As of 1:21am on December 7th Cricket will be one year old.
She has experienced one year in the world. We have experienced one year parenting this astonishing child. One year as a family of three.
Our lives look nothing like they did a year ago, and it’s getting harder and harder to remember what our days looked like without her in them. At three, four, five months that was not the case; memories of our pre-baby life were present and vivid and sometimes mourned in ways they no longer are now. In part, this is because parenting a soon-to-be-toddler is easier than parenting an infant — there’s more reward, more joy, more sleep! And, in part, it’s because I have adjusted to parenthood over the course of this year, and parenting has become a part of who I am now. Not all of who I am now, but a very, very important part.
These days my thoughts mostly turn to how very lucky we are to be parenting this incredible child – what a privilege it is to be able to teach her and watch her learn, to be able to offer her comfort and security and good food, to love her and be loved by her in return, to play such a hugely important role in her life.
But enough about mama. What about Cricket at one?
Sleep: we are not sleeping through the night yet; Cricket wakes up for a bottle twice. Her crib is now in her room and has been for several months, but that seems not to have helped with her night waking. Thus far we’ve operated under the “she wakes and feeds because she needs to” mentality, and we haven’t tried to eliminate a night feeding. We are currently talking about whether – after tomorrow – we will try something of that sort. Even if we do, though, it will be done gently and we won’t force the issue. We’re operating fine on the sleep we are getting these days.
She takes two naps a day, in her crib. She puts herself to sleep during the day and at night and doesn’t require any elaborate sleep ritual. We lucked out in that department, I think! As long as she has her blanket and a paci she will babble quietly to herself and play with her stuffed animals until she falls asleep. However, she demands to come to bed with us when she wakes in the night, so we remain part-time co-sleepers for the indefinite future. Lately, she will sit up in bed in the middle of the night and drape herself over DP or I and fall back asleep <3
Food: Cricket loves to eat! She loves finger foods of all kinds – peas, beans, macaroni, eggs, banana, cheese – but our little carnivore especially loves any and all meat or meat-like foods (tofu, frozen veggie products like Quo.rn or Bo.ca). She loves the white bean chicken chili and pumpkin chili DP and I cook when the weather gets colder, and shares my burrito bowl whenever we go to Chi.potle. She continues to love her organic fruit and veggie pouches. She will allow us to spoon feed her some foods, like yogurt and oatmeal, but otherwise she turns her nose up at our “helping.” We are slowly adding organic whole milk to her daytime beverages in anticipation of weaning off formula in the near future. Feeding her is a pleasure and a joy, and mealtimes offer Cricket a chance to make us laugh, a lot. The girl is funny.
Teeth: two. Bottom, center. That’s it. And even those aren’t all the way in yet.
Stuff she can do: Cricket walked alone twice – on the day she turned 11 months, and a few days later – but has not attempted to do so since. She will happily walk holding on to our fingers or one of her walkers. She can climb stairs, which we only found out when I found her whimpering at the top of a set of ten steps that lead to our second floor! We are keeping the gate at the bottom of those stairs closed consistently now. :)
As of a couple of days ago, Cricket can mimic a behavior that I perform on myself. She has, in the past, performed an action on herself that I have performed on her (“brushing” her hair), but the other morning she watched me perform two actions – stirring a pot and sucking out of a straw – and correctly mimicked those actions herself, on/with her own items. That was awesome to see. She puts phones to her ear and makes the same sound every time, which I think sounds like our “hello” to her. She claps when she’s excited with herself, and when she’s frustrated and unhappy with something we’re doing or not doing at the moment. She can high five. She will pretend to “taste” imaginary food when we play with her play kitchen. She plays independently well, and babbles and squeals all day long.
Social life: Cricket continues to be very interested in other people and other children. When we are out and about she often stares at people until they acknowledge her and then lights up into a huge grin. If they approach her, she gets a bit shy and puts her head on my or DP’s shoulder, but she never stops grinning. She loves to watch other kids and really wants to touch other babies, but seems confused when DP or I hold other babies. She loves her daycare provider and has become a special pet of hers, but is still warming up to the other childcare providers. She is not displaying any preference between DP and I these days, and seems happiest when we three are together.
Favorites: Blanket. Cricket loves blanket. Transitional object, for sure. Thankfully, we have many of these blankets – same fabric, slightly different designs – so no worries there! She still loves being worn. She loves to watch and listen to DP’s record player. Easily as good as any toy – if not better – is a stack of magazines and mail. Funnily (or strangely) enough, Cricket loves to be scared; she laughs hysterically when I make her jump. She loves tickles and being chased and belly kisses.
DP and I are taking Cricket out to lunch and to a kid’s playspace tomorrow. We’ll spend the day together, as a family. I can’t wait.