Monday, August 30, 2010

Dear Edie,

Happy Birthday Edie Bee! Today you turned one year old. We celebrated your big day yesterday with a big BBQ potluck in the back yard. Family and friends all came over after your afternoon nap and you played with friends, ran circles around the yard, ate hot dog and baked beans, then happily smeared cake (and a lot of frosting) all over your party dress.

It would appear that cake is the one food you have perhaps been waiting all your life for. You were hesitant and curious at the start, but after tasting it, attempted to first plant your entire face into the cake with your mouth gaping open, and second, pick up the entire cake to eat it like a hamburger.

The first attempt failed due to your inability to bend forward far enough in your high chair (and I think everyone's laughter startled you out of your goal) and the second attempt failed after you were distracted by the sticky frosting. Instead you contented yourself with clapping your gooey hands together and then licking the frosting off. You weren't thrilled when I decided you'd eaten enough of your individual cake and took it away but made do with eating all the crumbs left on your try (and feeding them to Aunt Kathleen and baby Reid).

We had your one year check up today and discovered that you weigh 20 pounds and are measuring 29 and a half inches long. This means your growth has jumped down a curve and it would appear that you are perhaps my daughter after all. I think the fact that you essentially run everywhere and eat very little has had an impact on you slimming down. I'm assuming it's just your Bruton genes causing the height shift. All in all you were pronounced healthy as a horse, clearly not allergic to anything you've eaten thus far (including strawberries and peanut butter) and a prediction for bruises and skinned knees was made for the next 2-4 years.
Now that most of your motor skills have caught up with your desire to be a free wheeling toddler, the bulk of the changes this last month have been smaller, developmental shifts. You are starting to use toys "correctly" these days. You now focus to put the rings on your stacking toy rather than just chewing on them, you play with your stuffed animals - making them move around like people and giving them sloppy, open mouthed kisses,

you can throw your balls rather than just carry them around (although you still do a fair amount of this as well),
and you frequently sit quietly for long stretches of time turning the pages of your books as if reading them.
You also hold the TV remote and press buttons while aiming it at the TV, which really surprised me because I can count on one hand the number of times you've been allowed to watch TV and see the purpose of the remote.

You love Peekaboo and now initiate a game without encouragement. You seem to be grasping the concept of play and goofing off.
The other night you emerged from your closet with a dirty dress from the clothes hamper on your head and looked at me with barely concealed mirth as if to say, "Check out this dirty dress on my head - aren't I hilarious?" When I feigned shock at this, you burst into giggles, so pleased with yourself for having done something funny. You also have started to follow directions (unless the direction is to stop what you are doing, then it's completely ignored). For example if I ask you to find a book and bring it to me, you will immediately run to the books and pick out your favorite of the day and hand it to me while trying to climb on my lap. Of course the time you opened your diaper hamper and dangled a piece of cereal over it while looking directly at me, you didn't "Stop" or "Bring me the cereal" as directed, but rather kept dangling the cereal and then very intentionally dropped it into the diaper pail while maintaining eye contact with me. Oh the power struggles the two of us are going to have...
You are SO close to saying "cat", pointing specifically at Maurice every time you see him and saying, "TAT!". You more or less say "that" and "this" but the meaning of these words to you (and me) seems a bit unclear - basically everything is "dis" or "zat". While you aren't referring directly to your Dad and I by name, you do know who Mama and Dada are. For example if Dad says, "Bring your ball to Mama", you will take the ball to wherever I am in the house. You've also become fascinated with putting things inside other things. Your nesting blocks are actually being nested and Dad keeps finding our door stops (large rocks from Orcas) inside his shoes.

Eating continues to be a roller coaster, but the last week has seen some interesting progress. By trying to transition you from the bottle to a sippy cup, we've dramatically reduced the number of bottles you are drinking and thereby increased your interest in food. Apparently I was pushing too much formula and milk down your throat to allow you any actual hunger! The sippy cup is still a struggle, but just today you took two full bottles from it so perhaps success is right around the corner. You're showing interest in using your baby fork as well. I help you spear foods with it and then you happily eat the food off the fork. The other day I saw you trying to push the fork into a piece of peach on your tray, mimicking the way I do it.

You definitely gravitate toward danger - whether you're unraveling the entire toilet paper roll (we now have to keep the TP on top of the toilet), reaching for cords, running for the basement stairs in the back yard, or bee-lining it for the back door when Dad opens it to let the cat out. Which brings me to Maurice... the two of you seem to be developing a hesitant friendship. You've pet him a few times very gently and he's allowed it. Your enthusiasm for chasing him worries me, but he seems to be growing in tolerance.

You remain extremely social and love new people and children. You see your playgroup pals every week and have other friends that you see regularly, not to mention the kids at the gym daycare.
You also have many adoring adults that have generously volunteered to babysit for you these last few months. You typically spend all the time with your babysitters running laps around the house showing them all your toys and books with great enthusiasm, rarely even noticing that your Dad and I have been gone. You also had your second overnight trip with Grandma and Grandpa B this month.

I often hear moms exclaim, "I can't believe it's been a whole year!" But truthfully, I can. I heard a newborn screaming in public the other day and I'd entirely forgotten that sound, it had been so long since I'd heard it. You've taken this year to go from a little blob of mostly rage
to the most charming and hilarious KID.

I have many nostalgic feelings about this year, but mostly I'm just thrilled about who you are turning into. Any sadness I feel over you growing up is eclipsed by my excitement for the things to come. Talking! Family vacations! Ripping Christmas presents open with the kind of glee only 3 year olds experience, school, slamming doors in my face and yelling, "You don't know anything about me!" (cringe), dating, love, grandchildren?.... It's all still ahead of us.

Love you,


Mary Anne said...

Love. this. post. Beautiful. Happy Edie BeeDay.

lindsey said...

The "you don't know anything about me!" made me laugh. This post was fantastic Jill. Edie is just such a sweetheart and the pictures I've seen of year this past year just truly reveal a little someone bursting with delight. Happy birthday to Edie Bee and happy birth day to you! I'm so glad I've been able to watch her grow this past year and can't wait to see what's next. XOXO!

Meredith said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Edie Bee! I think you're correct that she just didn't like being little... she couldn't wait to be able to exercise her personality. No secret she came by that honestly!

Anonymous said...

It was a lovely time at Edie's party and the photographs show that nicely. Loved your words. Thanks for sharing them with us too.

Betsey said...

Happy Birthday Edie Bee! Love this letter - the best yet. What an impressive little bee - fetching books, wow! Way to go! Party looked like a good time. Too bad we can't get the girls together for a "drama queen" standoff.