Dear Ender Bender,
You are One! Wow what a joyous year it has been. You were born happy and happy has been your default setting ever since. You are always smiling. You love to interact with people. You look people right in their eyes and smile at them. You smile now has 8 little, sharp teeth. When you are upset, especially with your sister you bite.
Something you did since you were very little is give slobber kisses. A wide open mouth planted on my cheek, or chin, or any where. You love to be affectionate. Your thick dark hair, thinned, turned curly and then blond.
You wake up everyday between 6:30 and 7am. You go to bed around 7pm and take 1 1-2 hour nap. You are the best little climber! You learned how to do stairs at about 10 months and then how to use the chair to get up on the table at 11 months. You like to climb the step stool in the bathroom and wash your hands.
You love to eat. The only food you don’t like is tomatoes. Your sister Arora loves to help give you food. You love her for sharing! You love technology. You hate when mommy doesn’t share the computer or phone with you.
You have a few nick names. The first being Ender Bender, said that one once and it just stuck. Some of your cousins call you just Bender. The next nick name is Trouble. You know when the cupboard is open a crack and come a-crawling! You know when you can get past the gate and crawl down to the basement. You know how to turn the tv and dvd player on and off. Mostly you are just so curious!
You still sleep all swaddled up in your blanket. You love being rocked to sleep by daddy. You also love when daddy sings. You love music and start dancing as soon as you hear it. You look like a little conductor, bouncing your arm to the beat.
You are getting to be a good walker. Taking 10 steps or so at a time. You are a speed crawler.
You are a joy, you are loved.
I sit here thinking of our first days together. David sleeping on a too small pullout chair-bed. You in a plastic bassinet next to me. I remember my arms being so sore I could hardly hold you. I remember the nurse who had the patience to talk to me about your birth. I remember wanting chocolate milk and graham crackers. I remember the steak and shrimp dinner the hospital gave David and I. Each tray with a little bottle of sparkling cider to celebrate. I remember waking up the next morning and hearing the air whooshing through the vents, but I thought it was the sound of rain, which is a very comforting sound to me. I had never felt so empowered, so womanly, so tired. You had lots of dark hair, which turned blond by your first birthday, now it is a soft light brown. I was determined to nurse you, even though I had to use a nipple shield, the whole 16 months. I wanted to give you the best of every thing. I think I have done well.
You are three now. Sleeping in your toddler bed, with a blanket that was your daddy’s as a boy. Clutching White Bear that is no longer white. The other night you cried out in the night, you could not find your bear. I went in to retrieve him for you. You, half asleep said “bear doesn’t have legs… silly bear.”
You love playing games and I think you will really enjoy your birthday gifts, Chutes and Ladders and Hungry Hungry Hippos. We will open them at your party next week. Each night we say three things that “were so much fun”. You often include your friend Lexi and going to your grandparents house.
You are happy and healthy and bring joy to my life.
Some adorable phrases I’ve been hearing lately:
es’cuse me people, es’cuse me mommy, where are you? (when getting out of bed)
I’m busy mom, I’m busy. ( in response to asking her to get something)
I need help…. I need help up… I need help up guys. (“falling” out of bed.)
This is terrible! ( when I said no to turning on the TV.)
Some phrases I’ve been saying that I never thought I would say:
Please do not suck on mommy’s nose. (pretending to have milk like baby Ender)
Even if you pull on it your tongue will not come out, it is attached.
Here is David holding Arora on her first Father’s Day, she was just under 6 months.Here is Ender wearing the same onesies at 6 weeks! We have a big boy here!
It is 7:45pm and I have:
2 sleeping children: one well-swaddled, the other sprawled atop her two favorite blankets
a freshly swept kitchen floor
2 scrubbed bathrooms
drawers full of nicely folded clothes
banana bread in the oven
dishes waiting for me
cloth diapers in the dryer
a generally tidy home
a smile on my face
a full heart
a bright future.