Sunday, May 13, 2012

Letter to (Thirteen Month Old) Graves

Dear Graves,

What a big boy you are!  We've seen so many changes this month.  You are at SUCH a fun stage right now and I'm trying to really soak it up.  I think around one is one of my favorite ages.  There is just so much going on!

We've come to realize that you're a tiny little person, much like your sister (though not to the extreme that she is).  I worry that if that continues, it will be more difficult for you as a boy.  I pray that you'll be a man of strong character and genuine wisdom and I know size really won't matter.   You wear a size three diaper, size 1 (sometimes 2) shoes, and a wide assortment of clothing sizes.  You wore a 6-12 mo. bubble today, but you have lots of 12 mo. things that fit after Minnie moved the buttons and/or hemmed the legs.

You have five teeth now and they all pretty much came in right together!  You are still nursing, but we've cut back a good bit.  You nurse when you wake up, before your nap, before bed and usually once mid morning.  You're not great with a cup and don't really like whole milk much, but I have gotten you pretty good at drinking a cup of chocolate flavored PediaSure in the afternoons.  I'm hoping that will put some extra weight on you.  As far as solids, you are a GREAT eater.  Your favorite things are strawberries and bananas, deli meat and cheese crackers.  You also LOVE pizza at Mother's Day Out.  It's so weird to think that not that long ago, I couldn't even eat dairy and now you can put away two slices of super cheesy pizza and it doesn't bother you one bit.  I'm SO thankful you outgrow you intolerance!  You are a big fan of "grown up" food.  You reject anything we try to feed you (even applesauce, which I know you love) and you really don't like plain steamed veggies anymore.  You much prefer your veggies in a chicken pot pie or your meat in chili or spaghetti.  And you're a really big fan of Mickey's red beans and rice.  The fact that you and your sister like that kind of food is starting to become a big motivator for me to cook more!

Your little personality is really starting to show up.  Your favorite thing to do lately is play Peek-A-Boo and it's just precious.  You don't just cover your eyes; you sort of grab your face in your hands and squeeze it up like you're a little timid or shy.  And you get so tickled over it.

You've started saying "Momma".  The other day, Annie noticed it for the first time (I assume) and told me "Momma, Baby Graves is calling you".  It was such a special moment and I treasure it so. 

You and Annie have a love/hate relationship these days.  During naptime, I really have to enforce the "stay in your bed" rule with her or she'll want to come over to your crib and visit with you- not ideal when you're napping!  You always want to be with her now and doing exactly what she's doing, which leads to some frustration on her part.  You've gotten pretty snatchy with things and I'm already starting to talk to you about sharing (and doing lots of reminding with Big Sister).  Y'all love being "neighbors" in the car.  I thought I might have to move you out of the middle seat and over to one side last week and I was really glad that wasn't the case, for one thing because I know y'all have so much fun back there together.

You have started throwing fits and they are *the* most dramatic thing.  I don't think Ann Peyton ever quite pitched them to the extent you do.  You'll just lay on the floor and for a few seconds get totally silent while you're inhaling and then let us have it and turn bright red.  You honestly kind of remind me of a newborn.  It's really comical (most of the time).

For some reason, lately, I've felt like you've become very attached to me.  I don't know if it's because I'm still nursing you or if it's more just how you are.  I've talked some to Papa and Minnie about it because I have done a few more "attachment parenting" type things with you than I did with your sister (wearing you some as a baby, putting you in our bed for a few hours each night for a few months, and nursing you for longer than I did with her) and I wonder how much, if any, that has to do with it.  It's all been pretty minimal and none of it has really been because of a "philosophy"; it's more been because that's what you seemed gravitated to naturally and it seemed to work.  Minnie mentioned that she thinks it's more that special bond that mommas and boys share.  I'm inclined to think it's just you.

By the way, everyone said that to me when I got pregnant with you- that mommas and boys have a special bond.  I worried at first because, for whatever reason, it took me longer to really bond with you than it did with Ann Peyton.  I see it now, though.  To be clear, I love y'all both equally and that will always be the case, but you just look at me in a way that she never has.  Again, I think that's partly just personalities- she's more independent than you so far- but Minnie contends it's a boy/girl thing, too. Either way, it's fine because I know I'll share things with her that I won't be able to share with you as my son. It's neat how I get to share different special things with each of you.

Last week at Mother's Day Out, some ladies were talking about how "A son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter's a daughter the rest of her life".  I got so upset because I've seen this play out so many times.  DeeDee reminded me later, though, that her happiness has only been expanded by watching our family grow and watching Papa as he develops in his role as a husband and father.  It brought me great confidence, that should you fall in love, get married, and start your own family one day, it will be a time of much joy and pride  for all of us.

But enough about that!  I'm so looking forward to these lazy Summer months coming up and the new experiences they'll bring- visits to the pool, long afternoons outside, a trip to the beach, and most likely your first steps and a few more words.  I love you and can't tell you how fuller our lives (and our hearts) are because you're in them!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your PJs are 6-12 mo.

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