Woooooot – we made it a full year! Let me say it again, WOOOOOOT! This has been one tough year and we scratched and clawed our way to get to this point and I really feel like I can sigh a huge breath of relief that the so called “infant” days are behind us. Believe me when I say that I do mean this with a heavy heart because there are certain moments that I will miss such as you sleeping on my chest or you being immobile. It’s tough raising an infant simultaneously with a toddler – both demanding so much of my attention and there were times where I actually thought I might be experiencing a panic attack or approaching a nervous breakdown but we crawled through the trenches and we did it without anyone losing an appendage. My sanity is a little scarred but I’ll take it as a consolation gift. I’ve been told on numerous occasions from your pediatrician that there is something magical that happens at the twelve month marker – things will suddenly become easier. You and your sister will begin to play together and I will finally receive some much needed relief. You can imagine that I’m a little skeptical. I used to believe in magic before I had children but I no longer do. I want to believe but I have a sinking suspicion that my idea of ‘easy’ is a little different than what the pediatrician is thinking. I’ll admit that I do wake up on most mornings with a little hope as I creep in to your room thinking “will this be the day? Does the easy part start now??” Typically three minutes after walking in to yours and Olivia’s room, I realize that nope, today is most certainly not the day and if it is, I was most definitely wrong about what ‘easy’ means.
Thankfully, you’re outgrowing your severe anxiety towards others. No longer do people have to look at you from the corner of their eyes or talk to you from the next room over. You say hi or what sounds like “heh” to every passing stranger. You bat your little lashes and turn your head coyly when someone responds with a smile. Yes, you are a tremendous flirt and you win the heart of every passing female and a few men. You are so cute that there are no words to describe the magnitude of cuteness. It’s even adorable when you cry and get frustrated and you run away making this little whimper sound and your face gets all scrunchy. You are still most definitely a Momma’s boy and I love it. I love that I’m your safe haven. Who doesn’t like to feel like the most important person in someone’s life and honestly, I know it won’t last forever. It only lasted a good solid two years with Olivia and now I’m part of a bi-monthly rotation. I will take as much as I can get now and I will love every second of it.
You’re an active little man who loves to climb stairs, stand on furniture, dance to Kanye and Nicki Minaj (yes, I have video if you’re wondering). People are surprised when they learn your age and see how advanced you are walking. I can’t say I’m surprised since you spent the better part of the summer pushing a weighted wagon around the court. You have learned to nod your head ‘yes’ and ‘no’ in response to questions. Your ‘no’ nod is typically followed with a clapping to conclude what ever it is we are doing at that moment. For instance, hooray – I put down eight chicken nuggets and half of a slice of pizza and my stomach didn’t explode *hand clap.*
For a brief glimmer of time, I thought you were actually my child destined to be an incredible swimmer because you started putting your face in the water during bathtime. I was thinking to myself how incredible it was that you were learning to blow bubbles on your own. For three whole nights I thought I had a swimming prodigy on my hands but it turns out you were just drinking the bath water.
You really are growing up so fast and you’re already smelling like boy but thankfully, something happens to a woman when she becomes a Mother and suddenly certain smells that should smell horrific actually don’t smell so bad after all. This is mostly true with the exception of the poops the day after you eat chicken nuggets. It’s not quite as bad as Olivia’s calamari poop extravaganza of 2010 but it’s a close second. I love that I have you all to myself on Tuesday and Thursday mornings when Olivia is at school and I can parade you around to the public like a show dog. You’re a dangerous combination of cute, bashful, sensitive and mischievous and it’s that combination that will probably get you off the hook in the future. I love watching you play with the tuft of your stuffed lion’s tail or when you’re really tired, you’ll play with my hair. I’m just now noticing a running theme of hair – developing passion maybe?
We had your birthday party yesterday at Emerald Glen Park and like Olivia’s first birthday party, I got a teensy bit carried away. You remind me a lot of the little man in the movie “Up” and I love balloons so I decided on an “Up” inspired party. I actually just wanted a reason to have a lot of balloons and I knew if I had an “Up” party, your Father couldn’t deny me balloons. Your Father slaved away all morning blowing up a sizeable amount of balloons only to have his worst nightmare realized – a big wind came up and blew them away. Your Father was quite pleased when he learned he had to blow up another bunch. It was a morning of panic when some random rain clouds passed through and my vision of a perfect picnic party was in jeopardy. Thankfully, everything worked out and you were adorable. Half way through the party, you became a true O’Donnell by partying with your pants off, rocking a bow on your head – sign of a good time.
It was a tough year for many reasons but we did it. You’re becoming such an adorable little old man and I can’t wait for you to tell me what you’re thinking because I feel like you have some interesting thoughts. You’re the only little kid I know who looks like they’re pondering life while staring in to the distance. Perhaps it’s a sophisticated poop face but I like to think you have intriguing complicated mind-blowing thoughts. You still run to me when you’re scared, sad or happy and no matter what I’m doing, I will always open my arms for you. You are my little man and I’m still head over heels in love with you. Happy Birthday my handsome little boy.