You are one. A whole year has passed. You are tall and strawberry-blonde and sensitive-skinned. You are eyebrows and thighs and sock-free feet. The church nursery refers to you as “Jack the Bear” (you growl). Carter calls you “Chumby-saurus” and “Chum-bacca”. Grandma calls you “Sprout”. Papa calls you “Happy”. You are my Jack, the apple of my eye. You are my right-hip attachment, the weight that keeps me in the moment. I’m in love with you.
On the night before your first birthday, you slept through the night. All the way through until 7:30am. It was a birthday miracle. You, sir, have been no picnic when it comes to the middle of the night. It’s taken you an entire year to figure out that the buffet closes after dark.
Your first word? “No.” But you’ve got others these days — “Uh-Oh”, “Hi”, and a singsong “I love you” (ayyyyluhhhou) top the list, though I’m almost positive you’ve also got “Hey Dad” down as well.
You’d like us to let you live in the tub. You escape and climb in as fast as your little-big butt can crawl to it. You splash and blow bubbles and stretch out and simply cannot be bothered to get out. The tub is your happy place. Mine, too. I get it.
You are a foodie. And by foodie, I mean that you are not picky at all, as long as we keep the munchin’ coming. Grammie made banana bread, and today you ate nearly an entire loaf — plus a green apple, some Cheerios, yogurt, noodles, and a full banana — for lunch.
Here’s where I must state, for the record, that you are the king of diaper blowouts. This is not an understatement. I know many, many babies. You, Jack Michael, take the cake. An average day is 3 #2 diapers (more like #7, 47, and 156) and at least one full outfit change. It’s come out the top of your onesies on more than one (or 10) occasions.
You are a mover and a shaker, a linebacker and an expert tackler. At one-year old, you are cruising from one piece of furniture to the next, but not walking just yet. You are very fast and very loud.
You love your brother the very most, and you always want his toys. Somehow, they are the most desirable household items — second only to Dad’s electronics. Keeping you out of Carter’s room and Dad’s office is a full time job.
It must be said that you are the biggest of flirts. I think you’ve got more game than your father. You love grocery shopping. It’s your practice field.
Your father and I have a theory that parents are given the sort of kid that will help them grow where they need it most. I thought I was patient, Jack. I thought I was flexible. I thought I was organized. I commended myself on these traits.
You keep me on my toes. You’ve made me appreciate luxurious 6-hour stretches of sleep. You make my arms strong from holding you, my legs quick from chasing you, and you’ve necessitated an on-hand supply of ibuprofen.
And I love you more than life itself.