Twelve months

Brielle is the light of my life. I couldn’t begin to encompass the whole of her wonderfulness with mere words. so we’ll have to be content with some highlights.

She likes nothing better than to make us laugh, whether by carrying a book around in her mouth, or spinning in crazy circles.

She is astonishing in her coordination and fearlessness, continually climbing to new heights, instilling fear in the most stalwart of hearts, and causing near heart failure in great-grandmothers.

She seems like she talks, saying close approximations of “Here you go” when she hands you something, “Up.” “Down.” (usually commands), “Dada”, naturally, in reference to her favorite guy, and an occasional “Mama” to keep me from being too jealous.

She is curious beyond the normal realm, continually on the search for something new, and always retesting old battlefields (cabinets with child-proof locks on them, say) to see if anything has changed since last she visited.

She is endearing beyond measure, befriending grandmothers, young single guys, mothers, other children, and pretty much the population at large, wherever she wanders.

She loves to engage in “chase”–and she can actually run now, “tickle” and pretty much any game that requires loving touches and giggles. She adores rough housing games. She likes to put on people’s shoes, both on herself and on us. She carries things around the house, so much so that I’ve pretty much given up on keeping all the parts to a toy together, or even on the same floor. She is enjoying looking at books and identifies any animal with a panting noise–she learned this from Roscoe. She loves music and dances whenever she hears it. Sometimes she dances even when she doesn’t.

She still prefers nursing over any other form of nourishment, fully believing in the magical properties of Mama to comfort and fulfill. She goes to bed at night fairly well, usually without a fuss now, but still wakes up once or twice before we retire ourselves, and stubbornly–and LOUDLY– refuses to be calmed by anything but the boob. Then she awakens around one, and I give in and bring her to bed with us. She wakes up again at five or so and usually accompanies Kevin on the paper route, and thankfully falls back asleep, so I can get some unhindered rest. Her sleeping schedule drives me crazy. At nap time, if I want her to take a long nap, (which, crazy me, I do.) I have to hold her after the first 40 minutes or so, and let her nurse at will.

Everyone tells me we “trained” her to do this, and we have to “untrain” her. I really resent this line of “logic”, even though it’s probably true. She screams and screams until she gets what she wants (the boob). She. absolutely. Refuses. to be placated by any substitution. I am reluctant to let her scream. We tried that for almost two weeks- she cried in her bed hysterically for longer than her nap amounted to be; it was too stressful for us both. The other ‘methods’–basically, versions of the CIO (cry it out) that are more “tolerable”– I’ve read about don’t seem to work either with Her Royal Stubbornness.

Other than this, Brielle is a fun, delightful, opinionated, sturdy, wonderful, adorable gift from God. I am privileged, honored, and thrilled to be her mama.

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