Harlan at One Year

It’s Harlan’s Birthday! To celebrate, we’re having pie–pizza and pumpkin. After all, it’s pi day.

He’s a delightful baby, with a pretty big vocabulary. He says: Mama, Dada, Hi, Soooo big, Uh-oh, Kitty, More, and he might have said Gilbert, but we’re not sure. He mimics a lot (he can clear his throat if he hears someone else do it) and it’s big fun for him to do so. He looks surprised if he manages to change his environment (like turning the lights on and off–FUN!) and he loves to bang on pots, pans, and anything else.

Physically, he’s a climber, which is brand-new for Patrick and me. We’ve found him on various tables and chairs looking mighty pleased with himself, and we’re still not sure how he got up there. He can take six steps, but he prefers to crawl if he has to get somewhere fast. And by fast, he might need to get into an unguarded trashcan, bathroom, or brothers’ room. He’s still not great with a sippy cup, but he is practicing and making some progress. He loves to eat and will go to town on whatever’s being served at dinner.

He’s still called Harnin by Porter sometimes, and Puffy Buff by Gilbert and Seamus, and we call him Bubba or Buffers a lot. He answers best to Harlan, but he doesn’t like to answer to no. If one of the other children is being corrected and he thinks the correction is directed at him, he’ll sometimes cry. He also cries if one of the bigger boys steps on him, bumps his head, or otherwise inadvertently hurts him. This scenario plays out in slo-mo. The boy at fault does something, then worriedly tends to Harlan hoping he won’t cry and the culprit won’t get in trouble. Harlan takes a deep breath, then collapses on the floor, then opens wide and releases a wail of misery. If the offending brother would just run, nobody would ever know what got into Harlan.

All in all, though, he’s a very good-natured baby. He only reliably cries when I appear in the room after being at work. Then he acts as though he’s just remembered that I abandoned him all day and puts on a show. He did come to work with me last week and “helped” by putting a bunch of my books in the trash can…

He’s intensely interested in what the other kids are doing. If he can manage it, he’ll climb all over Seamus while he’s reading; he’ll get up in Gilbert’s latest art project to eat a marker or impale himself with the scissors; and he love, love, loves Porter’s train set and cars. He knows he’s up to something. He also loves attention from them, and lately, when he takes some steps and falls, he gets back up and claps for himself, looking around to make sure everyone else is clapping too! He still makes his funny face grin–which is kind of a sneer–and he always positions himself at the table when the older boys are having a snack.

We love our little Harlan. He’s the perfect baby for our family.

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