Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Happy birthday, Lion!

This is my Lion, on the day he was born. A year ago, today. Can I still call him my baby? Because I'm not ready for the word 'toddler.' Not ready for him to stop being my baby.

Those were an amazing few days. I drank him in, knowing when we got home there would be a big sister to reassure. So he slept on my chest, and I didn't let him go if I didn't have to, and we got to know each other. Kept him as close as if he was still inside me. I had worried I couldn't possibly love anyone as much as I loved Monkey, but it was easy for Lion to become a huge place in my chest that gets tight whenever he smiles. Or lately, tries to scale me or anything within reach.

Lion is pure light; easy with laughs and clapping. The biggest flirt in the world. This stillness has been replaced by 25 wiry pounds of all action as he shows the world his stuff. I itch to see who he'll become. He is sweet but strong, mellow but constant movement, and he knows his mind even as he methodically chooses his moments. How is it I have been trusted with this little life?

Ten Things about Lion at One

1. He moves. Oh, how he moves. He's a crazy little crawling speed demon, and can pull up fluidly on something before you know he's crossed the room. He moves CONSTANTLY. Bring him into bed to snuggle? He's kneeling on your head, banging on the headboard. Then on Daddy. Then heading for the edge of the bed. Yikes!

2. He's a climber. We now have four gates in our house (Monkey only required one), because Lion loves to climb stairs. If he sees the gate open, he'll patiently wait until you aren't watching him, and then he'll sprint for it and howl at you if you manage to catch him first.

3. He loves lights. Our wonderful nanny has taught him some sign language, but it's the sign for light that has really taken. He points up at them and makes the sign and grins.
4. He's a future electronics geek. All about remotes, phones, and anything that lights up or makes noises. He likes to pull out the sliding shelf for the DVD player and push the buttons. If you're holding him the kitchen, he's likely climbing up you to reach for the buttons on the oven.
5. He pretends to use the phone. Or anything else that resembles one. He found an old remote mouse the other day, held it on top of his head, and said, HELL-O!" Brought me to my knees.
6. He's big on the bathroom. Turn him loose and he'll head there every time. Just like the stairs, he watches the bathroom door to see if you've left it open for him. If he makes it in there, he has three options. 1. Splash in the toilet. Lion LOVES to splash. Makes me regret waiting his baptism for this spring, because he's going to get the Rector wet, no doubt. 2. Play in Monkey's potty. Probably the germiest thing in our house. Yuck. 3. Climb in the bathtub. Source of my worst nightmares, as he dives in head-first. The one time he made it this far, he immediately pulled up on the faucet and Turned.It.On. Bathroom door now stays closed. Always. And I need to find one of those safety handle/locks for the faucet.
7. He likes to drop things, mostly so he can say, "Oh-oh!" So cute. He's fast heading into that 'How many times will you pick it up if I drop it?' phase.

8. He's tough skinned when it comes to illness, but has a really hard time with teething. Poor baby. He bumps his head and slams his fingers constantly (see #1 and 2).
9. He looooves his sister. His face lights up when she enters the room, even if he's about to be tackled. Over over-hugged, as we've come to call it.
10. If you say the word Yay! in his presence, he'll clap and grin at you. Really, all it takes is the Y sound at the beginning of any word. He's quick to express his approval. You found your keys, Mommy? Clapclapclapclapclapbiggrin. I'm going to start making him help me pick out clothes so he can cheer at everything. Total ego boost. Best kid ever.

I love you, Lion. Happy Birthday!

This is what actually happened on Lion's birthday, for the record. Turns out he had a terrible double ear infection. Poor kid was miserable. We tried to get him to eat just a nibble of cake, but then he rubbed his face and got icing in his eyes. Bad scene. We're going to celebrate again in May with a proper party.

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