My baby turned one last week. We celebrated with a flip-flop themed pool party, complete with flop-flop shaped cakes and a sunshine piñata . It was a very fun party to celebrate the completion of a very eventful year.
I love babies and everything about them (except maybe the sleepless nights and dirty diapers). But as much as I adore little babies, my affection for the baby stage is nothing compared to how I feel about the toddler stage. My youngest, formerly such a sweet and beautiful little baby is, at one, officially, a toddler now. She is so busy, so curious, and so darn cute I could practically eat her up. I love this stage the most. When babyhood gives way to toddler hood and the adorable little person we have been living with for 12 months starts to really show her personality. I love that our little one is now toddling around with her crooked little gait, getting into everything and looking so proud about it all. I love that I can almost see the little wheels in her head turning as she starts to make connections in her mind- “when I hit the tower of blocks it falls with a big crash, every time!” I love that she is more interested and interactive at playtime. Tim was playing with her the other night and she was so excited to help him clean up her toys- putting the blocks in the little canvas bag with a look of sheer joy. She and I have been playing a game at bath time that consists of catapulting her squirty toys across the tub, making us both laugh till our tummies ache- her, at the toys and me, at her reaction. I love to watch her make new discoveries every day. She discovered just the other day that if mommy forgets to buckle her and she shimmies herself down just the right way she can escape from her stroller and take off in the middle of the library. What a wonderfully fun discovery that was! I love that she is starting to have favorites- favorite toys- for some reason a plastic taco, a plastic antelope, and her new camera can not be beat; favorite books- I have read and re-read Find the Duck, Find the Piglet and Animal Noises (all from Usborne Books) so many times I have them memorized forward and backward; and favorite games- stacking the blocks and the bath toy game are tops these days. I love that I am, without a doubt, her favorite person and if Tim tries to hug me when she is around she will literally push him away with all her little baby might. I love her baby babble which is getting much more sophisticated, with sounds like “adooka-dooka-dah”, instead of just ma ma and da da, and real inflection to go along with it. She is very expressive and though we don’t understand her silly foreign sounding words we definitely know the tone she is trying to communicate with them! I love that she is starting to imitate us. During school time she wants to sit at the table with a pencil in her hand, just like the “big” kids do. I even love that she is getting pickier at mealtime and has the habit of throwing “overboard” the foods she doesn’t feel like eating. It is all so cute at this stage, even when she “misbehaves” I’m impressed because it is all new and exciting and a sign of development. How smart she is to “trick” us by getting rid of the yucky foods so we’ll serve her more of the good stuff.