Monday, March 29, 2010

No one is safe

So two weeks ago, when it was totally relevant, I started a post about Kate walking. I never finished it due to some diaper or work emergency, I can't remember exactly why. What I do know however is that her first toddling steps are glaringly missing from this blog, since our whole life seems to have changed since Kate went from our little baby to this independent TODDLER. So I feel the need to back-story her walking, and it went a little something like this...

We always knew Kate would be an early walker, as she has been taking assisted steps for several months now. However, exactly one week and one day before her year birthday, Kate took her very first unprovoked steps while I was on a conference call for work (I've been working part-time from home). And, because I was distracted, it didn't feel like a huge deal at the time. It registered that Kate was walking towards me from the fridge, I mean, I mentally noted it because I've become a genius at multi-tasking with Kate (I can strategize with a client and feed a fussy infant a cracker while working the remote to find Handy Manny so she will BE QUIET MOMMY IS ON A CALL with the best of 'em) and I had already seen her take a few steps before, when Ben or I would let go of her hands and she'd walk a tiny distance into our arms. So anyways, I mentally noted all this happening but really didn't react, except to flinch when she went from standing to flat on her face, which is apparently her only means to go from walking to not walking.

So I hang up after the call and look at her, and she looks at me, like "Hey jerk face -- I'm doing something pretty amazing and cool here, could you focus on me for like, TWO SECONDS??" and I'm all "What? Like mommy doesn't have other things to do than focus on you?" and she is all "YOU SUCK!"

And while that conversation MAY be a SLIGHT exaggeration of the actual discussion (since Kate's verbal skills are limited to hi, mama, dada, doggie and crowing like a rooster) once I hung up and looked down at her, I realized the enormity of what had happened while my attention was elsewhere. My little girl had pulled herself to standing and on her own gumption, taken three tiny steps that had really big meaning.

She was no longer my baby girl. She was my toddler.

The rest of the day it was very tentative exploration time and I watched her like a hawk (to make up for, you know, being a crappy mom). Kate was up and down all over the living room, the kitchen, the hallway, her bedroom... you get the idea. It was two to three steps every time and then a less-than-graceful fall to the floor. At which point I would hold my breath, preparing for the wail and a few tears, but she seemed so impressed by herself that she just would take a breather and then get ready for the next big adventure, courtesy of her new found freedom from crawling.

Two days later, I had a naked baby screaming a tiny war cry as she ran down the hall from bath time, off to do something very important like terrorize the dogs or a demolish a village of her Fisher Price Little People. With walking, Kate has become invincible. And not too unlike a cuddly version of Godzilla. Woe be to anyone or thing in her path. She will stomp, and likely fall, all over your ass.

And, yes, I realize this photo has nothing (like, totally, 100% nothing) to do with my post. But it makes me laugh every single time I look at it, so there you go. You are welcome.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

One year

Dear Kate,

Today you turn one, and I can't believe how the past year has flown by. You utterly amaze me with every passing moment and I'm so honored and proud to have brought you into this world. I just love everything about you. You are such a tiny little person who literally fills up a room with your big personality. I can watch you for hours and laugh with you constantly. I love the way you command a room with your funny booty shaking dances, how you kiss or hug every other child you see, the way you point at what you want and shake your head at me when I get it wrong. I love when you do something new, something that you came up with all on your own, like blowing raspberries to mimic me blowing my nose, using my hand to push the buttons on toys that are too hard for you to push, pulling a cap off a pen and finding it maybe the coolest thing on the planet so you have to do it 50 times in a row. And I love it when you finally learn to do something I've been working on with you, like when you learned to play peek-a-boo, to crow like a rooster and of course, walking like a champ. I could go on and on because the things you do that make me proud, that make me happy, that make me in awe of you -- the list is endless.

Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for teaching me a new kind of love. Thank you for making me rich in spirit and whole in person.

I love you.