Happy Birthday, Little Girl!

Dear Susannah,

You are one year old! And since I’m your mama, I get to use all those tired cliches about how fast the months have flown by, how big you suddenly seem, how it was just yesterday that you were a squishy newborn in my arms. Because it’s true!
Everyone still exclaims when I pull you out of the sling: “She’s so tall!” but according to our doctor, your 29″ puts you smack-dab in the average height category. Don’t worry, odds are good that you won’t be as shrimpy as me. You only gained a pound since our last checkup, so you’re 18 lbs, 1 oz. and your “percentile curve” is dropping like a rock. Dr. Bishop reassured us that most babies drop off when they get more mobile, but we weren’t really worried to begin with – you seem to be built like your brother was as a baby: long and lean.
Speaking of mobility, I have a question for you. Do you plan to walk? Really? Any time soon? 🙂 I firmly believe that you COULD just walk around if you wanted to, but you’ve got this little stubborn streak. (Gee, where did that come from?) So when we stand you up and ask you to walk, you just refuse. Plus, it’s quicker to crawl! And look at all the attention you get for 5 or 6 steps in a row – why ruin a good thing by making walking the new status quo? You’re a smart cookie, my girl, I’ll grant you that.
You’re a chatterbox, too. You sign “all done” and say “Ah dah!” with it; you sign “milk” and ask for “na-na’s” (often while reaching down my shirt, much to my chagrin in line at the post office… ahem….). You say “Mama,” “Dada,” and “Bible” – which sometimes actually means Bible (and if someone happens to start singing the Bible song, even better!) and sometimes seems to mean ‘brother’ (apparently because he’s the one who sings the Bible song for you most of the time).
You point to your nose, my nose, and Pinky Bear’s nose in the crib before you fall asleep. You lift your arms high when we say “Susannah is SO BIG!” You play peekaboo, you try to talk on telephones – and calculators and remote controls. When you grab one of Jonas’ dinosaurs, you roar.
It cracks me up to watch you scurry around the playroom. Fearless! Who would have guessed that my second-born, a girl, would be my climber? You clamber onto the couch, then fall off and bonk your head. A few seconds of nursing and chattering sadly about it… and then you scoot away from me to climb back up. In the kitchen, you push the kid chairs around the room, climb up on top of the seat, lean backward and slam onto the wood floor. Does that stop you? No, ma’am. (I’m waiting for you to figure out how to push those chairs around and use them as steps to reach the next level of climbing surfaces… so far you haven’t tried it, but I’m certain it’s only a matter of time.)

Before you were born, we heard about “Daddy’s girls.” These babies who adore their daddies, who prefer them to mommies, who twist these big ol’ men around their teeny little pink fingers. But I didn’t really get it. Your brother –while he LOVED Daddy, certainly — was pretty much oblivious to his comings and goings for a good eighteen months or so. When Daddy was home, they were buddies; but when Daddy was gone, that was fine too. And then you came along and taught us something. That “Daddy’s little girl” thing? Totally true. I’m really happy that you said my name first, because it sorta makes up for the fact that you already have a favorite – and it’s not me. You wake up and ask for “Dada, dada, dada!?” I have to show you the empty bed to convince you he’s at work. When you see the phone, you lunge for it, pushing random buttons and hollering, “DADA!” (So, of course, I call him on speakerphone for you. Please don’t become a spoiled brat because of this.) When he gets home, you light up with a smile that puts the sun to shame. It’s adorable, and beautiful, and I’m really having a lot of fun watching you two.

I have to confess something to you, though, Susannah. I hope you won’t grow up resenting me for what I’m about to share. In my head, I call it “C2C” — the Curse of the 2nd Child. Here goes: you didn’t get a birthday party. In fact, Daddy was on-call on your birthday, so you got a quick snapshot and a rushed song and that was IT. A week later, we celebrated… with a cake, but only Mommy, Daddy, and Jonas to witness the smashing-and-tasting moment. No balloons, no friends, no presents to open. We did take you to get your ears pierced (“Happy birthday, have some pain!”), and you look absolutely beautiful with your little gold earrings in. I promise that when you’re old enough to express yourself, we will have real parties with themes and friends and presents and all the hoopla.
It’s been a wonderful year, my sweet girl. I’m so glad that God added you to our family. We all love you so much.
Happy birthday,
Love always,
Mama

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Meet the author

MICHELLE NEBEL

I write uplifting women’s fiction woven with threads of faith, grace, and Southern hospitality. My blog is where I share a glimpse of my life, and I hope you’ll find the thoughts here encouraging!

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1 thought on “Happy Birthday, Little Girl!”

  1. Happy Birthday to long awaited girl!! Mommy, may I be the first to send her some earrings for her collection of bling? What kind of metal do you prefer once she can have them changed?

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