My sweet William,
Today, you turn one year old. It’s a bit surreal. I remember your birth like it was just yesterday – a short, intense labour brought you into the world in our living room. Weighing 6lbs 12oz, you were bigger than Gwen, but still tiny.
What you lacked in weight at birth, you made up for in breastfeeding, gaining around 3.5oz per day for the first several weeks and doubling your birth weight by two months! When we were at the doctor last week, he gave you a quick weigh – 20 lbs! You still love to nurse … but I have no idea how frequently you do so – about every 2 hours, day and night, I think … sometimes more, sometimes less. You have started to really enjoy eating solids and will gobble up pretty much anything that I’ll offer you. It’s wonderful to have a non-picky eater! You do surprisingly well considering you barely have teeth. Your first tooth – the bottom left – appeared through your gums a few weeks ago, but you still can’t even see it when you smile!
Speaking of night, you are not a very good sleeper … but then, how many babies are? You go to bed nice and early, still falling asleep nursing between 7 & 7:30, but your first wake-up is at about 10, and you’re awake at least 4 times after that! All in all, since you sleep snuggled up to me at night, you sleep well in between nursings, so I’m not missing much sleep and feel pretty good most days. What you lack at night, you make up for in naps. With no help from me, you have begun to take one 1.5 – 2 hour nap daily, around noon. You’ll nurse to sleep and easily transfer to the bed, where you’ll curl up and snooze peacefully. In fact for both naps and your first stretch of sleep at night, you transfer really easily from arms to bed – how lovely!
You love your mama! You’re excited to see daddy sometimes – like from my arms or when he comes home from work, but for the most part, you prefer to hang out with me. I spend a lot of time wearing you, both for walks and around the house to get stuff like cooking and dishes done. For quick rides, a hip-carry in a ring sling is preferred, although your reach is getting so long now that it’s hard to jeep you safe when we’re in the kitchen! For most stuff around the house, you’re on my back in the mei tai and for outside trips, you’re either in the mei tai or the woven wrap. I love snuggling you close and interacting with you and kissing your little head. You very rarely fall asleep in a carrier anymore – you’re far too interested in the world! When I’m holding you but not paying complete attention to you, you are quick to catch my gaze with a broad smile and a tilted head – what a flirt!
We started something new with you when you were very small – natural infant hygiene. While we’ve had some times of intense success and some times of taking a huge step back, right now we’re offering the potty whenever it’s convenient. You still really dislike diaper changes and one thing I did a few months ago was let you go diaper free all day. No more struggles over diaper changes and, surprisingly, not many soiled floors! Sadly, that stint ended when you came down with a nasty stomach bug and we haven’t gotten back to that space.
Your world is so very different from Gwen’s baby world, mostly because of the presence of Gwen! You adore her – following her around and trying to play with her and whatever toy she is focused on. Unfortunately, she doesn’t always appreciate your input and I am frequently reminding her not to yell (“No Gil!!” is, I think, the phrase I hear most often every day), and protecting you from being pushed around and hurt. She really does love you though. Whenever you’re not with us (ie. napping or with daddy), she always asks, “Where’s Gil?” Once last week, I heard her wake from her nap and then heard you just seconds later. I ran upstairs to find that she had gone into our room and placed a stuffed animal beside you. “I give Gil monkey! I look in, I see him moving. I give him monkey!” And, just a few days ago as I was nursing you down for a nap, Gwen snuggled into me, reached over and patted your back, singing, “I love my little baby Gil.” My heart melted.
What can you do at a year? You can crawl – very fast! You can stand and cruise, and go up and down stairs. You’re now able to climb onto the rocking horse all by yourself …
and one of your favourite things is standing on the couch looking out the window.
You love peek-a-boo games, games where silly things are placed on heads, and tickling games. You love walks outside, bath time, and pointing at everything! You don’t talk much (mum-mum-mum for me, da-da-da for your daddy, En! for Gwen, and the other day you said bah-bah for bye bye while waving to a train). Oh yeah – you love trains! You like watching them out the back door whlie they go by and you’re starting to understand how to play with the train set.
Gil, I love you so much. This has not been an easy year for any of us – lots of divided attention and feeling like we’re not quite meeting anyone’s needs well, and you have not been an easy teether. However, when you’re not in pain, you’re such a joy to be around – all smiles and giggles We are so glad to have you in our lives!