Letter to Christian at 12 Months

Dear M.C. Senator Goofenstein,

Today is your last day of being zero.

But since you’re half Korean, I could also say that today is your last day of being 2 1/2 – that’s right, in Korea, babies are ONE when they are born and everybody turns a year older at the new year, which explains why the New Year is such a celebration in Korea!

I’m shlepping about the house trying to marinate chicken, make carrot cake cupcakes, tidy the house, wash diapers, sew crowns, and otherwise prepare for tomorrow’s momentous event. You are crashed out on the bed. Your morning naps (when we are home – which is hardly ever) have become longer and deeper. You still mostly nap in the afternoon, but I fear that you getting read to drop that second nap. Falling asleep in general has become a more tricky kind of a dance, as you are just too excited by everything around you to want to close your eyes even for a minute. You’ll be nursing avidly, but still clutching a toy in each hand (or more accurately a jar lid in one hand and a plastic cord tie in the other…), with both feet pumping like you’re running and then suddenly your eyelids will droop, your body will slump, beads of sweat will appear at your hairline, and your sucking becomes steady and deeper and I will know that you’ve finally crossed over into the Land of Nod.

You need that sleep though! When you’re awake you are a nonstop communicating, exploring, and touching gyroscope. I especially love how you check out our CSA basket. When it comes, it often sits on the kitchen floor for a couple days with the less perishable items waiting for room to be cleared in the fridge. You like to look in and reach for an apple or pear or even a potato and toddle away with it, taking a bite every step or two. The bushel basket is deep enough that when you are trying to pick a fruit or vegetable the front half of you body disappears and all I can see is your (sometimes) diapered heiny in the air and the bottoms of your feet on tiptoes.

Somewhere in this last month you stopped crawling altogether. Walking is sheer pleasure for you, although it makes you mad if you tip too far over turning a corner or stepping over a broom handle. You don’t seem to like being out of control at all, which is why I think you don’t like the swings either. And while some babies look like Frankenstein when they walk, you are more often compared to a drunken old man; or Bill Crosby doing his imitation of a drunken old man.

We’ve doing lots of fun stuff: petting zoos, the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and of course lots of hikes. You are happiest outdoors, so tomorrow’s picnic is in the regional park in a little wooded spot where you can squat and watch roly-polys or the odd snail creeping up a tree trunk. All of your dad’s family is joining us, so you will be well celebrated.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday. I am trying hard not to get too stressed and to remember what makes things fun for you. We’ll sing and dance to start and pass out homemade crowns to the kids. Then we’ll just let you be… in the dirt and on the forest floor.

I love you sweetie,


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