C. turned 1 year old on Monday. And get this: I made sweet potato cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, both from scratch. (Let’s just say I’ve never made cupcakes before.) I bought party hats and birthday candles and “Happy Birthday” wrapping paper and two presents: a Sandra Boynton book and a puzzle. And I sang happy birthday to the kid all.day.long.
After dinner, A. and I tried to put the yellow conical hat on C., but his face crumpled up: “Get this piece of crap off of me!”
Then he ate the whole cupcake and licked the wrapper. I had to fish the wrapper out of his mouth, a precarious venture given his four teeth that keep getting sharper.
But can we talk about how C. isn’t a baby anymore? He’s seems to understand most of what I tell him. He took his first steps on his own at his grandparents’ in New Jersey in mid-November and he was so hyper he was out of breath as he teetered from one person to another, a few steps at a time. Now he follows me around the house from one room to the other, usually carrying an object he pulled out of a drawer or down off of a shelf — a puzzle piece or a tissue or one of my shirts. He’s signing to us when he wants “more” and is “all done” and wants to nurse. He’s waving and blowing kisses and he dances every time he hears music or the word “dance.” He’ll take my hand and lead to me the fridge or to the door — he basically directs me what he wants to do. And the best of all — he initiates chase games and peek-a-boo.
I can’t say I miss the baby stage: I love the stage he’s in right now. But I did feel a little teary leafing through the photos from the last year the other night in our empty front room. I think that’s because my love for the kid grows with each day — you think it’s impossible to love any more than you do, and then the next day it’s deeper.