A Birthday Letter to My Daughter

Dear Claire,

You turned one a few days ago. I can’t believe it. Is it possible that an entire year has passed since I held your swaddled little body in my arms? It feels like yesterday.

The hospital where you were born is two blocks from our house, and every time I drive by I think about how wonderful the day was when you came into this great big world, all plump and entirely dependent on others.

One year later you feed yourself with your own delicate fingers. We put food on your tray and wa-la! Claire eats. Frozen peas are your favorite.

You aren’t quite walking by yourself yet, but when we hold our fingers out and you grab hold of them, you BOOK IT. It’s almost like starting a car. Fingers out, fists clamp, and GO. One of these days we’re going to fall flat on our face because you take off so quickly.

One of these days you’ll learn your mama SOMETIMES exaggerates.

Your vocabulary consists of four words: Dada, Mama, HI! and Nigh Nigh. You shake your head no and sign “all pau” and “more.” You also frequently communicate SOMETHING by flapping your wings up and down. We all think it’s hilarious. Unfortunately, you are usually quite distressed by SOMETHING when it happens. When we figure out what that SOMETHING is, we’ll let you know.

Yesterday you learned to climb onto your sister’s bed. She woke up late from her nap and was quite grumpy about it. When you saw her, you speed crawled over to her bed, and climbed up right next to her. I don’t think you noticed her post-nap cries because you were so gosh darn proud of yourself. And then you fell off. And mom had a heart attack. And then you climbed back up. And fell off. And repeat.

You’re tough, girl.

You are mostly content to NOT be the center of attention, but I think you might surprise us. You’re funny. Like a little baby comedian. You’re sort of sly about it. Under the radar. But we notice.

It’s totally going to get us in trouble with you. How do you discipline a ham?!

When you don’t get your way, your inner raptor comes out. Zero to Sixty SCREEEEEEEECCCCCHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! You clench your teeth, open your eyes really wide and say WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! But it’s not that cute. It’s sort of horrifying. Like suddenly sweet Claire is possessed by something unearthly and we MUST. MAKE. IT. STOP.

Your “No I will NOT go to sleep” cries are just as painful. Sorry sis, but if you want our sympathy, you’ve got to tone down the siren howls.

I finally let you cry.

I’m not sure why it took me so long this time. I guess it was just easier to get up and nurse you. But when I started weaning you I realized something had to give.

And so I gave you a hug, set you in your crib, and you cried

And I closed the door.

And now you sleep through the night.

GO FIGURE.

You also grew three teeth in the last two weeks. PHEW. Didn’t think they’d ever come! But here they are and you’re quite pleased with the new biting capabilities.

As of today you nurse only in the morning. In the next couple days I will try to cut out that last feeding, but you’re holding on to it pretty tightly. One day at a time.

Your sister thinks you’re the bees knees. She also thinks she’s your mommy. Every morning she comes into our room, wakes me up, and says, “Come on mommy! Let’s get Claire!” You think she’s pretty awesome too. And now that you’re getting more assertive, she listens to your ‘back away NOW’ screams.

You two = BFF.

Claire, you add SO MUCH to our lives. You are LOVED little one. Our lives are better for your birth. When you read this eventually, my prayer is that your life would be full of the love that surrounds you and that you would know well before reading this that you are loved, adored, cherished and valued.

Love,

Mama

*tutu photos (and tutu) care of Steph

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