Birthday boy

February 2, 2011 at 5:06 am | Posted in Little O | 5 Comments

(For a comparison shot of his sister on her first birthday, click here.)

This baby boy makes me want to stop time.

Today he is one year old. At every stage of babyhood I think, “Now this is my favorite age,” and then as I get to know my child better the next phase becomes my favorite. So I trust that as he learns to walk and talk and his little personality emerges more and more, what comes next will be my favorite, too. (OK, so ages 2.5 – 3 were not my favorite, but we’re past that with one child and have a ways to go until the next gets there!) Still, this one-year anniversary is different: not only because they change and grow at a biologically astounding rate, but this kid is truly a joy right now.

When I walk in the door in the evenings he bounces up and down and claps his hands, or, if his nanny is holding him, he throws himself out of her arms (literally) and crawls over to me, lickety-split, for a hug and a big open-mouthed kiss on my cheek. In general, he can walk if he chooses to, but he gets so excited that he tries to run and then tends to topple forward.

Here’s what else he is up to on his birthday: He loves to be held in your arms while you dance around. He waves his hands up in the air like he’s in an eating club tap room circa 1995. He has recently developed a fondness for books. For a long time he had no interest in them other than eating them. Now he at least is engaged in turning the pages, but he seems to like them for this singular purpose. He doesn’t really like to sit still and let you actually, like, read them to him. Also, when I say he can sing I am not exaggerating with any false parental pride. Last week I noticed him yelling loudly in long, drawn-out syllables. After few days of this I noticed they had a tune: “Doe-a-deer” (which his sister and I often sing in the car). He yells, “A, a aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah” right on tune. Then, if you sing “Ray” he sings “AaaaaAhhhhh.”  (It’s hilarious, and he does this all day long.)  He can say a few words, sort of: ba-ba (for his bottle, but this can also mean “sippy cup of water”). “Hi!” he says very clearly, often while holding a toy plastic phone or even just his hand up to his ear (yikes, talk about imitation…). He waves bye-bye and says, “Buh!” and puts his hand to his mouth and says, “Mmmmmmm!” to blow you a kiss. He turns his palms up and says, “Aw uuuh” for “all done.” Otherwise, there is a lot of “Dada da da da da dadada da da” going on. He loves to point up at the sky, especially at airplanes.

But his favorite thing to do these days is climb and explore. He will crawl up on his sister’s Stokke chair (a wooden high chair that’s just like an elevated seat you pull right up to the table) and then crawl on to the table. It is impossible to get anything done in the kitchen, as you have to walk over and pull him off the table about every two minutes. Then he will crawl over to the stairs and crawl right up them and then slide down — really fast! — backwards. In the mornings he wakes up about a half hour before his sister, and his father and I like to bring him into our bed to snuggle. Except this kid doesn’t want to snuggle. He wants to jump into the pillows, or slide down off the bed and pull the cords on the shade, or pull things off our night stands (e.g., water glasses), or pull things out of the garbage can (the kitchen garbage can is also a favorite exploration area – ew). If he’s in our bathroom while we are getting ready for work he wants to stand up on the shower door and bang on it, or go pull some toilet paper off the roll. Now he can reach up on to the bathroom counter, and if we’re not careful we’ll find him with a tube of toothpaste in his mouth.

His other favorite thing to do is follow his sister.  If he can catch her, he does one of two things: pats her with love smacks to the face, while trying to pull her hair, or go in for a hug. You know he is in hug mode because his thumb goes in his mouth and his head tries to snuggle on anything soft: a couch cushion, the (faux, Ikea) lamb-skin rug in his room, your shoulder.

Here’s my favorite thing: when he wakes up in the morning he plays in his crib for awhile: singing, reading books, cuddling his animals. Then he decides he wants to get up and he yells for you, “Aaaaaaaaaa!” Like, “OK, come get me!” You walk in his room and he is standing up in the crib and he sees you and starts to jump. You bring him over to the changing table and he points at everything in the room: the lamp, the shade, “Da! Da! Da!” Then, after he’s changed and nice and dry, he gives you a big snuggle. That’s the kind of guy he is: he is an explorer (there is no crack or crevice in the house in which he has not tried to get his little hands — if there are Cheerios or other small things to put in his mouth, so much the better); a mover (crawling, climbing, scooting); an observer (the sky! the other cars on the road! the grocery cart!). But he is also a sweet, sweet soul who loves his sister and his grandparents and his aunts and cousins and his incredible nanny. We know this because his hugs and kisses are many and often — in the midst of an adventure under the kitchen table he’ll take a time out to crawl up your leg for a snuggle. After he’s had his fill, he’ll leap out of your arms to get back to work.

We, of course, cannot imagine our world with out him. Happy birthday, baby boy. You light up my life.


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  1. Happy, happy birthday O … I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. It WAS yesterday, right?

  2. Happy Birthday Little O!

  3. He lights up my life, too!

  4. Both of your kids are beyond adorable. Hope to see them, and you, soon my dear. Hope Owen has a wonderful year ahead.

  5. Kate,
    I saw your post about Erin which made me a little sentimentally thinking how little she was back in the day. I hadn’t looked your blog in a while…your description of Owen reminds me a lot of Carter. He is also into everything and yet snuggly at the same time. So very sweet. He’s not walking yet (13 1/2 months) but goes everywhere he wants to be. Hope you are well. -Sara

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