While we were getting ready Friday night, she was so excited about the decorations. She needed to go in the dining room and point at everything over and over again. When Daddy brought balloons in Saturday morning, she was just beside herself. The child loves a balloon. The biggest distraction while she was eating during the party was not the people - it was the big butterfly balloon that came floating in with Aunt Rosie and Elizabeth. She carried that thing around the house all afternoon, looking like she was in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
Saturday night we partied again for Grandmother’s birthday. EG had a short nap at 5 because she just couldn’t go any longer, and then she was wide open again until 10 when we finally went home. She had cake again, and this time she actually ate it. Of course, it was chocolate, so who wouldn’t? I had to take her straight from the high chair to the bath tub because the few bites that didn’t go in her where smeared all over her face, arms, and belly.
Sunday we took it easy with a nice, long nap after church. Then we went to Target and bought car seats, a potty chair, and toddler forks. She has started waking up with a dry diaper some mornings, so I thought we might as well have the potty chair in the house and start talking about it. She had to get out of the bath tub twice last night to check it out. We’ll let her decide when she’s interested, but it will be a topic of conversation when we are in the bathroom.
Now that she is 12 months old, we've adopted a program of “don’t offer, don’t refuse” when it comes to nursing. I’m not entirely ready to give up the cuddliness of nursing, and I refuse to force her to stop before she’s ready, so I feel like this is the best compromise for both of us. Yesterday she only nursed once until bed time, and that wasn’t even when she bumped her head on the toilet (Seriously, how many times can a child do that?). Dave and I have been discussing “don’t offer, don’t refuse” so that we both understand the expectations. When he heard me say, “Are you ready to nurse?” at bed time last night, he questioned me. I explained that when she is ready for bed, she starts to hover around me instead of playing in the floor or bugging him for bites of whatever he is eating. He suggested giving her a cup of milk. I was game for trying something different, but I explained that she wasn’t ready to go to bed without nursing yet so if we were going to do it differently, he would have to do it. She did nurse for a few minutes, then he took her to her room to rock. She screamed bloody murder for 90 seconds (that seemed like 10 minutes) until he said, “Mama?” At that, she stopped and I took her from him. I suggested that if he wants to be involved in the bedtime routine, we have to work him into it because she needs to get used to him being there.
We all got on the full-sized bed in her room, and I nursed her while he petted her. She finally settled down and was almost asleep, so he decided to get up and do some things (All the mothers are screaming, “NO!” in their heads right now). As soon as he left the room, the almost-sleeping baby popped right up and yelled “Da! Da!” I couldn’t get her to settle back down, so I called him back in the room. I told him he had to finish what he started and if he was going to do bedtime, he had to be committed. It took a few minutes to get her settled back down, during which time he said, “I defer to you. You can nurse her to bed until she’s 14, but I can’t do this.” Then he promptly fell asleep. When she was finally asleep, I woke him up and put her in her crib. I prodded him to bed (it was 9:15), and with his eyes closed, and snuggled into his pillow, he said, “Your tricks for Baby Bears work on Daddy Bears, too. I had things to do, and you got me in that still, dark room and now I can’t even move.” That was the last thing he said to me before he slept (almost) all night in his own bed.
Let them eat cake.
She's got this present-opening business worked out.
Can you see her already thinking, "Just clothes?" You can see the shirt that goes with that skirt in my lap because she handed it to me as soon as she pulled it out of the bag. "Here, Mom, this one's for you."