Today you turn thirteen months old. That means that your dad and I only have two hundred and three months left until we can start charging you rent. Maybe then you can finally pay us back for all the phone chargers we've had to replace due to your sucking on them. In related news: we've finally discovered where you're getting all your energy. We've joked about you secretly plugging yourself in to some unknown energy source, but until recently, we had no idea it was actually true.
Morgan, my dear, this month you've perfected something I like to call PUSHING MOMMY'S BUTTONS. I hear parents talking about The Terrible Two's, and I can't help but wonder what happens when your child has been acting like a Terrible Two since before her first birthday. Does this mean you'll be an incredibly well behaved two-year-old because all the defiance will be out of your system? Or does it mean that I've been given a preview of what's to come and I might as well ship you off to Grandma's and start shopping around for a good institution now? Because I don't want it to be a last minute decision, you know. If I'm going to be committed, I want to be sure it's a nice place where there's a masseuse on staff, they'll let me eat pudding in bed, and the doctor will be sure to concoct a dynamic cocktail of meds just for me.
This month, I've constantly been amazed by your uncanny ability to open things. Especially things that shouldn't be opened or that have been locked shut with the specific intent of KEEPING YOU OUT. You are a mastermind when it comes to getting things opened: cupboards, drawers, DVD cases, bottles, baby food jars, packages of gum, ziplock baggies. Although this talent of yours is usually one of those things that drives me absolutely crazy, the other day when I was struggling to open a jar of jam, I found myself silently wishing you would wake up from your nap and come help me. That's how it goes around here: one minute you're making me insane with all the weird little things you do like taking off your diaper and running through the house naked or tearing through the freshly folded laundry looking for who knows what! But later that same day I find myself thinking what I wouldn't give to see you walking around with my camera slung over your shoulder like a purse, a pair of your sister's underwear on your head, holding a hairbrush to your ear saying "Hi! Mom! Hi!".
You inherited your dad's love of all things outdoors and love spending time with him out in the yard. You also inherited your mom's love of music and dance. (Although, as I've already explained, our affinity for these things does not mean we have the ability to do them well, unfortunately.) Last Saturday, we spent a great deal of the afternoon simultaneously watching and dancing to Billie Jean, Dancing at the Movies and Evolution of Dance over and over. Each time a clip would end, you would point at the computer screen and clap for more. Little things like this make me so incredibly happy and grateful to be your mom. While you are very much your own soul, I see parts of mine and your dad's personalities coming out more and more as you grow and I just couldn't be more proud of what we've created.
Right now as I sit here typing this, I'm watching you and Shylee playing on the living room floor together. You just threw yourself into her arms and are now lying on top of her giving her kisses. You adore your big sister and watching the two of you together is nothing short of magical. I've worried at times that I may not be able to give you more siblings. I always wanted a big family, but at this point in my life, I'm not sure it's something my health will allow. Sometimes I'm okay with that, other times it breaks my heart. But when I see you and Shylee laughing and playing together so well, all those worries and concerns just go away. You already have a sister - someone to laugh with, to get dressed up for dances with, to argue with, to stay up late playing silly games with, to call up years from now and talk about the crazy thing your mom did this time. And she'll know exactly what you mean, because she's been there too. You made me a mother, Morgan, but I have to credit Shylee for showing me that the instinct was there all along. Your sister will be one of the most important people in your life, just as she has been in mine. I hope you always treasure your relationship with her and that years from now you're still tackling her to the ground to give her kisses.
That's another thing I love about you right now - you love so freely! You are very affectionate and, might I say, even passionate at times. It's not uncommon for you to grab my face firmly with both hands, pull me to you and give me a long, noisy kiss. I'm often awakened in the morning by you giving me sleepy, sloppy, lovey kisses like this. You are also a hugger and have recently started giving the back pat when you give hugs. What surprises me most about your affection, is that you know how to express it properly. For instance, when you see your baby cousin Ryan, you softly pat his back and head, then gently kiss him; when your dad is holding you, your kisses are playful and happy; and it is only me - who I like to believe you love the most - that gets your passionate kisses. I'm so proud that you know how to love. It lets me know that you feel loved and that you recognize what love is.
And that tells me that maybe... just maybe... we're doing something right.