My sweet baby Eli is turning one tomorrow and I’m just not quite ready for it. I’ve been enjoying his babyhood so much that I want to hit the “pause” button and cherish it a little longer.
Life as a family of four felt pretty natural as soon as Eli was born. My heart had never felt so full until the hazy postpartum days after Eli’s birth when I was so tired, my body so sore, yet feeling so fulfilled by holding both of my boys. Instead of experiencing the gloomy baby blues, my hormonal, postpartum tears were tears of joy, over the moon in love with our new addition and our new normal.
Maybe it was because I was a second-time mom and I had adjusted my expectations of motherhood, or maybe Eli really was the calmest, happiest, easiest baby on the planet. Either way, I want to thank my sweet boy for so many things…
Eli, thank you for…
- Breastfeeding like a champ! This was a HUGE stressor when I was a first-time mom and I didn’t even have to think twice about it this go-round.
- Sticking to a schedule. You never asked to be fed. I just fed you on a routine and it became clockwork overnight. You were the epitome of a textbook newborn.
- Enjoying sleep. You slept everywhere as a newborn and you never fussed when it was time to go down. Today as an older baby, you continue to rarely protest naps or going to bed at night.
- Being comforted by my voice. You would calm down almost immediately upon hearing me talk to you. It made me feel so important and connected to you.
- Smiling always and laughing hard. It doesn’t take much for you to crack a smile with your toothy grin and I’m able to get a good belly laugh from you simply from making a silly face.
- Imitating sounds and gestures. This sounds like a basic thing that all babies just do, but I can tell you from experience that some babies like to march to the beat of their own drum (one of whom’s name rhymes with Bluke). It is so rewarding to hear you say “a-nan-a” (banana) and “doo-doo” (cockadoodledoo) or watching you clap, wave and try to blow a kiss.
- Never hesitating to make new friends. Anytime someone wants to give you a cuddle, you reciprocate and hug them right back.
- Needing me. You’ll be happily playing and then suddenly crawl back to me as if to make sure I’m still there. Or, Cooper will startle you with a bark and you’ll put your hand on my leg for comfort.
I also don’t want to forget about what’s going on in your life at this moment, so here’s a recap of what you’re up to at age 1:
- You can say dada, mama, dah (dog), duh (deer), and hat. You’ll also try to imitate other words without really knowing what they mean.
- You’re still a big guy, most likely in the upper 90s percentile-wise and wearing 18-month sized clothes.
- You have 8 teeth and at least 6 coming in. This has been interfering with your sleep and general level of happiness lately.
- Your favorite activity is playing with a ball. We roll it back and forth, you throw it, and you’ll even catch it sometimes.
- You also love wrestling on the floor, bobbing your head to music, and taking baths.
- You’re getting close to walking and have taken a few steps. You can navigate steps and rough surfaces pretty well and are even starting to climb.
- You eat anything and everything!
We didn’t dote on each milestone the way we did with Luke, but we didn’t worry as much either. Gone were the days of asking Dr. Google hundreds of questions about obscure issues that really were not problems at all the way we did with Luke. We knew what we were doing, and we had faith that Eli would roll, sit, crawl, stand and meet every other milestone at his own pace. Since he’s probably our last baby, I held on to each stage and never wished for a certain phase to end.
However I have a little mommy guilt over not following all the new parent rules like we did with Luke. Eli watches TV, we don’t read to him as often as we should, I comfort nurse him back to sleep in the middle of the night (still!). But he gets a lot of love and so hopefully that balances everything out!
I know this next year has a lot of fun in store. Soon Eli will turn into a running, talking, wild toddler just like his brother. But for now I’m hoping my baby stays little just a little bit longer!