Your First Year
An open letter to my one year old daughter.
I’m happy to report that we’ve managed to get to safely through your first year. Apart from that time I overfed you until you decorated my back with vomit (I had no idea you just wanted to suck on something, this was before you got used to your pacifier), that time you almost chocked on a teeny-tiny bottle cap (your mother saved you) and the occasional bump to the head (it’s easier to fall over than to stand up straight when you’re a toddler), I don’t think you’ve suffered any major physical damage during your first year alive.
We might, of course, have caused irreversible psychological damage, though. Only time - and perhaps a professional physiologist - will be able to tell if that is the case. But in all honesty, I think your mother and I have done a pretty decent job of making sure you started your second year as a satisfied little girl. At least that’s the way you come across - unless there’s something you don’t manage to do on the first or the second try. The third time is not the charm for you. If you get to the third try, your short temper quickly becomes apparent. I’d like to say that your short temper is a trait you’ve got from your mother, but your grandparents have informed me I was exactly the same way when I was your age.
To keep this open letter at a reasonable length, here’s a few short bullet points about your first year:
- You’ve been pretty easy to handle, at least compared to many other stories we’ve heard about kids giving their parents countless sleepless night. We’ve had some too, of course, but since I can’t really remember that it was particularly bad, it probably wasn’t. Or it was so bad I can’t remember anything.
- To your mother’s great annoyance, affection wasn’t really your thing. A Vilde-hug was mostly a violent slap to the face, and whenever we wanted to hold and hug you, you tried your hardest to get away.
- Not only were your occasional hugs rather savage, you also enjoyed throwing your toys - or any object you could get your hands on - around you. I think the reason for your hazardous ways of playing was that you tried to get everything to roll on the floor. I’m very happy we didn’t have any downstairs neighbors.
- You quickly came up with your own word for food and water: “Nongenong.” Whenever that was said, the clever thing to do was to feed you as quickly as possible or all hell would break loose. Food was also a great energy booster, it was easy to see that you’d just had a meal.
- Routines and regulations were stuff you loved. And we loved that you did. As long as you got your food and sleep at regular hours, everything was mostly A-OK.
- You didn’t start to crawl around very early compared to other kids your age. Exactly when you did, I don’t know - your mother does, she knows when you started doing everything you know. Instead of crawling, you dragged yourself forward, which was very convenient for us because it was terribly slow, but sometimes very frustrating for you for the same reason.
- My laptop - the very laptop I’m using to write this right now - was one of the most interesting things you could play with. Not only did it have a keyboard you could bang your fists on, it also had a lid you could open a close and a touch screen. Magical things happened when you used it. Mobile phones and television (at least when there was a commercial on) were also things you found very, very fascinating.
- You got car sick. This was a bit of a challenge since we lived in a place where it was necessary to use a car whenever we wanted to leave and the only road out of Nesodden was a winding road that made you hurl pretty much every time unless you were sleeping. Once again, your genes are what got you. Your mother gets a bit carsick herself and your father can’t even read a funfair welcome sign without throwing up. Did they build that bridge yet, by the way?
I’m not sure how old you are when you’re reading this, or if you ever will. I hope you do, though. I can only speculate, but since this is written in your father’s secondary-language English and English isn’t your primary language either1, I’m guessing you’re around 12 or 13 years old. This site might not exist, the internet as we know it today might not even be a thing anymore. But if it is, you’re probably using some kind of social networking site where you connect with your friends, share photos (or holograms) and chat. When I write this, social networking sites are really hot and Facebook is the ultimate hotness. A topic that is discussed much is what kind of pictures parents should share of their children. The main issue is that the kids can’t consent to the grown ups publishing their pictures and therefore we perhaps shouldn’t publish anything - the kids might not want their intimidating baby pictures to exist online when they get older.
Both your mother and I have posted a few baby pictures of you online, though, but they are all innocent and cute. To save you a lot of time looking for the worst picture baby picture of you on the internet; here’s the least adorable you’ve ever looked in a picture. I’m sorry:
I’m not only sorry for the fact that I took the picture and that I post it here, I’m also sorry for the fact that it seems you’ve inherited your photogeneity from me, and not from your mother. That sucks, but I hope you’ve found a way to live with it.
Lots of love, your proud father
Perhaps it’s Russian or Chinese. ↩︎
vegard at vegard dot net with your input. You can also use any of the other points of contact listed on the About page.
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