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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victoria
victoria
13 years ago

What I’m about to say may make me sound evil, or maybe it will just make me sound like the clueless child-free woman that I am, but . . . have you ever thought about (1) turning off the baby monitor and (2) using earplugs? So he can CIO without causing you to lose your mind?

I know this proposition sounds irredeemably selfish, but think of it this way: your kids need you to be at your best. Your well-rested, non-irritable, patient, kind, loving best. When you make sure you get the fundamental necessitities of life (rest, exercise, adult companionship, some private time), you’re a better mom. So the earplugs & turned-off baby monitor are really for them, too.

And my suggestion is that you do this for only a week. I suppose there’s a risk that Dylan could find a way to injure himself/develop a fever on one of those seven unsupervised nights, but if you try to do a risk/benefit analysis, the upside might be worth the very tiny, remote potential of a downside.

Stacy Quarty
13 years ago

I love their ridiculous butts too!

Kerilyn
Kerilyn
13 years ago

I’m with Linda. Moms have this way of hearing everything even when they don’t want/need to. I keep my monitor off and I still wake up to him whining. My husband is amazed.

Must Be Motherhood
13 years ago

No, YOU are the best for capturing all of this so expertly. Loving it!!

victoria
victoria
13 years ago

On another topic? From your Twitter account? Who said it was unmotherly to care about your body? It sounds like a piece of dialog from Big Love.

Sarah @ BecomingSarah.com

I love this list! It’s really funny, but also very sweet =)

spacegeek
spacegeek
13 years ago

OMG yes yes!!! From the whining to the cough/gag/barf thing–you have it PEGGED woman!!! And what do they really have to say?? Apparently more than we will ever know! I have twin 2.5 year old daughters and oh the agony!! And yet, the joy! Those tushies, oh how I love those tushies. The full tilt run-hug thing–it is so wonderful.

Wanted also to mention that terrible monitor. My husband keeps the #(*&@#% thing on and I end up turning it off. Yes, I *can* hear them through two sets of closed doors and a hallway. No, I don’t need to hear every single snore. I used to be a good sleeper… now, any little snort wakes me up. Let’s not start in on the dog tag jingles either!

Magpie
13 years ago

BTW, be sure not to hose off the baby with the Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning spray because ZOMG HE COULD SPROUT BOOBS.

This is the tidbit currently occupying the one neuron of my childfree brain reserved for information about babies. You’re welcome.

amber
13 years ago

I stopped by my sister’s house to visit when my niece was about six months old, and Tayla was fishing CAT POOP out of her mouth. They were in the laundry room where the litter box lives and Lara got a mouthful and then of course she saw me and lifted her arms and squealed (revealing decicedly brown teeth) and wanted to kiss and snuggle and I’m ashamed to admit this but I said, NO. For the love of god, NO.

Sonia
13 years ago

Oh I so feel your pain about the puke. One of my son’s nicknames is BarfMaster 2000. If catching projectile vomit in my cupped hands was an Olympic sport, I would be a three time gold medal champion. WORD.

Carly
13 years ago

You, woman, make me laugh almost every day.

Shangrila
13 years ago

How can you make me laugh until I almost wet myself and still make me want another baby just so that I can experience the madness and sweetness all over again?! *sigh*

Porter
13 years ago

I am not sure why now, but I feel compelled to de-lurk after what must be one of the longest lurkings in blogging history. I have been reading your stuff consistently since, um, 2002, back when you were on Diaryland and had that template with the bright red lips. Yours was the first blog I ever read, back when I was waaay too young to be reading the blog of any married woman. Your writing has gotten better and better, and it’s been fun to follow as you’ve expanded your family. Thank you from a fan! Okay, I’ll just let you take that in, then…

Red
Red
13 years ago

Oh. My. God. Dylan and my son are the SAME PERSON. Clones maybe? You and I must have been impregnated by the same alien sadist. The night wakings. The cough barf. The diaper rage. Totally been there.
Bad news: mine is 18mo and STILL DOING THIS. We got the bad parent smackdown at the Peds office the other day and have been ordered to eliminate the night feed asap and get tough on the food variety (he eats what amounts to 6 things and about 30-40oz of milk!). She suggested quitting everything cold turkey in one weekend. I didn’t say but thought “over my dead body” and I think we’ll just try slowly reducing the amount in the night bottle over the period of two weeks and see where it gets us on that front. As for foods, well, my little dude is about to get very hungry. He may be stubborn, but I am stubborner, damn it.

And yes, baby butt wiggle dances are the best! The happies are what keep me going.

Becky
13 years ago

I had one of those non-sleeping-baby types, too. I remember when he was about 1 year old, and everyone else I knew with young children said their babies slept through the night at around 6 weeks and I thought I was going to be still getting up a couple of times a night with mine when he was in high school.

But then I read somewhere – where, I don’t remember – that there are a couple of “sweet spots” where babies are a lot more likely to start sleeping through the night. One of those ages was 15 months old. And you know what – mine started sleeping through the night at almost 15 months old exactly! You’re not too far away from that, so maybe Dylan will “sleeping like a baby” soon, too.

Shutter Bitch
13 years ago

See, you have in the past bemoaned not having a second floor to which you can escape should there be a zombie infestation. And yet, you are lucky in that a 12 month old (or 13 month old, in my case) will DEFY YOU to stop them climbing the stairs, which will result in both your heart and your eyes exploding in fear and you’ll blindly grapple at them in an effort to rescue them from the impending doom, and they tempt fate by CRAWLING UPWARD FASTER like it’s a goddamned game! It’s the Tag Where You Fall Backwards and Sustain Brain Damage game! Like Dodgeball with wrenches.

And Graco, Safety 1st, Evenflo, Playtex, Random Baby Gear Maker? I ask you: is it possible to make a baby gate that will stop the child’s progress up said stairs that does not 1.) screw into the wall, leaving a gaping hole and requiring actual man-tools to install, and then the baby decides to eat the resulting drywall dust and 2.) will take into account that there are things called stair rails and bannisters that may in fact not be a perfectly flat surface against which to affix said gate? We found ONE model that has netting as the deterrant part, that attaches to rods at top and bottom which are much like shower curtain rods and can be adjusted in length accordingly, depending on the width of the door/stairwell it blocks, regardless of if those widths differ along different heights up the wall/bannister. And the thing was eleventy one million bucks, and it broke when our dog crashed through it.

The best thing? In the early morning, when she’s having a bottle and she’s drank enough to stop glugging long enough to sit up and scooch her tiny dimpled diaper covered butt close to me and voluntarily lay in my lap and gaze up at me, fluttering her fingers against my shirt like the world’s most content butterfly. Then she realizes her brother is sleeping peacefully next to us and she lets out a warcry and launches at him, only to snuggle with him, too. He wakes up every morning when his sister snuggles him awake. And then I die from sheer happiness.

Jenn
13 years ago

I think I like you the most when you use Gob Bluth every chance you get. Love it.

michelle
michelle
13 years ago

Linda I am right there with you! Still getting up twice a night with my ten month old daughter. Hubby is in the Air Force and went through anti terrorist/prisoner of war training years ago. Guess what they played insanely loud over the loudspeakers while they were in their mock cells in order to get them to talk. Whining screaming babies, on an endless loop. They said it is the only thing they found next to headbanger music that will get people to talk after they haven’t had sleep in 24hrs. So don’t feel bad.

Christina
Christina
13 years ago

Two of my favorite shoes when my son was Dylan’s age:

Pedipeds
Robeez Treadz

sylvia
13 years ago

OMG,
I don’t have kids but I read your blog every day because you make me laugh so hard I start to cry.
Never stop writing, I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

Valerie
Valerie
13 years ago

Oh my gosh you are too funny!!! I just found your blog and Im definitely subscribing!!! I read half of this page to my husband, who laughed too!!! Our kids are 5 and 8, so we’ve been there, done that… And are trying not to throw them out the window almost everyday!!!

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

I absolutely love this post. Normally I’m just a quiet stalker :) but this post was so cute and funny I had to say something. My son is now 8 and I miss all the funny stuff he did when he was that little.

rachel
13 years ago

it’s like you’re in my head!!! ;)

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