Before she was born, we named her the Butterfly. Growing requires stretching wings while growing roots. Living equals metamorphosis.
In the time leading up to her, “Welcome to Earth!” moment, I window-shopped the baby aisles and explored the difference between wants and needs. I sing the same song every pregnancy.
Babies need precious little beyond a full belly and a clean butt. While at home mine live in onsies or sleepers, but certain times want (require?) extra special touches.
I bought this outfit impulsively before she was born while thinking forward to her one year pictures.
Size 18 months so she could wear it new on her birthday and have time to wear it out after. I also wanted eventual photographs of her walking in this butterfly waterfall, and none of mine have walked before age one.
Throughout my pregnancy, I battled gestational diabetes to keep weight gain under control and hoped against hope for a smaller baby. The one before, my Ladybug, emerged at a family record of 10 pounds 3 ounces.
Ladybug never wore newborn-sized clothing, and I remember trying to squeeze her into this just once for pictures. Just once, please. I had once called my oldest daughter Little Lady. Could her first sister carry the same title?
Mission aborted. Ladybug wore something else. She still looked beautiful, and she’s still my Little Lady.
Oh, please, Baby Butterfly. Be small enough to wear a newborn outfit! When God grants such insignificant wishes the we don’t dare even ask for, we might call that common grace.
Baby Butterfly was born at 7 pounds 12 ounces. Average with a smaller than average head. Average fits into newborn clothing. *Happy Dance!*
As the influence of gestational diabetes left her little system, she quickly dropped from average weight to petite despite an excellent appetite.
Petite. That butterfly waterfall? It might actually fit her for her second birthday. So last week I bought her something in size nine months. So she can wear it new on her birthday and then wear it out in the months following.
For breakfast today she’ll enjoy scrambled eggs. Because she loves them and because of protein. She may always be petite like her Nana, Aunt Cindy, and many others, but she must be strong like them too.
As far as physical milestones go, she’s a bit behind where my other children were at this age. She is just starting to explore the idea of walking. Crawling gets her around just fine, thank you, and if she needs height, pulling up works for that.
She is quite communicative. Babbles plenty – mama, dada, baba, nana – , and uses yes (ess!) and no (ohh!) purposefully with head motions. She has been arguing playfully with me for months. She has said three of her siblings names quite clearly, and she copies the patterns of phrases in a sing-song way, but an ear unfamiliar with her would only hear nonsense full of L and short a sounds. We’re also working on the signs for more, all done, eat, drink, milk, please, and thank you. And don’t forget our family’s home-made sign for, “You’re making me crazy!”
Here. Let me teach you how to do it. Hold both of your hands up next to either side of your head with your palms facing toward you. Then start smacking your head on both sides near the top above your ears while making a silly face. This is best done with a child who likes to giggle at silly grown ups.
There. Wasn’t that fun?
I, of course, believe my Butterfly’s a genius, but that’s the way we make them around these here parts.
Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
Butterfly meets her first birthday with four teeth, but not the typical two bottom middle and two top middle that most babies start with like her oldest brother had at his first birthday. Butterfly’s smile looks more like this:
Her oldest sister is missing a front tooth too. They mirror image each other. Before Butterfly’s third tooth was little more than a wish, she started grinding her teeth. I blame my husband for that. It’s a sound worse that nails on a chalkboard ever dreamed of being.
She loves Eskimo kisses and might bust your nose trying to give you one. She squeals with delight at having raspberries blown on her belly. For a long time she laughed at me when I told her no, but now she opens her mouth wide showing all her teeth and gives this pitiful little cry that’s almost too cute for me to remain stern, and I’ve had practice with her siblings before her. She cheeses for the camera and wiggles ferociously through every diaper change. Independent but a cuddle-bug. A giggle-box but quietly watching, learning, and growing. Petite but strong.
Happy birthday, Baby Butterfly.
In the waters ahead, there be adventures.