some teething pain, but all in all, you’re an incredibly healthy boy!
You’re also incredibly active. You started crawling and standing pretty early, crawling easily by 7 months and cruising around on furniture before 8 months. Over the last week you’ve taken your first steps, and haven’t looked back – I regularly look up to see you walking towards me (and your spills have been pretty spectacular too!) Your favourite places over the last month have been playgrounds – especially ones with stairs which you can navigate on your own. You’re pretty brave on the playgrounds – climbing, crossing bridges, even figuring out how to safely get down slides (though you dislike the steep ones). You like playgrounds the most when there are bigger kids around – you love to chase them!
You also love your swimming lessons. You’ve been taking them for about 5 months now, and I’m truly amazed at how you’ve taken to the water. You often put your head in the water without being prompted, and you’re great at finding me and holding on. You don’t like crawling off the edge of the mat, though.
You don’t seem to have formed any close attachment to toys or blankets. You like your giraffe toy, and you enjoy playing with blocks and your plastic animals and various household items, but if you can’t find something to play with, you easily move onto something else. At the moment, while I write this, you’re experimenting with a metal tray, making some astounding noises!
You’re a massive eater now, eating almost all the food your father and I eat. We’ve started putting your food on plates and bowls now, and you really seem to have taken to them. You also love cutlery, though not always for eating. Your favourite foods include sultanas, rice cakes, tomato, cheese, chicken, rice, pasta, peanut butter, bananas, corn and rockmelon. You’re still breastfeeding as well, though you vary in how much you have from day to day.
Sleeping is not great, though you are better at napping during the day than you used to be. You usually wake to feed three or four times at night, which is quite exhausting. Sometimes you wake (really) early and refuse to go back to sleep which is also trying.
You love listening to and looking through books. We have books throughout the house for you to read, and we often see you looking through them. You also adore music, with Paul Simon, Frances England and Dean Jones among your favourites. I love watching you react and dance to music – you really, really get into it.
You’re speaking a little, though mama and dada are the main things we’ve worked out (I think you might be working on ‘duck’ too). You can understand some of the things we say now, and are very good at giving us things when we ask for them (though not so good at keeping away from the rubbish bin when we ask you to).
You love it when your dad gets home each night, racing to the door to greet him. You also love it when your dad leaves his boots out because they’re just the right size to fill with blocks. You love peek a boo type games as well as chasing games, but you can be very shy when you first see people – even when they’re family. You gave us a bit of a shock last weekend by cuddling in for a long hug with your Poppa, something you don’t always do for us!
In your first year you’ve had new friend born, been to three family weddings and, sadly, lost your Great Grandpa Ron. You’ve been alive for the closing of an Olympic Games, the reelection of a US President and the change of an Australian Prime Minister. You’ve travelled as far north as the Sunshine Coast and as far south at the Gold Coast, but you have travelled a lot within that area. You’ve been on trains, buses and ferries as well as on a lot of car trips. You’ve been to lots and lots of libraries, lots of playgrounds, a couple of art galleries and a few beaches.
We love you so very much, dear Squirm. We love the funny crease between your eyes which is just like your dad’s, and your funny little chin which is just like mine (and my whole family). We love your curiosity, your bravery, your energy and your love. We love you in a way we’ve never known love before.
With endless love
Mum (and Dad)