Just a few days ago, you crossed over out of babyhood into being a ONE YEAR OLD. I would say toddlerhood, but since you started walking just after you turned 11 months, you've been toddling before your birthday.
You're a fun kid. The word that perpetually flies out of my mouth when describing you is "fierce." You're fiercely happy. Fiercely stubborn. Fiercely persistent.
You can throw a dramatic temper tantrum that rivals both of your sisters'. This morning, as you threw yourself onto the ground like a limp noodle, I caught you WATCHING yourself have a fit. I think I have more than I bargained for in your drama department. I've never seen a kid reach to be picked up and then dive out of arms to arch their back and flail their arms and legs quite like you do. Why? Because I wouldn't let you put keys into the outlet. Forgive me for saving your life.
You're pretty bent on trying to test those boundaries of mortality. At 10.5 months, Shaun called me into the room because he looked up to see that you had used the toddler rocking chair to climb into the arm chair and you were steadily trying to scale it to reach the window sill. A week or so after that, we discovered that you could climb every step in the ladder that goes into our attic. Yesterday, I found you standing on the toilet. This morning, I found that you could climb the stool and attempt to belly-flop onto the stove.
And you know how mischievous you are because you'll look around to make sure one of us sees you and when we make eye contact, you grin like a little loon. Seems you like seeing Mama's heart jump into her throat.
Your daddy thinks you're a stinker because you are VERY opinionated about what you want. Generally, you want me, and that's it. I am quick to remind him of your second sister and how she still has him wrapped around her finger, so you're not alone in your stubborn preferences.
I know every parent thinks this about their children, but I think you're an incredibly smart kid. You know how to follow countless directions. You hear a word like, "phone" or "cup" or the like and immediately make a beeline for that (usually forbidden) object. You size up obstacles and spend an inordinate amount of time working your body around to master them. It astounds me that your attention span lasts so long. It's a little frightening how intent you get on what you want and how unwilling you are to let anything distract you. You're not speaking very clearly or much yet, but that's normal. You say Mama and have consistent sounds for "uh-oh," "that," "up" and "ball". I'm trying to start early in getting to make an attempt at a word before getting your way. You can imagine how that's going.
You love to play chase games and absolutely thrive when your siblings engage with you. You make it difficult for them to play things that you don't understand, like board games or puzzles, because you toddle over and plop your behind directly into the middle with a grin. They alternately find this charming and maddening.
You're a terrible sleeper. I'm sure I have a great deal to do with this, but at this point, I've made my proverbial bed and find myself counting down until you're one and a half, when sleep SHOULD be better.
You hate to be told no and still give me the best pouty face ever. I laugh sometimes. It's hard to take you seriously when I'm telling you that you can't chew on a plug and you're utterly ticked about it. Some would say that redirection would be a gentler approach. I'd mentioned to them again about your fierce determination. You aren't deterred. I moved you away from something the other day 14 times before giving up and taking you completely outside so you'd forget. Only to have you head straight for it again when we came back in.
You are easily the happiest baby I've had and that makes up for you total maddening stubborn streak, (especially in the sleep area). I mentioned this morning that it's hard to be irritated with a wide-awake baby who's insisting on covering your face with open-mouthed baby kisses at 3am.
So, little Mr. Busy Pants, I'm looking forward to toddlerhood. Well, almost. I'm a little terrified. You're a force to be reckoned with. But you'll be a crazy force with a smile. And that certainly wins me over every time.
Happy Birthday Zo-Bean!