Thursday, October 17, 2002

For some reason, Loobylu is making me jealous. It's not that I want another baby just yet, but reading about all the newborn things reminds me in a weird sort of way that my newborn is nearly a year old. It's a strange, conflicted feeling. I remember being so miserable when the baby was tiny because I could never figure out why she was crying, and we couldn't quite get the hang of nursing right away. It was so much worry. But now that's all gone. There's a new kind of worry and wonderment.

As I was leaving her at daycare this morning, she grinned her little gap-toothed grin and tossed me a half-wave. Everything about her still astounds me.

What does it mean to have a baby who's turning one? You find yourself reminiscing about where you were one year ago and how things have changed. You look at toys she plays with now that would have confounded her just a few months ago. Instead of gazing at your tiny newborn just marveling at the fact that she exists, you marvel at the skills she's perfecting and the speed with which she's learning.

She's leaving the special, protected state of babyhood and finding that she much prefers a new physical challenge (such as the hall staircase) to being secured in a soft, fuzzy blanket. She'll take a sippy cup on the go over a bottle in mom's arms.

But to watch her realize that she's a separate person with ideas of her own, that's something. Once she struggled for ten minutes to fit a block through a hole, and then suddenly discovered – "Oh, if I turn it this way…" and she laughed out loud with joy at the accomplishment. The other night, I put a few pieces of chicken on her tray, which she immediately stuffed into her mouth. "Is that good?" I asked. Her little head bobbed up and down in a nod.

In true mom form, I'm quite certain that no other babies are as beautiful and talented as my own. You'll just have to humor me.

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