Up until very recently, Rowan was the only baby at his daycare. He was just shy of five months old when he started, and this whole time, he was the youngest one there by a good many months. I’ve maintained that this arrangement has been a developmental boon for him, no doubt playing an integral role in him becoming an early walker and a sassy-mouthed babbler. He’s had to keep up with those big kids who could already walk and talk (back).
The other day I picked him up a little earlier than normal and spied another, much younger baby amidst the fray. It sort of caught me off guard, actually, to see a baby, one who couldn’t yet sit up on his own, just chilling with all the other kids like nobody’s business. And then it hit me: Rowan is not the baby anymore. Not only is he not the baby at daycare, he’s not a baby anymore, period.
I’m having a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that in one week, my baby boy will turn 1. As in, 1 YEAR OLD. As in, my itty-bitty baby is all growns up. As in, HOLY SMOKES, SOMEHOW WE SURVIVED THE FIRST YEAR. The collective THEY say that the first year goes by at lightspeed — and at times, usually in the thick of a midnight meltdown, I didn’t believe that statement to be true AT ALL — but wow. Rowan’s first year is indeed a Millennium Falconesque blur.
We’ve decided to forgo the traditional, quintessential first birthday party experience since we’ll be spending the holidays in California with family the following week, but I have to admit, this makes me a little sad. I thought about trying to do some sort of low-key celebration here in Seattle, but it’s just too hard, what with Christmas a week later. I’m afraid this might be the most sucktastic part of having a birthday in December. Sorry, kid. We’ll make it up to you! A co-worker told me that her grandson is also a December baby, and they started celebrating his half-birthday in June. I might have to steal that idea. I like recognizing half-birthdays.
At this age, birthdays don’t really mean that much to the honoree just yet, so I think it’s as much about celebrating the parents, too, for keeping the kid alive without too much discernible damage, physical, mental or otherwise, right? On the actual day, I think we’ll make ourselves a nice dinner at home, eat some cupcakes, toast a glass (sippy cup) of something, and pat each other on the back for a year well done.
Here, Rowan tries his first cupcake at a first birthday celebration with the parents’ group we used to regularly meet up with earlier in the year. He was sitting across from a little girl whose mom panicked when her dad suggested she could, THE HORROR!, actually EAT the mini, frosting-laden cupcake. “But, she’s never had sugar. I don’t want her to have sugar,” she said, as Rowan went straight for the frosting, smashing it all over his face. Yeah. Rowan says, “I’ll eat that cupcake, if you don’t want it.”