But that Annika girl is on my mind.
I read a post recently about the Curse of the Second Child. You know that phenomenon whereby the poor beleaguered mother of more-than-one can only remember the many and nuanced details of the first child's babyhood, and subsequent kids are lucky if their parents remember the day they ran away from kindergarten, maybe.
And at this point I would claim the defense of the mom who is in the thick of it: I'm just so damn tired. So tired. When my brothers & I were younger, my mother would tell us about our early years, and she would say "I don't know kids. All I can remember about those years is just being tired all the time." And it was not until I took proud possession of my third child that I knew what that tired was.
Cecilie's baby book is beautiful. Filled with scraps of paper with 'test names', ultrasound photos, loving stories written in longhand on its pages. We even have the complete collection of postcards her godparents sent her on their travels around the globe during her first year.
Lars has a baby... calendar. Granted it *is* a calendar designed to mark baby milestones, and it came with its own set of stickers to mark the days in his first year. "Baby's Fourth Tooth!" is meant to be stuck on whatever day you notice Baby's Fourth Tooth emerging. HA. And even his poor little simple calendar stops abruptly at his 7th month, coinciding almost exactly with the month we began renovation on The Money Pit, I mean The Yellow House.
Annika has this. This blog is her only baby book. I have a hunch she won't resent me. I have a hunch she may be secretly glad she doesn't have to lug around a pile of paper scraps and ultrasound photos from her 1st apartment to her retirement home. But her mother? Her mother will lug around the vague guilt, always always. I don't post often, I don't post enough, and her first 14 months have disappeared faster than a pack of Double Stuf Oreos in my pantry. One minute she's 6 weeks, the next minute she's walking.
And that my friends, is what this post is for. She's WALKING. Not just the tentative wobbly '3 steps and hit the dirt'. She's working the catwalk: she'll stroll around the kitchen island, find Mommy on the other side of the kitchen and PIVOT (to the left! Take that Derek Zoolander!) to walk the other direction.
And the day she did it we WILL always remember. It was Valentines Day, and she was at the Air & Space Museum with her dad and Grandpa. Daddy turned his back on her to help Lars with some Astronaut Ice Cream, and when he looked up she was gone. Not just a few steps away, mind you, but a full 20 feet of Museum Packed With Saturday Visitors away!
Honestly, I think she was ready to walk a while back. But then she was laid low with a mystery illness that kept her very unhappy and not very strong for most of November, December and January. Now that she's eating again (and not trying to exist on RICE MILK), she's packed a little weight on those gams and they are serving her well.
She got 2 teeth without us even noticing (making a grand total of SIX teeth!) She's figured out that her brother and sister hate to hear her scream, so when she wants something, she 'asks' at top volume, and generally gets it. She is obsessed with climbing: anything will do, but her most favorite is to find the kids's Tripp Trapps and use as ladders to gain access to the tabletop. She got her first haircut (no more wispy mullet, hurrah!) She has a wicked sense of humor, and is extremely ticklish. Her feet are a full size smaller (Size 5) than her sister's were at the same age. She says many things, none intelligible, except 'mama', 'dada' and 'bowowowowowowow'. She hates to sit in her high chair for meals, preferring instead to cruise around table legs and chair legs and have someone try to spoon food into her. (Yet another parenting "I WILL NEVER..." smashed to pieces.) She loves crackers, and hates turkey. She would prefer to eat a truly unhealthy amount of raisins if I'd let her. Failing that, blackberries please. She love love loves to brush teeth, and to brush our teeth too if we let her. Although she doesn't understand that we don't all share one brush. She loves to read, and will happily turn pages of her own books if we're not around to do it with her. Any book with animals is her favorite.
Pictures. Yes, pictures would be exactly what's needed. A little video clip of baby gamboling would be even better. But we haven't yet downloaded photos from CHRISTMAS. It is late, we haven't downloaded photos from Christmas, and as usual, Annika my girl, we are so tired, and so behind.
But please know that you are special in my heart, little one, and I am working hard to remember your highlights too. Your moments are all-of-our-moments, and that is the gift of the third child.