3 Things That Have Surprised Me About Having a One Year Old

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

In a little over a week, my precious baby will be a year old. It’s been the most amazing year of my life, and I have truly savored every moment of it. I have to admit that for much of this year, I have been dreading Baby’s 1st birthday because for some irrational reason, I thought it would be the end of so many special things. Maybe I was scared that he would feel less like my “baby” or that the most special time of my life would be ending. Now that I am standing on the edge of Baby’s one year birthday, I realize how silly these fears were.

Here are 3 things that have surprised me about having an (almost!) one year old:

1. Parenting just gets more and more fun!
Of course, there is nothing that compares to the magic of newbornhood and infancy; it is such a unique time that can’t really be paralleled in any other stage of life. Thankfully though, I’ve been realizing that every day with Baby just becomes more and more FUN as he gets older. We can really play together, and when I talk to him, he is actually listening. We make each other laugh all day, and there are no words for how incredible it is to watch Baby make new discoveries and explore the world. I feel honored every day to witness his explorations.

Mom and baby play on the grass

I get to experience the joy of first time discoveries and explorations in my play time with Baby!



2. Baby has such a distinct personality already and my husband and I can see our own personalities reflected in Baby’s.
It is so amazing to see Baby’s personality evolve. He’s funny, sweet, thoughtful, and curious, and I love seeing how these qualities manifest themselves each day. Although Baby is very much his own person, we love seeing bits of our own personalities coming out in Baby. For instance, he is obsessed with books and animals, just like his mama has been for her whole life. Also, Baby loves making people laugh, just like his dada. He literally bursts into loud belly laughs all day long just to get other people to laugh with him. What a cool personality trait to have! I admire Baby so much already!

Baby tries to grab the cat's tail

Baby laughs as he tries to catch our cat's tail. He's an animal lover and a jokester!



3. Although Baby is becoming more independent, our attachment and closeness just keeps getting stronger (Thank God!)
I mistakenly thought that Baby’s newfound independence due to his mobility and new abilities would mean he would be too busy to maintain his super affectionate ways with us. Boy, was I wrong! Baby just keeps getting more and more affectionate, and he loves to interact with us so much. Baby relishes giving big hugs, making us smile, playing with us, “talking” with us, and snuggling next to us as much as possible. I love that he is actually choosing to do these things and be so close to us. Infancy is partly amazing because you are so needed by the miraculous little one in your life, but I underestimated how fantastic it would be to be needed less and actually chosen more!

Baby stands between mom's legs

As I walk through the house, I get these little visits from Baby. How cute!?



Baby hugs mama's legs

How can I not smile all day long when I look down and see this face hugging my legs?



Is there anything that surprises you about your child’s current age?

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave Higgs-Vis @ Folkabout Baby June 6, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Your little one reminds me a lot of my daughter!

Isn’t it wonderful to have a baby that loves to laugh? It’s such a joy to laugh so much :).
Dave Higgs-Vis @ Folkabout Baby recently posted..Making Faces- Helping to Speak- Helping to SmileMy Profile

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2 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama June 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm

It definitely is, Dave! I don’t think I’ve ever experience such constant pure joy in my life ever before!

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3 Jenn Collins @ Monkey Butt Junction June 6, 2011 at 3:00 pm

I could have written this same post. Everyone always said “oh, just wait until he’s a toddler – you’ll miss your non-mobile baby.” No way! I love my son’s inquisitiveness, his desire to explore his world, and his voice. His latest thing is to say “hi” to everyone in an attempt to solicit their attention. He’s lots of fun at the mall or the grocery store: “Hi! Hi! Hi!” and if ignored, it turns into “HI! HI! HIIII!”

Better every day.
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4 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama June 6, 2011 at 4:32 pm

That’s so cute that your baby wants to say hi to everyone, Jenn! Baby doesn’t say hi, but he can wave hello. Unfortunately, he will only wave at himself in the mirror. It makes me laugh every time!

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5 Amanda June 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm

I guess I underestimate my son (almost 15 months) because he always shocks me when he remembers things and mimics us. For example the other day he crawled up to the mint we have growing in our backyard. He touched it with his hand and then held his hand up to his nose to take a sniff. I was amazed. Several days prior to this my husband was showing the mint to my son and helping him smell it. I couldn’t believe that he remembered how to rub the mint between his fingers to bring out its scent. I’m learning not to underestimate my boy. He is always watching and taking everything in. His memory is much stronger than I thought it would be at this age.

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6 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama June 6, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Amanda, that’s so impressive about Elliot remembering to smell the mint!

Now that I think about it, Baby does something that conveys his growing memory too. When we read books, he flaps his ear when it’s time to turn the page because he knows we’re done reading everything on the current page. It’s so cute!

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7 MamaP June 6, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Loved reading this post!

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8 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama June 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Thank you! xo

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9 smallkucing June 7, 2011 at 2:59 am

any grand celebration ?

Kathy
http://www.smallkucing.com
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10 Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama June 7, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Yup! We’re having a big family party this weekend!

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11 Jessica | Cloth Diapering Mama June 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

well, we’re at the same stage with our little guy….beautiful discoveries is right…constant exploration and zest for life.

my older son who is almost 4…the attachment is still there…not suprising…but he pulls at that stretchy cord VERY frequently to test is spring!!! i will agree with someone on your FB page who said…nothing is better than hearing…”mom, i love you!” very special every time!!!!
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12 Kayla @ Furniture Stores Los Angeles August 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Adorable! I’d welcome visits like that and stay smiling all day too if I had that face to look down at all the time!! :D

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