It’s Ayo’s very first birthday today and all sorts of thoughts are running through my mind. My first year of mamahood was mundane and humbling. At the same time, it was amazing and rewarding. I learned so much about myself, my husband, my son and our family’s values. And the first year is over just like that – over in a flash! We had already celebrated Ayo’s first birthday on Saturday but it turned into a four day celebration. Last night, I looked through Ayo’s birth photos and actually found a good dozen absolutely stunning photos I never knew we had. In the newborn blur, someone had thought it was a good idea to give the photo monger (me) just the 30 or so photo selects! In fact, I even found three videos that were taken by my sis-in-law directly following Ayo’s birth. The shock, the marvel, the joy are all on camera and I had no idea! The videos and the pictures were all hidden away on TM’s computer and it was like Christmas to discover them one year later. Sadly, TM declared they were all way too special to “prostitute onto Facebook” (his words, not mine) and I reluctantly agreed. I am sneaking in this one here, taken less than a minute after Ayo’s birth.
To celebrate that mind-altering day, which took place one year ago, we both put on a ‘happy birthday’ hats this morning and ran into his room like party clowns, singing Joyeux Anniversaire. Following the birthday milk party, our birthday breakfast got off to a rougher start when he burnt his hand on the candle placed on a sweet potato waffle. This was forgotten as fast as he could scarf down two sweet potato waffles (his uncle’s present to him), a spinach omelet and vanilla goat milk yogurt. (Mr Piggy pictured on the right) We opened his thoughtful gifts and darling cards from around the world and decided to reorganize our toys a bit.
The one year marker seems like as good a time as any to store away the infant toys and ration out the fun new ones little by little. I have seen remarkable developmental changes in our son within the past month or so – and with it, the once intriguing rattle, fuzzy book and teether are forcibly replaced with the simple puzzle, the pulling toy and ball ramp. If we had the space, I’d be tempted to reorganize our home a bit like this to make things a little more accessible and cruiser proof. Since we don’t quite have that much space, I have a few ideas I am working on to make Ayo’s own room a little more cruiser proof and appealing to him (I am sounding so Western, I know!). Along with the reorganizing, I am on a mission to educate myself about this hectic new stage of life. My latest after hours research topic is around this stage of development, DIY toys and of course education models. If you have any constructive thoughts on this or good links on any of these, let’s chat!
If we are talking about developmental milestones, I can’t omit the critical language piece. You saw the videos a couple posts below about theory of language acquisition. We’re finally starting to see Ayo understand English and French ourselves and it is incredible to experience. I am not posting this video to say how fantastic he or we are, but rather as an encouragement to all of us who carry out a monologue day after day – all the more so when the monologue is in the minority language. It is so rewarding to see Ayo understand simple commands. Here is our goober, just under a year old, dancing to the washing machine rinse cycle (just another day in our home) and drinking out of his sippy cup like a big boy (*snif*). I meant to just film the dance and then discovered he understands way more than I first thought. Never underestimate baby brains, mama!