Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Gamut of Birthdays

Emerson Beck Golding, born January 26th 2014 at 10:00 am, sharp. 
Your first birthday celebration included a sampling of festivities all along the spectrum of elegance. 

From being serenaded by the entire Disney Cruise cast in your finest princess garb... 

And being served Mickey's special triple chocolate confection...

To tolerating your family's off-key rendition of Happy Birthday at a McDonalds that somehow escaped renovation since the 1970s. 

In your pajamas. 
Somewhere between Port Canaveral and here.

It is hard to say which you preferred. 

The rest of your waking hours on your actual birthday were spent imprisoned in a 5-point harness car seat, facing backwards nonethelesss, intermittently craning your neck to catch a glimpse of the unlimited DVD buffet I allowed your sisters to partake in during the 11 hour drive. So I pretended that day never existed and we celebrated your pseudo-birthday the following day. You're one. Not adept at calendar reading just yet.  

So you woke up to Birthday Hooplah

Celebrated with your baby friends at school with a Fruit Cake

And spent the afternoon with your sisters at the Children's Museum

Where you got a little nostalgic about the good ole days

Then came home for a Birthday dinner surrounded by adoring fans

And cupcakes

And I'm pretty sure you loved every minute of it. 

Not everyone gets to turn One on a Disney Cruise.
But the Hands-Off-My-McChicken face is still my favorite.

Happy birthday, Em. 

Number Three is One.

How do you put words on the momentous occasion of your baby-- your littlest lastest BABY--'s first birthday? All my attempts to do so leave me a weepy mushymess. But I can't let my lack of emotional fortitude prevent you from having any sort of documentation of your infanthood, so hand me a tissue. Or a box of them.

To say it has flown by would be an understatement. Cliche or not, it absolutely seems like yesterday when you were born. I think this is partially attributable to your amazingly easygoing and adaptable demeanor. From the second we welcomed you into this world (including your entrance, in fact), you have so seamlessly, so unobtrusively blended into our family dynamic as if you knew this is right where you belong. With you, we are complete.

From the beginning, you have been a good sleeper. 

A snuggly, cuddly, barnacle of a good sleeper.

I might have spoiled you a bit. Most of your newborn naps took place directly on my person. Unproductive? Yes. Inarguably the best possible use of those 10 weeks of my life? Again, yes.

Every night when I lay you down, you smile up at me and roll over to go to sleep. Hardly ever any protest, and that smile melts my heart every single time. 

Your defining features have always been your big open-mouthed grin and those gorgeously huge blue eyes. So much personality in such a sweet little chubby-cheeked baby.

You love books. Mostly eating them, but also turning the pages and occasionally you are patient enough to listen to the story.

You love food, despite a rocky start with purees. I joked that as the third kid, I'd just hand you a chicken leg instead of spoon-feeding you baby food. And you actually did prefer noshing on a stalk of broccoli or a stick of sweet potato while I oversaw the chaos that is mealtime with your sisters. Another reason you are my favorite. 

Just kidding. 

Well, mostly.

Your words include Dada, Mama, Baba (I think this means Elle Belle). Once at dinner you perfectly enunciated "All Done", but we consider that a fluke. More because we've never actually seen you self-declare All Done when there is any food left to be had than because of any linguistic limitations.

Like your sisters, you are in no hurry to be mobile. You'll pull up, cruise a bit, and very briefly stand unassisted but nothing close to walking yet. You're delightfully chubby healthy and like to stay close to the ground. I have no problem with this. 

You got your first tooth around 9 months, then a few more on the bottom and near your first birthday finally started to get some upper row chompers. I had no problem with this either. 

You love being held. Tickles. Peekaboo. Your oldest sister.  Well, you love them both but Elle can make you laugh like nothing else.

Lately, your favorite toys are the lights, or more accurately the act of removing them insidiously from the outlets all throughout the house. Followed closely by electrical cords, dirty tasty shoes, Choking Hazards, all things sharp, important documents, and The Stairs.

I can't wait to see what the next year holds. 

What a year of getting to know and love you, Little Em. Like I said on the day you were born, you are perfect. Happy birthday sweet girl.