My baby turned one last week. Let me just say that I suck at the second child thing. I am totally going to be that mom with albums of pictures of Brynna, stacks of her original artwork and a single Christmas ornament with a snapshot pasted on it of Maren.
I didn't get cupcakes made for the baby sitter. She had a birthday tangerine. Yep, that's right, a birthday tangerine. Have you ever heard of anything so sad. I didn't crawl in bed with her on the morning of her birthday and tell her the story of the day she was born like I do with Brynna and there was no extra-special birthday breakfast. I woke up late, turned over and almost crushed her beneath my body, screamed, said "Happy Birthday sweetie," looked at the clock and realized how late we were and panicked.
The cupcakes were an unparalleled disaster. First I forgot to get cake mix, then I bought cake mix, but thought I had frosting at home. I didn't. Then I finally got the mix and the frosting and realized I was out of eggs. Again. I swear, I've been out of eggs for 16 months, despite constantly buying eggs and almost never making eggs. It's weird.
Her party was on Saturday and it was a bit better. There was cake and ice cream and pop and presents and most of all, family. Which is really all a person needs for a first birthday.
She mostly got Little People and clothes. Because, you know. One year olds, not hip with the iPods and cars. Actually, she did get a car. It's a pink minivan and it plays "London Bridge" and she head bangs to it. Which is pretty much the funniest thing ever.
She has given me some pretty spectacular presents for her birthday, however. She has given me the gift of sleeping through the night in her own bed for four nights running. Which is pretty amazing. We hope we're on a roll and it will soon be with mixed nostalgia that I remember her tiny feet in my spinal cord. But we are not going to jinx it by acting like we have much hope.
She has willingly and without fight or protest given up formula for whole milk. And boy, does my weekly grocery budget thank her.
She has expanded her vocabulary, ever so slightly. Now she says Dada, Ha (Hi) and Tattoo (Thank you). She still does not say Mama. She may never acknowledge my existence, we don't know.
We had her one year check up and she gave me the gift of not crying too much when they stuck her full of pins like a bull in the arena in Spain. She's still got an ear infection (this will be our third round of antibiotics - which could very well explain the not talking). Other than that, she is still just my girl, perfect in every way. She's in the 90th percentiles for height and weight and 75th for head circumference. So, still giganto baby.
And today, I realize that I have hosted my last first birthday party. It's weird this time around. I know that she is the last. So, I try to treasure each first a little more. It's my last first steps. My last waiting to hear Mama the first time. My last first shoes.
Maybe that's why I'm taking so few pictures. I don't want to stick the camera between us. I just want to enjoy, not document. I'll hate myself for this in the future. I know that I will. I will want to show her the pictures and I will want to show me the pictures. I will someday want to show her kids the pictures. Let them hear her old man laugh and see her face wrinkle up. I will want them to see how beautiful she was with her chubby cheeks and elbow dimples. And I will have a handful of shots to show them. Just a handful of all the important times.
But right now, it feels like an invasion to hold that camera in front of me. Like pushing something between me and my last baby on her first birthday. I can't help it. It's just hard. I spend the whole time I'm holding the camera wanting to put it down.
I think the solution is The Husband. He must be trained to take pictures.