Monday, January 14, 2008

happy birthday

My Sweet, Darling, Delightful, Spunky Madeleine,

How can it be that you are one year old? Why oh why has the year flown by so fast? Maybe because the second half kept me so very busy, with your constant busyness necessitating constant oversight. Before you came, one year made no significant difference in my own life, as I tend to stay rather consistent in size, intellect, and maturity. But this year stands out as one of great change for both of us.

You have completely & totally changed my life. Every day I marvel at who you are and my extreme fortune in being your mother. You have far exceeded any of my expectations for what a child would mean and do and be. Maddie, you are absolutely the most beautiful, delightful, funny, courageous and easygoing baby I've ever met. People (and by this I mean those outside of our close-knit Maddie Fan Club, whose opinions are quite biased) are always commenting on your laid-back nature, lack of crying or fussing, ability to self-entertain, and altogether amazing personality. It feels like we are getting away with something here.

In just the past few months, you've started walking, talking and acting like a real live human being. You even crack yourself up regularly, such as tonight when you kept slapping the standing water in the corner of the bathtub. I'm not quite sure why it happened to be so funny, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching you have such a great time.

Your appetite continues to astound us, especially when you outeat me, which is not infrequent. So far, no food allergies, and really no dislikes, either. You will eat broccoli by the handful, minestrone soup, french toast, waffles, smoothies, and pretty much any cracker you can find. Sometimes after signing "all done," you will proceed to scavenge the lining of your high chair cushion for afterdinner snacks. It makes the dog quite jealous.

You are a loving girl who gives sweet kisses and snuggles, though not quite as often as we'd like. The other night in the bath you were feeling especially kissy and I sang you a little song about "getting all the kisses I can," because, let's face it, you are not going to let me smother your face with my lips forever. I am shameless when it comes to claiming my kisses, and, Miss M, I'm not likely to stop any time soon...just so you know.

Not that this parenting thing is all easy, all the time. This month you cut two new upper teeth. My perfect, on-the-dot 6:15 alarm clock was sounding around 5am, and it was rough. For weeks your upper gum resembled an abscess, the tooth pushing white and fierce as it took its sweet time coming into the world. I'm sorry it is so painful, and I wish there were more I can do, but it seems like Tylenol is going to be a mainstay for the next two teething years.

You've also taken to--how shall I put it--asserting your will when you don't get what you want. Not just a fuss, but sometimes a squeal, a cry, or a piercing scream accompanies your protest. And let's not forget the throwing yourself down on the floor, even kicking your feet to show just how serious you are about being upset. If these moments are any indication of what we are up for in the next couple of years, well, let's just say it will be interesting.

My Miss Maddie, I know that some day we will have lengthy, deep conversations about life and love and hope and fear and longing. But for now, I marvel and delight in the intense, babbling conversations you have with no one in particular while playing. You have your own special language that is so endearing. Yet you also say so many words (at least a dozen now) and constantly point out new items for us to name.

Above all, I hope you understand just how much you are loved--not only by us, but most of all by your heavenly father. I tell you all the time because it is the most essential piece of information for you to carry through life, more important than anything else we could teach you. You are dearly, dearly loved, precious, delightful, enchanting baby of mine.


1 comment:

bonnieb said...

You are the best mama a baby could have and it is my great privilege that you are the mama of our precious granddaughter. Thank you, Becky.