What a difference it is to raise a second baby. The second time around, you know that the eating-every-two-hours newborn phase is just a blip on the map of time. That your baby will roll and sit and crawl and cruise when he’s ready, probably before you are. That the middle-of-the-night snuggles aren’t forever; that there will come a bed time when he’ll hop off your lap and run from you instead of relaxing in your arms to The Going to Bed Book.
The second time around you know how quickly they grow. Except you don’t, because you’re still busy loving and nurturing his older brother, too, and time goes even faster than you imagined. You blink, then your baby turns one. (Then a few days later you finally write your “He’s One!” tribute post.)
Bertie, I may not be next to you on the floor every second of the day, telling you about all the shapes, colors and sounds around you. I may be slacking on teaching you to point to noses and ears and tummies. But you are always ALWAYS in my heart, lighting me up with your toothy smile. You clap when I walk into a room, you sign “more” when I put you down, you reach up for me knowing I’ll come pick you up. Just imagining your weight on my hip or your head snuggled into my neck brings me comfort. Sometimes when you’re asleep I want to wake you just to rest my cheek on your soft hair (but I don’t, because SLEEPING BABY!).
What a year it has been! Between the big scare you gave us at a week old to getting your finger smashed by your brother last week, we’ve been to Minnesota, Indiana, London, York, Hamburg and Amsterdam; to the beach and countryside; traveling by plane, train, automobile AND ferry, in strollers, arms and carriers. We’ve endured a deployment. You’ve been my light through the winter. You’ve become your brother’s buddy.
Two weeks ago you took your first steps! You’ll take a few to me, sometimes to your dad, and you’re showing a little more courage in letting go of furniture to cruise. You wave hello and bye-bye. You push vehicles around just like your brother, making motor noises as you go. You fly airplanes in the sky. You imitate sounds we make (and say Ah-Bah when we say your name). You even pick up your purple phone and say something like “Hello.”
You amaze me with something new every day.
We gave you cake on your birthday. At first you refused to taste it, just as you do with everything we try to feed you. Then I stuck a finger full of frosting in your mouth and you decided to pick a couple of small pieces from the slice. Then you picked up the whole thing for a bite and wouldn’t stop. You didn’t like it when I took it away so you wouldn’t get sick.
I have to feed you vegetables mixed with fruit. And wouldn’t you know, you only eat meat with seasonings? Chicken with paprika and cumin? Lamb with garahm masala? I can’t understand why you won’t pick up cubes of anything (other than toast) or eat Cheerio’s. But that’s you.
You love splashing in the bath, unloading all of my Tupperware and watching the bamboo wave in the garden below from your bedroom window. You’re sweet and good; you’re our happy chappy. We’re so lucky you’re ours.