Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Kate the Great [Is One!]

I can hear you, but I can't see you.  You are in the porch playing with your older sibling's toys.

You crawl over to me at the dining room table.  You are chewing on something in your mouth.  I don't panic.  I even take a second before I go in to fish it out.

I can hear you playing in your crib.  You should be napping.  But you are talking.  Sometimes shrieking.  Sometimes banging on the wall.  I stay put.  I don't go in there to restart the lay-down process.  You are content, sleeping or not, and I don't mess with it.

You've had peanut butter since you were seven months old.  And loved it.

You never used a bottle.  Never drank formula.

You sleep in a drop-side crib.  With bumpers.  And a pillow.  And lots of blankets.

Our staircase has no gate.

Our cabinets have no locks.

I let your five-year-old brother carry you up the stairs so I don't have to.

You don't own a pair of shoes because it's too much extra work to find them, put them on and demand that you keep them on.

On outings you stay put in your stroller.  Enjoying the sights and sounds from your perch.

You are a third child indeed.
Today you are one. But you are still The Baby.

And even though you will technically forfeit that title in a couple of months when your younger sibling is born, I know that instead you will collectively become The Babies. Because I'm just not ready to let go of your babyhood. Not yet.

Everyone who spends time with you agrees you make all other babies look bad because you are just so, so good. Always content. Always smiling. Always happy to just be.

Your favorite toy is the television remote control. Or Lucy's princess piano.

Your favorite possession is a blue Jellycat elephant which you snuggle close every time he is within reach.

Your favorite book is One, Two, Three! by Sandra Boynton.

Your favorite thing to eat is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole wheat bread. And much to my surprise, you don't really have a sweet tooth.

Speaking of teeth, you have four. Two on the bottom since you were six months old and two on the top that cut just days ago.

Your favorite time of day is bathtime.

You are crazy, ridiculously strong. But that petite frame of yours. You should be a gymnast. You hover at the third percentile in all areas of measurement.

You are thisclose to walking. But have yet to utter a single word.

Instead you communicate by waving or blowing kisses. Or giving real kisses. Wet ones. Open mouth with full tongue. You silly goose.

Let's talk about your hair. Is it a burden or an asset? I have yet to decide. It's been a conversation point since the day you were born.

When we say prayers before dinner you clasp your hands together like you've been part of this family forever.

Was there ever a day you weren't here? I can't remember.

Sometimes I want to cry. That's how much I love you.

I still have guilt. When you wake in the middle of the night and the baby in my belly is kicking the baby on my lap. This isn't right, a voice in my head demands.

But somehow it is anyway.

You are an extraordinary piece of our family, my dear, sweet Katherine. No matter your place. No matter the time. No matter the demands of everyone else. You are still a part of me and you are eternally loved.

Happy first birthday, baby girl!

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