More Annoyed than Amused

The Big One

Posted by parsingtime on July 3, 2011

Dear N,

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet girl.

A year has passed since the 27 hours preceding your arrival.  I’m pretty sure that the delivery nurses and doctors at the hospital thought I was going to be the worst mother ever because when they asked if I wanted to see if I could push my way to 10 cm from the 9.5 I was at, I responded, “can I get a sandwich if I do?”  27 hours is a long time to go without food and given how you squeal and whine for your 6am feeding you feel the same way after 12 hours.

I’m happy to report I’m not the worst mother ever (see: Casey Anthony and those mom’s on Toddlers and Tiaras) despite being willing to sell you for a sandwich.  I feel like I was very hazy when I gave birth to you (from the hunger!). I don’t remember seeing you come out or feeling anything momentous other than, “thank god that is over.”   But now, now I would never sell you for a sandwich. I wouldn’t even sell you for  all the money gold bricks lined up to the moon and back.

There are days where I understand those scary smothering mothers who want their children to be with them forever.  I mean, I grew you. Your father and I are raising you. We are expending a lot of effort and losing a lot of sleep making sure you grow up to be all you can be.  The least you could do in return is stay with me forever and shower me with unending love.  It’s all very Norma Bates (was that Norman’s mothers name? I can’t remember.) and while I plan on holding back any crazy co-dependent tendencies, it makes me realize… I really love you. You have changed my life and ways that aren’t even fathomable yet.

When you were born you felt very foreign to me. Someone I didn’t know and someone I wasn’t sure about.  Now a year later I know you. I know that you get overwhelmed in crowds, that your little baby memory is long (you start to cry when you see the YMCA building) , that you are a cautious girl by nature (you so want to climb the stairs but want me there to hold your hand while you do it), that you love music and dancing, that you love being chased, that loud noises scare you, that you love to look at yourself in the mirror, that you like to observe rather than be in the middle of the fracas, that all electronics are tasty and should be thrown, that when I say no, you understand and give a little whine because you don’t like being scolded. That you laugh the most with your dad.  You give slimy wet kisses.  And many more things to numerous to list.

This month has been another month of huge progress.  You’ve gone from crawling, to walking tentatively while holding furniture to being able to walk half the length of our house by yourself.  You now know how to shake hands, know what sound a cat makes and are making the signs for milk and all done.  I’m going to ignore the fact that sometimes you sign all done after two bites of dinner. You still can’t stack the fisher price baby stacker (much to your father’s dismay) but I’m sure you’ll get there. Just please get there soon otherwise your dad is going to make me hire a tutor or start documenting how we spend our days or something equally crazy.

We survived you first illness this past week. We survived the first year which is a big deal for me because I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to be able to do this parenting thing when you were born. There are dark circles under my eyes and milk stains on a lot of my clothes but we made it!

I don’t have any great advice to impart on your first birthday (I feel like I should but then again perhaps good advice should wait until you can really understand it), just remember no matter what you do in life or where you live, life isn’t about what you have (though yes the having of money and a roof over your head is helpful) it’s about who you have with you. I feel fortunate that I get to spend my time with you and your dad. Even on the days when you cling to my leg like a limpet.

I really like my own parents and I hope that twenty years from now that my being with you, loving you, helping you learn, helping you to be a good person…that all those things count for something and  that you can say the same for me.

Happy first birthday N, I hope that every birthday that follows is better than this one.

Love Always,



2 Responses to “The Big One”

  1. Neha said

    Your entries are always so beautifully written but this one takes the cake. It got me all teary-eyed! I hope to one day have the same feelings and comments about my little one (whenever he or she gets here!). Happy birthday to your big girl! Its been amazing reading about her adventures and I’m sure even more amazing for you as you experienced them all!

  2. Emilia said

    Happy Birthday, sweet N! If you turn out half as awesome as your mama (and it appears you are well on your way…) you will be one awesome chica.

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