When my daughter Avery was born, I heard two pieces of advice all the time. 1) “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” which is great in theory, but is not practical for very long. There is just too much laundry to do. And 2) “Enjoy it…they grow up so fast.” Everyone from doctors to nurses to strangers in the grocery store told me this. I knew it was true—heck, I sobbed at the end of Toy Story 3 when I was pregnant because I just knew how quickly it would go—but now that my daughter is officially a year old (her birthday was yesterday), I’m amazed that 365 days can fly by in the blink of an eye.
I’m also amazed at how much kids change in a year. They go from sleeping, pooping, eating, unmovable bundles to cute little personalities that shine through more every day. Avery’s curious about the world around her; she’s at the funny stage where she both wants to get into absolutely everything and has no idea that most of those things are dangerous. She knows that when the dog barks at around 6:30 p.m., it means Daddy’s home, and she’ll look toward the door to see him come in, with a huge toothy grin on her face. She says “dada” nonstop, but reserves “mamas” for about once a week, and usually when she’s angry. She says “dog,” I’m sure of it. She signs “fan,” which is as adorable as you might think. She sleeps way more awesomely, thank goodness, but it’s always a work in progress. She sits and flips through books like she’s really reading them. She knocks stuffed animals off their perch on the radiator (that seems dangerous, but it’s really not, I swear); if I replace them, she isn’t happy until they’re off again. Speaking of flipping, she has found her middle finger and loves to wave it around. She’s independent and friendly and lovable and sweet. She’s got soft little pillow cheeks and munchable thighs.
While I’m still me, I’m a totally different person than I was a year ago. I don’t come first any more. And while I love my job, it often goes to the backburner (you should see my inbox) because there are more pressing issues at hand, and I cannot hear my inbox shriek when it needs attention (thank goodness!). But no matter the frustrations, sleepless nights, lack of pee control, clogged ducts, she’s worth it. Totally worth it. —Erin