Friday, December 6, 2013

Dear Henry - Month 12


Dear Henry,

It has been a whole year. 

I had been in the hospital 2.5 days by the time you were born.  We had made friends with all the nurses in Labor & Delivery, and we were getting to know the doctors up there pretty well, too.  At least once a day we’d hear “You’re still here?  We were hoping you’d be gone by now!”  - in the nicest way possible, of course.  You took your sweet time, and that’s okay because neither one of us was really ready for you to come out the day I was admitted to the hospital.  By the time you decided to make an appearance, that had completely changed.

You - one year ago.
I will never forget that moment they plopped you on my chest.  I knew that’s what would happen, that’s what we’d agreed to, but I don’t think I actually knew you were HERE here yet, and it took me by surprise.  One moment I was heaving, and pushing, and panting, and trying to get that god awful smelly oxygen mask off my face, and the next minute there you were – squirmy and warm against my chest.  And you were a boy.  I was so sure you were a girl.  So much for mother’s intuition.  Please know that I was not even remotely disappointed.  Just surprised.  In the movies the doctors always make a big deal out of letting the mom know whether it’s a boy or a girl.  They hand the baby over all cleaned up and wrapped in cozy blankets and say in a hearty boom “IT’S A BOY!”.  That’s not how it happened for us.  They just plopped you on my chest and got busy fixing me up and it took me a couple seconds to even think to look – it didn’t really matter.  You were the most precious thing I had ever known either way. 

It is impossible to believe that was only a year ago.

You're still enjoying the discovery of that tongue!
Today you are a little person.  You have a big personality and strong opinions about things.  You hate the carseat and you hate getting your diaper changed (at least until the diaper comes off and then you like to be aired out a bit).  You only eat certain foods, on certain days, at certain temperatures.  You have learned that an easy way to get rid of your food is to throw it on the floor or – sometimes – to simply hold it out in your hand and wait for an animal to come and relieve you of your burden.

Daddy's hat is your new favorite game,
You are learning so much and so quickly.  I watch you study things and know that your little brain is soaking everything in.  You’re a perfect little parakeet, mimicking all sorts of sounds.  You’ve figured out how to hack into my (password protected) cell phone.  The other day I was driving to work and my phone started buzzing.  I pulled it out to see who was calling me that early in the morning, but the screen was still dark.  I hit the button and found that the timer was going off.  You not only hacked into my phone, but you somehow found the timer and set it for 20 minutes.  I don’t want to call you a genius or anything,  but I think your cell phone skills have now exceeded those of several members of your family (*cough*, not naming names). 

Daddy's boy.
You are like your daddy in that you just love gadgets period and the only “toys” you’re interested in playing with right now are the big expensive kind that don’t belong to you.  You love the remote control and we often find things you have recorded on the DVR.  We have found that you have a wide variety and some questionable choices in television viewing.  You’ve also mastered the art of removing the cover from the remote control, and then hiding it in brilliant and impossible places.  I think you may have a gift for spatial relations.

You've already become an expert at ignoring the animals blatantly begging for food.
If there’s anything that can be used as a weapon in your vicinity, you will find it.  You are constantly testing our security measures – whether it’s the gate for the stairs, or the locks on the cabinets.  Sometimes you like to reach out for things you know you’re not supposed to touch, while giving me a sly look that says “what about this?  Is this okay?  Are you going to say no-no?  What does no-no mean, anyway?  I mean, what exactly are you going to do about this?  Bring it on, mama” (apparently you’ve fine tuned one look into an entire one-sided conversation – maybe you are a genius, after all).  Your dad says your main job right now is to find our weaknesses and exploit them. 

Puppy love <3
We think you’re saying a couple words.  I mean, you’ve been saying “mama” and “dada” for a long time, but we’re never quite sure that you have any real idea of what you’re saying or if you just say it over and over again because it’s fun and we get excited about it.  Is it surprising to anyone that one of your very first words is “daisy”.  It sounds like “dee-tsee”, but you say it when you see her and sometimes scream it before pouncing on her.  She’s still your favorite.  She helps us wake you up in the morning and you twist and wiggle and go out of your way to keep her in your sight at all times.  The other word that we’re pretty sure you’re saying is “kitty”.  This sounds like “kee-tee” – and again, is often used when you spot the cats, chase the cats, and occasionally head butt the cats.  We think the head butt thing might actually be a snuggle, but the two look awfully similar right now.

Trying to steal Great Grandma's cane at Thanksgiving.
We celebrated your first thanksgiving this past month.  You did SO good.  Your grandma and grandpa Suhr just had a booster seat for you with no straps, but your dad thought you’d be okay so we plopped you in there and you sat between us like a big boy and mooched all our food.  You ate almost everything and kept leaning in for more!  I think you’re going to be a big fan of Thanksgiving!  In general, your eating habits have rebounded from the regression we had when you were teething.  Now you are pretty tired of your pureed baby food and want to eat all kinds of textures, and especially anything you can pick up yourself.  You are really ready to feed yourself, only you haven’t exactly mastered the mechanics of it yet and so basically your meal times have become very long and extremely messy.  Still, you know that you’re supposed to hold the spoon and bring it to your mouth.  So it’s not a long leap from that point to the point where you manage to keep most of (or any) food on the spoon by the time it gets to your mouth!  We’ll get there.

Must work on aiming while eating.
It is completely unreal how much you have changed in the year since you were born.  I mean, I wrote about it every month right here on this blog, and I still can't wrap my brain around it.  Everyone says it goes fast, but you can't possibly understand what that even means until you're celebrating the first birthday without any idea how it came this quickly.  I know that there's so much goodness yet to come, but so far every month has been perfect in its own way (even the ones where I whine about how you sleep like a jerk).  You are the answer to a prayer -- how could it be any other way?

My heart.  Yes, it's just exactly this cheesy.
Happy birthday my sweet, goofy, playful, mischevious little stinker butt.  I am thankful every day that you were born, and I'll stay thankful every day for the rest of my life that I get to be your mom.  You are our biggest adventure, our brightest light, and - hands down - the best thing we've ever done.  Ever.  I can't wait to see what you have in store for us in the next year.  

Love and kisses all over,


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