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Junior is One Year Old!

I have three takeaways from Junior's first, rollercoaster year, but before that -- I must brag.

My son learned to walk before his first birthday.
Item 1: Regularly lifting 22 pounds every day was doing a number on my lower back.
Item 2: Junior's crawling skills had become so advanced that he could do the Cockroach Scuttle -- a lightning fast movement from Point A to Point B, designed to evade hunters.
Item 3: Junior had been cruising for a month, a precursor to actual walking.

The prep: In the three days before his birthday, I encouraged him to walk "long" distances with me, holding his hand and beaming encouragingly as he waddled three feet, his ponderous belly leading the way. He would fall, get boosted up again, waddle another three feet... you get the idea. I also took him to the park and pointed out all the other kids who could run, then helped him waddle to an area where he could cruise.

All our practice paid off. The big day came and he was all:


Just so unbearably cool and walking, NBD.

Here are some party photos. His cake was a Chocolate Birthday Cupcake from Georgetown Cupcakes on Newbury Street, because my baby deserves a $300 cupcake for his special day! Just kidding, divide that amount by 100.

Anyway, at first he had no idea what the cupcake even was, being much more interested in the bright shiny glowing thing that mommy and daddy blew out and quickly put away. Then he got a taste and his brain went "thing = delicious" and it was a choc-splosion. It got into his hair, his ears, the back of his chair (which he then licked off), and we had to take him to the tub to clean up.

That's how babies party!

***
And now... my three big takeaways from having my little peanut for a whole year:

1) Baby = (Time)(Effort) - Sleep
The simplest tasks are compounded by the Baby Factor. To get out the door in the morning, I get up at the crack of dawn to nurse. Then I have to shower, dress, feed myself, feed Junior, dress Junior, and then do one last diaper check before heading out, because chances are 50/50 that he just pooped. #timing

Or, say we stay in one day. Even though he broke his fast on an entire banana and a bowl of cereal, an hour later he'll be all:


And he'll do this while I'm preparing his snacks.

I tell younger people to wait before having babies, because their size is inversely proportional to the effort it takes to keep them alive and unharmed.

Now that Junior's one and walking, Hubby and I can leave him alone with his toys for minutes at a time, it is amazing. And he's even sleeping through the night, except when he's teething, which he will do for the next year! Oh, well.

The upside, as Hubby found out when he went on a work trip up north, is that we're now able to function normally at five in the morning, which helped him with his 5 a.m.-7 p.m. work days. Engineers: working overtime since forever because we need more of them!

2) It takes a village
It's been awesome how nice and helpful strangers are. When we're at restaurants, food servers will stop and do funny faces for him when he starts getting hangry. In fact, he's very willing to be carried around by waitresses for an impromptu restaurant tour. When we're on the train, other passengers will wave at him so he can practice being polite and adorable. Passersby will open doors for us. Faced with all this extra and very welcome participation, I reciprocate as best as I can when I see other parents with their little humans. 

Single moms are fucking heroes for doing this on their own, pardon my French. There were times, especially in the early days, when I had to walk away because I don't know what I would have done in my sleep-deprived state. Those times, Dad would heroically step in. (Obviously he steps in at other times, it's just that I was the main food source for the first 12 months.)

Having a kid is draining. It's also awesome and fun and will touch you in the feelings, but tending to all the needs of a whole 'nother human takes energy, and I, being an Energy Vampire, require at least one other adult as sustenance. Yay Hubby! Yay other people!
 
3) It gets better
The journey from screaming hungry raisin goblin to smiling hungry chubby cherub is fraught with peril and delights, but the love and joy outshine everything. I mean, look at that face.

The best part: no more pumping! *intense happy dance*

***

In case I'm giving off the vibe that I'm all happy-happy-motherhood, let me share this gripe: it's so annoying when other people are like, "Oooh, wait until he starts walking!" or "You can't wait for him to start talking, then you wish he'd shut up!"

I'll have you know that in my family, children are encouraged to be talkative, because tradition! My mom even expressed concern at a lack of pekpek ng baboy (pig vagina) here in the US, because in her hometown, that is what one feeds babies so they grow up to be chatterboxes! Apparently I ate a bunch of porcine unmentionables, and it totally worked!

The point is, parenting can be a blood sport, so new parents must forge Anti-Judgement Armor, and also refrain from firing Judgement Bullets. Of course, parents who shove their nostrils into the air and drawl about how little Wilder was nursed until age four, only ever eats artisanal organic kombucha (question: what is kombucha?), and didn't watch television until age five (lies!) are their very own parodies, so when you meet one, grab some popcorn and enjoy the show.

***

Unrelated: Junior tends to dance at random moments, and this is what he looks like:
Source: a commenter on Jezebel.
TL;DR: My baby turned one this month, see photos.

This post brought to you by Cerave Moisturizing Lotion! Cerave: well, my fingers haven't gotten worse, so it works?

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