Well here I am, doodle - on the one year anniversary of the day after your birth. This time last year, was the beginning of the most wonderful journey of my life. I remember every second of falling in love with you. You were so pink and round and perfect .. and I couldn't imagine loving anything so much as I did you at that moment in time. What I didn't know then, but am learning now is - I was barely scratching the surface. It is big and heavy and boundless, this love I feel for you. It lives all on its own and grows and changes with you every day.
We've had a big year. You've learned to sit up, stand up, eat solid food, walk ... run, dance, clap, wave and communicate. That is to say, you talk a mile a minute (not necessarily in a language Mommy and Daddy understand).You learn with such ferocity and determination. I am so proud of you every day. You love music and any of your toys that are noisy. You adore Gussy. He thinks you're alright, too. The two of you have become fast buddies. You tease him to stir him up ... once the bait is taken, the chase is on! You squeal and giggle and run - full tilt. He barks and chases you grabbing at your pant legs ... which you think is a riot, until he misses and grabs some skin by accident. You normally get over it faster than Mommy does. I get cross with Daddy sometimes because he lets you two play so rough. You love it, though.
Other favorite pastimes of yours include; mining in my plants, removing the screw tops off the water bottles (then tipping them), digging in the garbage, opening and closing the cupboard doors, turning the TV and computer on and off and on and off and on and off (you get the picture), flushing the toilet and being paraded around the house in your stroller. In fact, you and Dad have your own routine forged around these activities. It's rather amusing for me to watch. You're becoming quite the little lady with a plan.
Christmas was so much fun! You weren't overwhelmed at all. It was like you've been doing it for years. Your favorite gift was your kitty. You gave your "kiss of approval" to everything that you liked and then "flung" anything that displeased you. We had a really nice time - you, Daddy, Mommy, Aunit M, Aunti A, Gamma, Gussy and Olie.
You've been known by quite a few names this past year; Peanut, Puddin', Princess, Pumpkin, Doodle Bug, Bug, Baby girl, Precious, Boodaful, Beauty, Monkey-head, Boo, Demando, Naked Baby (to the rescue) ... and of late, The Doodle. You may well be less than impressed if any of these stick, but they (much like you) were borne of love. So keep that in the back of your mind while you're cursing us if any do.
You are starting to say words now. You speak your own language - fluently, but you are also picking up ours, as well. You say "Daddy" and what appears to be "thank you". You've also just started saying "kitty" and that's what you call Gus as you pat his head. I'm certain he is ultra impressed (being the cat lover he is).
Now that I am back in the land of the employed, I have a Doodle-shaped hole in my soul. I miss you so much it is physically painful. For the first three weeks I was back, I cried my way into the city every morning. It's starting to ease slightly now - it still sucks - but I only cry some days now. You've settled in well with Rita for your two afternoons, and she thinks the world of you. Everyone who meets you does. You're a special little soul - destined to take the world by storm, for sure.
Our relationship has already begun to change. You're so independent and such a "Daddy's girl". I guess that's alright ... it is, after all a great thing to be. It's a wonderful feeling - watching someone you love, loving someone you love more than life itself. Love really DOES multiply. Who knew? I find the rate at which you are changing lately strikes panic in my chest! I guess maybe it's because I'm not with you all day every day anymore, that it's so pronounced. THAT is one seriously tough adjustment for this mama! There is a voice in my head that is frantically screaming "FREEZE! ... DON'T MOVE! ... LET MOMMY ADJUST! ... FOR THE LOVE OF GOD - DON'T GROW UP WHILE I'M NOT WATCHING!" ..."please". (For the record, I am crying so hard as I write this, I can scarcely see the lines on the paper.)
The scary thing for me is that I already know with some certainly that it will feel EXACTLY that way - that you grew up ... all at once ... over night ... while I slept ... and I missed it! So, I write this for me, too. Perhaps that way I'll realize that I didn't.
I suppose it just never mattered to me before - time zooming past. Maybe I figured I was going somewhere ... and the faster I got there, the better. Now, I'm the only place I have ever truly wanted to be and I just want everything to grind to a halt ... so I can savour every moment. Alas, life just doesn't work that way, and time marches on ... or in your case, it runs ... full tilt ... with a furry little black dog nipping at it's heels.
I love you so very much. I wish I could make each moment with you last a lifetime ... but at the same time, I can't wait for everything joyful you bring.
Happy Birthday my Beautiful Baby Girl!
I love you (to the tenth power)