Baby, Parenting

A Letter to Scarlett – Your First Year

All through this past year, we’ve been comparing Scarlett to Brett and me. We’ve wanted to know all the tendencies we had as babies, we’ve wanted to see what characteristics of us she possesses. I don’t want to forget anything, I want to have it all written down. So, this is for her as she grows up. So I can clearly tell her what she was like during this first little bit.

Scarlett Virginia,

Oh, little love. You fierce, little love.

Your dad and I had no idea the adventure we were about to embark on when you were born. There’s no way we could have known. Our parents told us that we were both easy, happy babies. Sweetheart, I love you, but easy you were not. It took you and I both a little time to learn how to handle this new phase.

Scarlett, you were a fussy baby. You had colic, you were so stubborn when it came to feeding, and you couldn’t quite figure out sleeping for a while. What did this mean? Your dad and I got to spend countless hours holding you close. We got to snuggle with you while you slept. We spent so. many. nights awake trying to stop the tears, trying to get you calm enough to lull into sleep. We spent so many hours walking you through our house and on our porch, I’m surprised we didn’t make a path in the floor. While it was without a doubt the hardest months I’ve known, I wouldn’t trade the hundreds of hours spent holding you for anything. I wouldn’t trade the mornings I’d wake up to you nuzzled in your dad’s arms for anything.

It took a while to get smiles out of you, but that made them all the more special – they had to be earned. Your dad has always been the best at getting you to giggle, but you light up when you see me. You’ve always laughed and smiled at seeing your reflection – we smile at that, too. You are the most ticklish, and you most often smile when you just look over and see us looking at you.

You developed a pretty strong attachment to me early on. I tried leaving you for a trip right around the time you were 6 months old, and it was so difficult on you that you refused to eat! Needless to say, I drove the 6 hours home first thing the next morning. You’ve remained a mama’s girl through and through. I’m your favorite, and you’re mine, too. There is no better feeling than seeing your excitement when you see me, than seeing you walk over to hug my legs or neck. You start to squeal, in the cutest little way that you do every time you’re excited.

I’ve breastfed you for a year now. It wasn’t easy. You refused to feed for a solid chunk of time there. Your dad and I would have to try and trick you using a pacifier. Your dad actually had to come home from work to try and help once. We would try to lull you to being almost asleep, and sneak it in. One time (around 3.5 months old, I believe), you refused to feed for so many hours that you ended up having to go to the hospital because we were worried about dehydration. Everyone said you would eat when you got hungry enough; that just wasn’t the case for you. You then refused the bottle until you were around 6 months. The fact that we are still breastfeeding is amazing to me. I love that we’ve gotten to share this.

There have been a few baby toys you’ve liked, but since the beginning you’ll almost always pick a regular household item over a toy meant to be played with. You like to carry your favorite around with you. A stuffed golf club has been a long time favorite, as have a pair of yellow shoes. You did love your batmobile walker, and spent loads of time roaming around our house. You didn’t really start to like books until around 11 months. We read to you each and every night.

From the get-go, we thought part of your fussiness was simply because you just always wanted to be on the move! I’m pretty sure we were right, because crawling and walking both drastically impacted how happy you were. You started crawling at 7 months, and you walked for the first time on April 19th, at 11 months. By the time you hit one year, you now never crawl and pretty much only walk. You’re starting to not enjoy being held in favor of walking. Your dad and I have a love/hate relationship with that. You got your first two teeth right around 9-10 months, and your third just popped through last week.

To be honest, your two favorite things (besides Mama and Daddy) are Pippa and Lincoln. What greatly contributed to your crawling is your desire to chase Pippa! She isn’t exactly the most cuddly, but you sure do wish she was. You tend to be very gentle with animals. Someone you do cling to, though, is Lincoln. He’s your best friend and you love to spend time with him. He’s the sweetest with you, and loves to help you walk around by holding your hand. He’ll give you a hug and you’ll refuse to let go.

You’re the pickiest eater, and I’m so sorry you seem to have inherited that from me! You eye food like your mama eyes bugs, and you seal those little lips up and absolutely refuse to let anything past. You eat the same things every day simply because we just can’t get you to eat anything else yet. Again, you stubborn, stubborn girl. I cannot wait to see how your fierceness helps you as you grow up.

Now, at 12 months, you are no longer a difficult baby. You are so happy more often than not. You are so content playing with the countless items in our house. For the last three months, you spend time with your grandparents almost every single day and that is such a blessing!

You love being outdoors, you love your grandparents and family and you love your mama and daddy. Every single day, I can’t help but praise the Lord that we get to be the parents that love you. That we get to see your sweet, joyful spirit and nurture it and watch it grow.

I didn’t realize how much was missing from our lives before you. I didn’t realize just how sweet it would be. I didn’t know how hard it would be, but I also didn’t know how proud I could feel over every accomplishment you’ve made. Scarlett Virginia, you are more loved than you will ever know.

Your Mama

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