You are thirteen months old today, and I have been debating whether to continue these letters into your second year. I decided that so much happened in the past month that I do not want to forget and this is the best way to remember it. I expect that will be true for many months to come.
Baby girl, you walk. Everywhere, all the time. You rarely crawl anymore. You have even learned how to bend your knees a bit when walking, which has brought you right to the very brink of running. You especially love to have everybody put on their shoes and socks and go walk outside, although you prefer to hold onto a finger when we venture onto the sidewalks. You fall, a lot. Usually just onto your bottom and you bounce right back up to continue what you were doing, but you've had some pretty spectacular wipe outs. Just this afternoon you fell on the sidewalk and bit your lip and I think my heart stopped for a second to see your little face covered in blood. You recovered quickly, your father may never get over it.
You stopped nursing this month, just quit one day. I tried for a while to get you to go back to it, but you are stubborn and willful and independent and when you set your mind to something it is difficult to divert you. You come by all of these qualities honestly. It was very sad for me when you stopped nursing. I loved that time we spent together, I loved the connection and the few quiet moments out of your busy, busy day. Not nursing has changed you so much, you are much more a little girl now than a baby. I love that you are growing up, that you are making your own decisions. I am proud of you for being strong enough to give up something that was such a major part of all the life you know so far.
We met another huge milestone this month. It still doesn't happen all the time, but it is often enough that I am going to give you credit for the whole thing. Mia Bean, my angel, my precious, my monkey, you sleep through the night. And I assure you, it did not come a minute too soon. You consistently sleep 9 or 10 hours straight and then usually go back to sleep for another hour or two. You put yourself to sleep with usually very little fuss and tend to wake up happy and brimming with kisses for anyone you find nearby. Thank you, baby girl, mama really needed to get some sleep.
You love to go up and down stairs. It took you a long time to learn to go down because I tried to teach you to crawl down and you weren't interested. Once I gave up, you started walking down on your own. You love to play at opening and closing doors, to throw anything resembling a purse over your arm, and to carry my keys around the house with the keyring hitched over your elbow. You have discovered the joy of the baby swing, of splashing yourself in the face with bath or pool water, and of grabbing an unguarded camera and taking loads of pictures.
You eat like crazy these days, although only from a rather limited menu and you refuse to drink milk. We started teaching you a few signs, since you don't seem much interested in talking, and you learned them all within two days. We are still waiting for you to attach meaning to the signs, but these things take time. You love animals of any kind, but especially cats. You are absolutely obsessed with books. You sit in your room pulling book after book off the shelf and flipping through the pages, then bringing books to your father or me to be read again and again. Another behavior you come by honestly.
One weekend morning this month, we were all lying in bed together. Your father and I were pretending you might go back to sleep so that we could too, but that was not on your agenda. Instead, you started giving kisses. You leaned into Dada over and over again, and then to me, and then back to Dada. You finally wore yourself out, sat back, and started pushing on the side of my head. I couldn't figure out what you wanted, but you were pushing me towards Dada, so as long as I was there, I gave him a kiss. You laughed, and did it again. And again, and again. And there we were, the three of us, our little family, just entirely as it should be. I am so glad you are here, Mia Bean, I am so glad you are part of us, because with you giggling there between us, I feel like we can conquer the world.
You are my little Monkey Butt, and there's no two ways about it.