After a delay that seemed to last forever, it was one year ago today that the youngest member of our clan finally made her debut.
I rarely post much about her. The Boy is coming into his own and his incessant (and I do mean incessant) chattering tends to make good blog fodder. The Girl's issues command a lot of our time and concern - the squeaky wheel, you know. So the Baby is left to her own devices. Part of it is that by number three parenting tends to run on autopilot. You stop sweating the little stuff. You are (sadly) less amazed by the everyday miracles. Three kids means less time is devoted to each one individually. It isn't just us; the grandparents and friends spend less time doting upon the youngest. We are simply used to it by now. It helps that unlike the Girl and her speech, or the Boy and his early health issues, the Baby is damned typical with her biggest problems being rather run-of-the-mill colds. As a result she gets less press, less concern. Such is the lot of the last born.
That does not mean she isn't a story unto herself. She is ready to walk. She cruises, does her squats, prefers to "take a knee" when resting. She is much more troublesome than her predecessors. She ignores all admonishments regarding those things she should not touch, sometimes with a haughty shrug. She eats anything she finds - we call her the roomba. She is incredibly strong and will defend herself and her possessions from interloping siblings with force and an occasionally vicious bite. She has, of the three, the most delightful smile and cheerful personality, that can turn Mr. Hyde with alarming suddeness, usually around 5pm.
She refuses to sleep all through the night, preferring to awaken sometime around 1 or 2 and demand action from weary parents. Baby food has fallen completely by the wayside, her nose turns up at the mere sight of it. She demands instead, whatever else is on the menu for the rest of the clan.
She's incredibly loud, regardless of mood. If happy she yells with delight. If unhappy she screams with a volume that even the most jaded parents have commented upon. She can literally wake the neighbors.
So far her vocabulary consists of not much more than Mama and Dada. The Girl has us on edge regarding speech so we are keeping a watchful eye on the Baby to make certain this minor delay in word acquisition (by now she should have 8 to 10 words) is not a sign of something more substantial.
She growls. Even when happy she moves through the house growling at things. The Boy has taken to calling her Grizzy.
Her laugh is easy and infectious, like one of those ubiquitous youtube baby vids. She will laugh heartily at anything and she gets a lot of playful jokes. She frequently demands (and I do mean demands) to be entertained.
She is a wonderful mimic. At five months or so, while changing her diaper, I stuck my tongue out at her. She watched me carefully and then did it herself. I moved my tongue from side to side. She followed suit. Everything I did she imitated. It was on of those embarassing "My God! She's a genius!" parenting moments. Genius or not, she's one smart cookie.
She has taken a while for me to get used to. The extra work and lack of sleep left, I think, a small grain of resentment inside me for her. That's a hard thing for a parent to admit. Her inate charms and winning personality have worked hard to counter it however, and have ultimately won me over.
So one year on, one year old, and today she'll blow out her first candle... or she'll just frickin eat it.
Happy Birthday, G.
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