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One Full Year

Birthday party, complete with friends and family.

Theron's first birthday party (which actually took place a couple of weeks before his actual birthday, which is today) was a splendid success. My wife did most of the planning, and my parents hosted (mainly because they have a swimming pool). Since it happened on Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend, almost everyone we invited was able to attend. The event featured cupcakes, rice crispy treats, pizza, beer, plenty of presents, and a very happy Podling. Even the family turtle (who's been living in the back yard for twenty years now) put in an appearance.

I was a little surprised by how long it had been since we'd seen some of our friends. Having a child has definitely truncated our social life, but I feel like we try to keep in touch... so discovering that I hadn't seen one of my oldest friends in months was a bit of a shock. (He lives here in town, so it isn't like we couldn't just meet somewhere...) So, for anyone who missed all the early chapters of this journal, let me reiterate: if you have a baby, the baby will eat your life.

Actually, that's only sort of half-true. The baby will also become your life. (I firmly believe that this is why most parents constantly, compulsively discuss their children. They aren't being egotistical or self-centered, it's just that your children quickly become the center of your life. All the new developments in your daily life are directly related to the kids, and generally you don't have a lot of extra time to get non-children-y things done. So, really, what else is there to talk about? I've tried to channel that tendency into this journal, partly to have a record of the experience but mostly in order to avoid boring the [expletive deleted] out of whomever I'm talking to.) And, much as I'd hoped, the older Theron gets, the more fun he is to have around. So, in the long run, it really is worth it.

My son develops a drinking problem
Theron has been able to drink out of a bottle or a sippy cup on his own for some time now, but recently he's started trying to drink out of regular cups. It works, sort of: water does go into his mouth, and he swallows it.

Water also goes all down the front of his shirt, all over his chair, and onto the floor. (So far, he's managed to miss the cats.) This is much funnier to watch than it is to describe, especially since once he's finished taking a (clumsy, messy) drink, he looks so proud of himself. He grins, and claps, and looks very excited. He wants us to be excited, too.

The fact that I find this adorable should tell you just how far I've fallen. I'm a rational, cynical guy. I like being skeptical, and I think that doubt, ambivalence, and uncertainty are all critical parts of intellectual honesty. And somewhere deep down, I know that all that's really happening is that the toddler is making another mess that one of us is going to have to clean up.

And yet, I'm charmed. I laugh, I clap, I hand the boy a fresh glass of water.

It's pathetic, really.

So where do we go from here?
My wife and I have successfully kept the baby alive for a full year now. During this time, he has progressed from a sort of flesh-colored lump to a walking, interactive, inquisitive little boy. I'm not sure how much credit we deserve for that. I mean, we kept him fed, but he seems to have done most of this stuff on his own. It's not like we were training him to walk, or drink water - or put green beans in his water glass, for that matter.

We do intend to have a second child, though probably not soon. It would be nice to get this one weaned first. Meanwhile, I'll probably keep writing these - as much as time and inspiration allow, anyway.

Come to that, I'll probably keep it up even when we do have a second child. It seems to have become a way for friends and family to keep up with what we're doing. Since we seem to keep dropping out of touch in other ways, it might be a good idea to keep this one going.

And now, more baby pictures (click to see them at full size):

A Lion Tamer theme.   Me, carrying Theron out to the porch.   Baby's first cupcake.

Fresh from the pool...


Podling meets the family turtle.


"Te he!"