Tomorrow our baby boy turns 1. Hard to believe, isn't it?!? There's nothing like putting together the first birthday collage to make you realize how fast the time goes and how much that little squishy newborn changes in the space of 12 short months. He's not really a baby anymore... he's moving quickly into toddler territory!
Toddler territory brings with it a whole new set of interests. I really enjoy watching the wheels turning through the learning process all over again. Beckett has some strong likes and dislikes, but he's still in that phase where he's willing to try anything. Believe me, I'm taking advantage of the fact that he will still pick up a green bean before pizza. He loves to cuddle - especially with a soft blanket. Beckett is a master at finding strings or cords and has a knack for sticking these bits directly into his mouth. He still takes a bottle, but also drinks from a sippy cup. He loves cheese and bananas. He is still a terrible sleeper. He is a climber and a tantrum thrower when he doesn't get what he wants. I laugh every time he collapses into a 5 second fit - such drama. Luckily it's almost always short-lived drama before he's onto something else. Most often the something else involves a brother. Beckett loves, no... idolizes, his brothers. His brothers hung the moon and the squeals and chuckles he gives them are really something special.
Beck isn't walking yet, but he's SOOO close. Spencer, Quinn and I like to make a game of trying to get him to walk. We sit in a circle in the living room and put B on his feet and point him at someone. He sometimes takes a step or two, but most often he just launches himself (in a fit of giggles) into the waiting arms of someone he knows loves him. The most I've seen him do is 4 or 5 steps between me and Spencer the other night. I know he'll get the hang of it eventually, but right now it's just fun!
Fun is something that Beckett is really good at spreading. He's an easy EASY baby. (This is somewhat challenging for me to write about today since he's been sick this week and has not been himself.) I think I've mentioned before that Beck is a joy-spreader! He brings joy to all kinds of people all the time. It's hard to look at a little guy who is always so happy and not get a smile on your face. Having a happy, smiley baby is one of my great joys. I love that Beckett goes with the flow and fits right into whatever we ask him to do.
And we ask him to do a TON! I have to laugh when I think about the difference in the first 12 months of Spencer's life (and even Quinn's) compared to what Beck has had to put up with. For first time parents, a dinner out in a restaurant was a big trip with an infant. For us now, we don't sweat a trip unless it's overnight. Packing up our portable, rolling wagon full of coolers and snacks and diaper bag and toys and chairs and blankets and changes of clothes on the way to a practice or game may get some strange looks, but I gotta say that Bob and I have it down! We can take Beckett just about anywhere, just about any time with very little stress. Some of this is the result of planning and preparation (and lots of trial and error), but much of it is just because Beckett is easy and pleasant and happy to go wherever we want to take him.
That easy attitude does not mean that our youngest is content to sit quietly and play with a toy or look at a book. Nope! He is a whirlwind! He's curious (and kinda devious) when he's in an exploring mood. We have had to put locks on our cabinets that never made an appearance with Zane. We have a little cabinet full of candles that we've had to turn around backward to keep Beckett from getting into it. (It's a nice look...) Between Zane and Beck, there are always toys spread from one end of the house to the other. It's chaotic and messy. And despite all those toys and child-appropriate activities, Beckett would rather sit IN the tupperware cabinet or pull magazines from the table or eat candles or climb all over the stone fireplace or make a bee-line for the stairs when the gate is open or charge into the bathroom to play in the toilet. He's in that phase where he will easily entertain himself, but the things he gets into are not always the safest options. He definitely keeps us on our toes.
I find it a little amusing to watch the reactions on people's faces when they learn that we have 4 kids. Normally the looks they exchange are followed by something along the lines of "wow! you are brave!" or "That must keep you busy!" or my personal favorite "Are you trying for that girl?" For the record... Bravery wasn't involved in our decision to build or family. YES! It is very busy and lots of hard work. And NO! We are not trying for a girl and really, honestly, couldn't be more happy with our testosterone-laden family.
I guess 4 kids is kind of a novelty. It's a little unusual these days, I suppose. With an average kid-to-family ratio of around 2, I guess it stands to reason that we are considered an anomaly to most people. But to me, this attitude is funny because this crazy family feels SO RIGHT.
Beckett was the final piece of our family. He's the exclamation point on what was already a pretty awesome life. I can't imagine life without Beckett. He completed us.
I wish our youngest a second year as fast-paced and fun-filled as the first one. I hope he gets at least a tiny bit of the joy he has brought to others reflected back to him. I want him to know he is loved - by so very many people.
Happy First Birthday Little Man!