Dear Ian (13 Months)

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Dear Ian,

Good morning, sweet baby.

It’s about 8 a.m.. You woke up an hour ago, but I wasn’t quite ready to start my day. (Did I turn off my alarm without realizing, again?) I walked into your room and in true form, you were standing up in your crib, waiting for my arrival. I handed you your pacifier (which we’ve stopped giving you at night), adjusted your blankie across your shoulders, and dropped 3 of your favorite books into the crib: Olivia, Sophie’s Big Day, and I Love You Through and Through.

Those three books are enough to tide you over for a little while: I can use the bathroom, throw my hair up, start some tea, make your milk. Today you gave me a few extra minutes, so I even journaled a tiny bit (very tiny: one paragraph) before you started calling for me again. (Not by saying, “mama,” though. When’s that going to start, little man?)

We phased out bottles last month, so you drink all your milk from sippy cups now. You no longer want to sit with us to drink your milk, but first thing in the morning, I try to make you sit with me for at least a few minutes, and this morning you were pretty content to do that. As we walked over to the couch, I leaned in to kiss your forehead and, God, you smelled so good and sweet and perfect.

I’m not sure what it was about that smell: not quite a baby smell, certainly not Johnson & Johnson, but familiar somehow, like home.

Like you.

We sat down on the couch, snuggled into my usual spot, on the lefthand side, under the lamp. I pulled the blue blanket over our feet, and you said, “Mama,” and looked up at me. I kissed your nose, you drank your milk.

I want to bottle that moment up and carry it with me everywhere.

You’re the best.

Love you,

Mama

At 13 months, you are…

saying “dada” all the time; it’s your go-to word for everything

drinking all your milk from a sippy cup

refusing to eat any vegetables besides broccoli

singing the “I love you” song all the time

dancing by bouncing and bobbing your head up and down

standing without holding on to things

practicing walking while holding on to mom & dad’s hands

reading Olivia, and saying “ball” when you see her big red beach ball

making monkey noises when you see monkeys

pointing to the things you want

giving hugs and kisses whenever we ask

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