Next week you’ll turn one, and sometimes you seem so big and grown up. You’re starting to walk, you feed yourself and can drink from a sippy cup. I get these strange and powerful waves of, “Where did my baby go?” But other times, the sweet baby side of you radiates powerfully, and I remember that you’re still so very little. And it’s hard to be little – I don’t think we recognize that fact enough.
All day long, you navigate a world of unknowns, with little control over your environment. Things are constantly taken away from you, you wrestle with accepting the word “no,” and you still lack many of the language skills to tell us what you want and need. How frustrating must that be? To be unable to fully articulate your preferences. To not be able to reach things, or eat things, or tell us “no” to a surprise diaper change.
It’s hard to be a baby, am I right? So I try to be sensitive to that. I work to explain things calmly, even if you don’t yet understand my words, so you can feel acknowledged and reassured. I narrate situations to you, hoping some of it sinks in and puts you at ease. We try to give you a sense of routine at home, so you aren’t caught off guard.
Sometimes, you’re such a big girl. But when I watch you fall asleep in my arms at night, breaths slowing rhythmically, tiny hands twitching in your dreams, you’re still my tiny baby.