Rower turned one on Wednesday.
Here is how he is currently charming us:
1) He is growling. He's been growling since about 6 months. All we have to do is say "Raaaaaawr!" and he usually parrots it back. Here he is doing it at 9 months.
2) He doesn't quite crawl or walk. I can tell he's just itching to do it. He can get around the house by rolling, pushing off things, wriggling, and scooting. He has become HUGE in the last few months, and when he tries to crawl, he grunts under the pressure of his own body and (let's be real) head. His head is enormous. I know it's coming any day now.
3) He'll also parrot back a few other things, like "uh-oh," "hot!" (like when his food is too hot and we have to blow on it), and he starts clapping anytime we say "yay!" Also, something he's been doing for months and months is shake his head side to side, almost like he's saying, "Look at what I can do!"
4) He has the best giggle in the world. He's ticklish and loves it when we pretend to nibble on his arms/hands/legs/feet.
5) He's my running buddy. I have a friend named Kat who lives nearby and has a little boy just a few weeks younger than Row, and we load up the little boys and go running during the week. Rower likes to hold my water bottle and chew on the silicone nozzle and babble the whole way.
6) He is Harry's biggest fan. He's heart broken when Harry leaves for work in the morning and ecstatic when he hears Harry turn the key in the lock to come in at night. He starts laughing and kicking, and as soon as Harry picks him up he keeps kicking his legs mid-air. It's one of my favorite things to see.
7) He eats! Everything! It's so nice that we have graduated from the world of purees and now he can handle a surprising amount of more solid foods with his two bottom chompers. His favorites: peaches, graham crackers, saltines, bananas, zucchini.
8) He's obsessed with books. He has his own little part of the bookshelf that's located next to the rocking chair in his room, and now whenever we settle down to read and finish one book, he immediately starts lunging for more on his shelf. He loves "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." He especially loves "The Golden Egg Book," which is about a bunny and a duck becoming friends. I SWEAR on the fedora collection of Justin Timberlake that he said the word "duck" twice, crystal clearly, a few weeks ago. And he's refused to say it since so I'm having trouble proving this to anyone.
9) He still has almost no hair and the longest eye lashes in the world. Even when he's in head-to-toe camo and navy blue, I regularly get asked, "How old is she?"
10) We are working on his clinginess. He doesn't take very kindly to strangers, which is normal, but I miss my easy-going baby. It is nice to get extra good cuddles from him when he's feeling anxious in a room of people he doesn't know.
I can't believe a year has passed. I still have very vivid memories of holding him in the hospital, and of the bleary, exhausted late night/early morning feedings that followed for months.
Fun fact: it's possible to enjoy TV shows that aren't that great when you're half asleep. My sis-in-law gave me a great late-night nursing tip: find a TV show that's streamable on Netflix and make it your exclusive "nursing at night" show. Have it cued up on a phone/computer/whatever, and press play ONLY when you're nursing at night. I chose "Scandal" as that show, and it was a great pick! Then something funny happened. Rower started sleeping through the night around 4 1/2 months, so I stopped watching. A month or two later, I decided to watch an episode or two during the day, to catch up. I mean, maybe it's just that the 3rd season isn't that great but... with a fully conscious and rested brain, that show was almost UNWATCHABLE. A lot of over-emotional phrase repetition and growling whispers and grimacing arguments and writing that I was less than impressed with. I'm grateful still though that that show got me through those late nights.
I'm floored when I think about the fact that we have been parents for a year. It's been the hardest and happiest year of my life, and I oddly can't wait for more years with Rower, and more kids! My dad once said that having children was like getting a second childhood, and that is something I now totally understand. I have big plans for introducing Rower to all the best things about being a kid.
Happy birthday buddy. We're thrilled you're ours.