My least favorite things about one-year-old babies, or more specifically, in case you think I’m slagging on YOUR one-year-old baby, who I’m sure is faultless in every way, MY one-year-old baby:

• They walk, yet they are babies. This is a horrifying combination and should be forbidden by nature. I feel it is a massive Darwinian fail to design babies to be able to heave themselves up on wobbly legs and stagger around like PEOPLE, when they are clearly INFANTS, as evidenced by their total lack of knees/knuckles and their propensity for ferreting out every single choking hazard in the entire house and cramming it in their cry-holes.

• Speaking of, they put everything in their mouths. Here is a partial list of what I have fished out of Dylan’s mouth in the last 24 hours: a Curious George sticker, a Band-Aid, a small rock, fifty thousand pieces of paper, a pen cap, his brother’s shoe, a chunk of what I fervently hope was dried mud, and one mysteriously non-Duplo-sized LEGO that must have manifested itself out of another dimension because I swear to GOD I already got rid of the too-small bricks what the FUCK. This is the same baby, mind you, who gags on RICE CRACKERS and mostly turns his nose up over chunky foods, probably because I didn’t WIPE THEM ON THE FLOOR FIRST.

• Oh, and the gag reflex? COME ON. I am so reluctantly experienced at dealing with a Surprise Cough-Barf I have an entire honed, efficient Tactical Action Plan involving paper towels and Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Spray and baking soda and simultaneous bath-preparation and laundry-starting activities and frankly, this is not one of those life skills I want to be good at. Dear child: yes, post-nasal drip is gross, but re-enacting the pea soup scene from the Exorcist is infinitely more disgusting for all involved parties.

• It’s been a full year — over a year, at this point — and he’s still waking up more than once per night. I guess I’m mostly resigned, because I don’t seem to be willing to take any steps to make the situation better (lie there wide awake and vibrating with anxiety while he cries, or get up and deal with him then go back to sleep? I go with Door Number 2, every single time) , but I never imagined he wouldn’t be sleeping through the night after twelve long months. And no, I do NOT want to hear about your child who is ten now and still wakes up every half hour, are you trying to KILL me?

• They are emotionally unstable. Whine, whine, whine. I can’t reach that ball, someone took the pen cap out of my mouth, I don’t like these shoes, this diaper change is filling me with rage, I’m riddled with invisible demons and I don’t know what the hell my problem is so I guess I’ll just scream for about a goddamned hour straight. God, it’s like their brains are still forming, or something. Like they have limited communication skills and get easily frustrated and are constantly bonking their heads on things. SO IMMATURE OMG.

And, okay, fine, some of my favorite things:

• They dance. There is nothing, NOTHING like seeing a 12-month-old bopping along with Eninem’s “Crack a Bottle”. Uh-oh uh-oh, bitches hoppin’ in my Tahoe.

• They love to laugh. Like when you get down on your hands and knees and pretend to be a bear and crawl after your baby going RRWAAR!, and their eyebrows shoot up and they go shriiiiiiiiiiek with pure insane joy before they laugh so hard they fall over and hit their head on the entertainment center? That’s pretty rad.

• They talk all the time, about GOD KNOWS WHAT. “Ba blah da doe blmphz da DER DER pah gee DOH,” they say, and you go, I know, right?

• They are in the perfect sweet spot between actively choosing to be cuddled (vs the passive human-represents-food pleasure of the newborn) and figuring out that almost any other activity is more fun than snuggling with Mom. They run full-tilt into your arms. They press their cheek against yours. They sit back to drink you in, then lean forward to sigh happily against your chest.

• Their butts are ridiculous. I defy you to gaze upon a 12-month-old’s naked bottom and not feel certain the world is in fact filled with unicorns and rainbows.


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