Letter to Camille: Thirteen Months

Hello sweet-yet-crabby girl. I’m so glad you seem to be sleeping peacefully right now. You’ve had a rough night! Apparently, tooth #4 is working its way into your mouth, and it’s not being very nice about it. You’ve been a little cranky the last 24 hours or so, but tonight, you were absolutely miserable. It reminded your Daddy and me of those times when you were a newborn and you’d be crying, and nothing we did would help. Except at least this time, we were pretty sure we knew the cause of the tears. That darn tooth. All the drooling and biting and biting and drooling were pretty good indicators.
I think you were also fussy because you were tired -after all, we’ve had a very busy weekend! A great weekend, but busy. Yesterday was our friend Jonathan’s birthday, and his party was on the beach at Tybee. The weather was hot but the water was perfect – just cool enough to be refreshing, but warm enough to be inviting. Your Daddy and I took you out past the breaking waves to swim around, and you really seemed to enjoy it. You also liked sitting at the ocean’s edge with your Daddy, watching the waves come wash over you both.
You were such a great baby – the hardest part of the whole trip was trying to keep you from eating sand. You probably ate 6 or 7 fistfuls of sand, both dry and wet. And those are just the fistfuls we saw. Who knows how many you snuck in when your back was to us. You’d think after the first bite you’d decide it wasn’t tasty, but apparently not. I’m just not sure what to think of your decision not to eat any of the vegetables I cook for you. You’ll eat sand, but not broccoli. Hmm.
We’ve had a lot of fun over this last month, and you’ve done a lot of growing. In the past couple of days, you’ve taken even more steps – as many as four at a time. You’re still happy to crawl most places, but I think it won’t be long before you’re running around everywhere.
And that will certainly make you seem like less of a little baby, whether I like it or not. The same is true with getting rid of your bottles. At your 12 month check up, the doctor said we needed to be done with baby bottles by 15 months. That felt like such a tough measure, for me and for you. You seem to still enjoy getting a bottle, and I definitely enjoy giving you one.
We cut out your mid-morning bottle right away without any trouble. Two days ago, we cut out your afternoon bottle. Two down and two to go. But I think these 2 will be the hardest (for me, anyway). I love giving you a bottle when you wake because it seems like a nice, sweet way to start the day. But the nighttime bottle is my favorite. We curl up together on the couch and I stroke your hair and kiss on your forehead and generally smother you in snuggles. I don’t know if you’ll let me do that without a bottle involved. You don’t usually sit still long enough. For your sake, I hope weaning you off these other 2 bottles isn’t tough, but I know it’ll be hard for me. Promise we can still cuddle?
You’ve also begun using a spoon at mealtime, and I couldn’t believe how quickly you caught on. I haven’t let you try loading the spoon yet, but if I put food on it and hand it to you, you have no problem eating off of it every time. The first time we tried the spoon I had mashed potatoes on it. You liked them, but refused to give the empty spoon back. You’d prefer to just chew on it, and you’d cry every time I took it away to reload it with more mashed potatoes. But then – oh then – I put MACARONI AND CHEESE on it. Your eyes widened, and then you immediately handed the spoon back to me for more. That’s when your Daddy got out the video camera.

Cami Spoon from Ginger and Vimeo.
Your Daddy has a cool little digital camera that also does video. It’s usually sitting around the living room, so he regularly has it on hand to get little clips of you doing cute things. He captured this video of you discovering his wallet, and I added a musical touch. Is this a sign of things to come?

Cami Likes Money from Ginger and Vimeo.
But do you know what you like much more than money? Maybe even more than macaroni and cheese? BOOKS. You love books. I always hoped you would like to read, and I hope this early attraction carries on throughout your life. But right now, I think I could safely qualify it as an addiction.
Every day when we’re playing in your room or in the living room, you pick up book after book after book and bring it to one of us. Then you do the cutest thing. As I take the book from you, you climb into my lap. That’s your absolute favorite place to read. You’ll sit there and help flip the pages, pointing and laughing at the good parts. Your favorite book right now is probably “Baby Farm Animals,” given to you on your birthday by Aunt Carol and Uncle Barry. It has a couple of pictures of puppies, and you grow more and more excited as we turn the pages and get closer to the pictures of the puppies. Then when we finally get to them, you’ll often start saying, “Woof! Woof!” TOO CUTE.
I’m so glad you like books, but I have to admit, your Daddy and I have talked about locking them up after a while to give us a moment’s break. Your appetite for reading is insatiable, and we will reread the same book so many times we lose count. But in reality, we’d never take your books away, and we’d never want to discourage you from reading. Besides, it’s so sweet when you crawl up into our laps – so who could say no to you? Not us. Not even if we’ve already read “Baby Farm Animals” 892 times. In the last five minutes.
That’s why I knew today’s event in Daffin Park would be perfect for you. It was a celebration of reading, and featured storybook stations throughout the oak-shaded expanse of grass. There were singers and performers too. We went with Christina, one of your friends from baby school, and I snapped this photo of you crawling around on the astroturf at one of the reading stations.
You and Christina came back to the house to play for a bit. I love watching you play with other children. You are so sweet! You love to give hugs, and I melt every time. Sometimes, you don’t know the strength of your own hug. You tried to give one to a younger baby friend last weekend, and ended up pinning her face-down to the ground. But you meant well! I got this picture when you gave Christina a pat on the head (it was a sweet pat, even though this pic makes it look like more of a beat-down!).
Sweet Camille, I am so proud of the little person you are and the person you seem to be growing into. I just feel honored to be the Mama who gets to watch you blossom. Thank you for another great month – for all the hugs, the kisses, the cuddles and the laughs. Sweet dreams, little angel. Mama loves you.