Happy One Year Birthday, Zainy Zoo! Three hundred and sixty-five days ago, you made your grand entrance onto the world's stage. Back then, you were just a tight ball full of baby fat, milk, and warmth, but not much else. Oh wait. The poop. Can't forget the poop. My God, the poop. I mean, honestly, how can such a tiny baby contain so much poop? Um. Where was I? Oh yeah, your growth and personality development since then have been staggering. You can talk, mostly about daddy (a.k.a. Daiwoo), your nanny (a.k.a. Tia), and doggies and kitties (a.k.a. Aiiiiii! Daiiiii! Kaiiii!). You can recognize the opening music to the Colbert Report and seemingly enjoy the jokes that we laugh at while watching it before bedtime. You love bedtime reading, even though some nights you are more interested in turning the pages yourself than you are hearing how the story ends. Luckily, I already know what happens in Goodnight Gorilla, so I don't mind you skipping pages, flipping the book upside down for a good gnawing, and then jumping to the end.
The playground is once again yours now that summer has arrived. You are equally enamored of sliding and swinging as you are watching other children do the same. Ever the gracious host, you proudly display your toys to all guests and then allow them to share them with you and play nicely. The only caveat to that last statement is if anyone dares to build a structure equal to or more than two blocks high, you are compelled to race over and destroy it, all Gojira-like.
For my very first Mother's Day, you gave me exactly what I asked for: you slept through the entire night. Next time, I'll know to ask for more! Your teeth are coming in quite nicely and I hope that the nightly brushing routine (sung to the "brusha brusha brusha, brush your little teeth" tune) stays with you. Still a gigantic fan of Cheerios, you have finally expanded your culinary repertoire to include falafel, latkes, and toasted rosemary sourdough bread. Although you have your moments of grumpiness, peevishness, and outright fury (especially when you spy your pacifier on the couch and can't reach it), for the most part, you are a happy, funny baby. You know that your father gets a kick out of you blowing raspberries and saturating anyone within a two-foot radius and so, when you remember, you begin your show with gusto just to get him to laugh. Woe is me for being in the path of your slobber. Still too macho to give me a proper smooch, your recent attempts which involve more teeth than lips, are still savored. You like to be scared, you like to be tickled, and you like to hang upside down like the monkey on one of your shirts.
You have changed our lives and made them fuller and richer. You are a joy to your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends. You are healthy, clever, and have excellent taste in parents. We love you to pieces, even when, and sometimes especially when, you are a beast. Happy Birthday, me wee one! Now get over here and give us all a hug!