For weeks I’ve put off writing this post.
For no particular reason other than the standard excuse of there always being something else to do. I suppose it’s quite suitable that I’ve finally been forced into writing it due to you. It was either that, or sit alone and listen to your grumbles as Sam tries to settle you for the third time already this evening. It’s 9pm.
Everyone remarks about how “good” and chilled out and happy you are. Everywhere you go, people can’t fail to notice these things about you. Couples who haven’t started making babies yet get that look in their eyes when they meet you. People freely admit that they are “not baby people”, but that they are quite taken with you.
You give off the best impression. You are the shining example of a happy, easy baby. I have a running joke with Sam about how often you give off unrealistic expectations. To all those people who have been given a false impression, I can only say, “Come and visit him between the hours of 7pm – 7am”.
It’s not your fault. And I’m not sitting here shaking my head wondering WHY you won’t sleep longer stretches, or why you are such a needy sleeper. I know the reasons, I facilitate the reasons. How are you meant to differentiate between the portion of the night where I want my own space and a bit of time out, to the portion of the night when you lie next to me and the milk is on tap? Part of me wonders if we will ever again see that child who slept 12 hours straight for an entire month before the four month regression hit.
But for the moment, we have our current situation. And it’s perfectly OK, because we completely expected it to be this way, and because we know full well that it doesn’t last forever. When we know you will soon grow into a long limbed child who finishes every sentence with the words “poo poo bum”, a baby who hates sleep doesn’t seem like the worst thing in the world. It seems kind of charming.
And there we have it. Three whole paragraphs of waffle before I’ve even got to the point of this post. (Can you tell we’ve cracked open the wine tonight?) Otto, you turned one year old.
You crawl, you stand, you cruise, and you even have a couple of words under your belt (Ball and hello). And it all happened within the space of about a month, taking you ever so swiftly from my baby, to my cheeky, almost-toddler who seems that little bit more clued up, who knows his way around his world with a new sense of confidence.
You had chocolate cake for your birthday. And the famous first birthday present that all of you boys have received from us – the six year old plasticy baby walker that I might never be able to part with now it’s become such an established tradition.
Your brothers were so sweetly excited for your birthday, even though you really had no clue what was going on. The gap between the three of you has shrunk so much in the past few months, and I know will shrink again, and vastly, over the next year. You find new ways to play together all the time, and more often than not these days, it’s three heads I see crowded together, no longer two.
A first birthday always calls for reflection on this time last year. And yours is such a funny reflection, because my perception of pregnancy and birth with you jars with your personality in a way that I just can’t make sense of. How could it be that my sunniest, easiest baby was also my most arduous pregnancy and worst labour? Logically, I know that one thing does not equate to the other. But yet it surprises me, nonetheless.
This past year has been such a pleasure. We feel grateful, lucky, and ever so happy to have you in our lives.
As I’ve done with all three of my children, I’ve made a video of Otto’s first year. These videos are one of my favourite things to make and to watch back. You can view it below: