Wednesday, January 19, 2011

on the way to ONE

This Friday is, as you may know, a very big day around here. Cordelia turns one year old on Friday. It seems like she knows it, too. Every hour of each day she seems to get a little closer. Cordelia is having another one of those growth spurts of the developmental variety. She's becoming a toddler.
So what's new about her? Oh, simply everything. She's standing by herself, often letting go and just playing with whatever she has in her hand. Or dancing! It seems like each time she does this, it lasts a few seconds longer. Cordelia tries to stand up at any and every opportunity, somehow pulling up on things that really aren't that sturdy or stable. How incredible! In the mobility department, her absolute favorite activity is to chase the dog. With the help of a finger to hold in each hand, she takes off running in Oliver's direction, laughing her beautiful baby laugh the whole time. So far, Oliver thinks it's pretty fun too. Cordelia usually stops when she loses hold of a hand, but has figured out that she can cruise quite a distance along furniture or by holding onto a pant leg. There are occasional bumps and falls, but she is still quite cautious. Cordelia gets a look that tells me she is calculating her next move or maybe, the possibilities before her.
She has strong opinions about things these days. What she wants to eat, and when, and how. What she wants to play with and when/if she is done. Mommy or daddy. Inside or out. She now understands the sequences of activity that regularly appear in our days. For example, she knows that at the end of a meal, we go in the bathroom and wash up. Sometimes, she's excited as I carry her to the bathroom, other times she starts squirming or protesting. I try to shake things up a little bit every now and then, while still allowing her to feel a sense of normal routine. Mostly, it looks like Cordelia would like a little more control over things and, within reason, I try to give her some chances to do that.
Imitation is becoming a fun game. I imitate her and she imitates me. Cordelia is quite an observer - loves to watch things and people. We went to a restaurant recently and she couldn't eat a bite because she was too busy watching the people all around her.
I am surprised by what tickles her funny bone. She's a pretty quiet and serious person, but there are some things she finds hilarious. Kissing her feet during a diaper change. Particular moments in some of our books. Turning around and being surprised by the dog. Daddy. Playing peek-a-boo with objects in my hand, like blueberries, cheerios or a small block. When I put something on my head and ask for her help to get it off.
On the way to one year old, there are some baby things that I have to let go of. There's less snuggling. I miss the early morning snuggle times when she laid her head on my chest and settled in for a long moment of comfort, awake but calm and quiet. I miss how she used to sit still, examining and manipulating the objects that were close at hand. I used to plop Cordelia down in the middle of her room with blocks or balls or toys around her. I would sit next to her and just watch or play along. She was content for long periods of time to just sit and play. Now, we are on the move constantly like a hummingbirds flying from one sweetness to the next.
It is a busy business, this growing up. Its exhausting and exhilarating all at once. A bundle of joy and grace and frustration, more filling and fulfilling than I ever imagined.

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