Mommy is getting excited and scared for your birthday. Excited because... BIRTHDAY! Balloons, cake, cute outfits. All of it.
Scared because I don't know how to be a parent to a toddler. Being a mommy to a baby? That is easy! Been there, done that. I think about the decisions and choices we have as parents. What are best for you? This past year, you have lead me. When you were ready for solid food, you let us know. When you were ready to sit up, crawl, stand, walk.... you did. I supported and encouraged you. You took five steps... daddy I would spend time walking you between us until you could 20 steps together! I hope you plan on letting us know what do this coming up year. I need hints.
You are incredible Nora. I have yet to meet another little person like you. I didn't realize how very unique you are until we were at play group on Friday. The teacher was reading books, leading songs to the circle of parents with toddlers on their laps. There you were in the middle of everyone. Dancing. Bouncing. Clapping. Squealing. Smiling. Waving. You were absorbing it all. When the teacher used you for a demonstration of a game, everyone watched, you smiled and crinkled your nose and snorted with laughter. Everyone reacted to you. You performed for them. Everyone in play group knows your name. All of the other kids were afraid to interact with strangers, peers or adult. You? Interacted with all adults, all kids. You made sure you make contact with everyone. You crave attention. You crave interaction. You crave people. I should note there are other kids who are outgoing, extroverts, like yourself, but you are unique in the aspect of engagement with others.
Walking is the main mode of transportation these days. You are incredible at walking, squatting, balancing. People are amazed as you toddle by. "How old is she?" "Look at how well she walks!" "She's not even a year yet?!?!"
People are drawn to you. I am constantly finding myself in conversations with complete strangers because of you. This could be because you lock eyes with them and smile and point and giggle until they respond back to you.
I melt in your presence because... you know, I am your mom and that's what moms do. But the more you figure out this world, the more people flock to you and melt with me. You are charismatic. People want to be around you because you engage them. Its amazing to watch.
Today at Ms. Patti's, a little boy was put in time out. Being 11 months old, you do not understand the concept of someone having to 'sit out' of play. You picked up a toy, walked over to the boy in the time out chair, and sat next to him and tried to engage him in play. I could see you trying to say, "PLAY!" "Why are you sitting over here by yourself?" "Come play with me."
Innocence. Your pure innocence caught me off guard. You see everyone as a friend. You see everyone as a playmate. You have no idea that people can be bad or harm you. Your emotions are pure and your sense of curiosity is great. You observe, gage a situation and react.
You are incredible. You seem too little to have such an understanding of people and social situations. But you do.
Fear grips me. I'm afraid of messing up this parenting thing. Your charismatic tendencies and intense curiosity should be fostered. You are a unique being. As I meet more and more toddlers, your personality stands out again and again. So many have commented on it. I worry I am going to screw up the perfection that is you.
I promise I will do my best to raise you to be the person God made you to be.