Friday, January 08, 2010

The Big One

Lucy, first of all I'd like to apologize for taking entirely awful photos of you all year. When I could drag myself out of my sleep deprivation and point a camera your way I mean. I think I have four good photos of you in total, and maybe two of them are in focus.

For the first six months of your life you had comically sleepy eyes, causing your Dad to name you 'Popeye' and your sister to parrot 'Pot Pie'. I was worried about your eyelids. You constantly looked like you'd had a really rough night the night before, and to be honest, you often had. Even so, some days I thought you'd have to go through life with your neck at a 45ยบ angle just to be able to see straight. My Mum told me to stop being overly critical. The doctor said 'as long as the lid doesn't cover her pupils she will be fine'. Big sigh of relief. Then he said 'but, while we're on the subject, have you noticed that her pupils aren't centered in her irises'. To which I said ' -- '.

Turns out he was right:

Perhaps I shouldn't have had quite so much wine right before I found out I was pregnant.

Anyway, you're fine. Weird, but fine. Apparently it's purely a muscular issue, the muscles on one side of your eye are stronger than the other, causing them to be off balance. It's now corrected, and your eyelids aren't half as droopy, but for a while there I was fully expecting you to have x-ray vision or an uncanny ability to view those 3-d puzzles instantly. Something.

Lucy, to me you are so staggeringly beautiful. When Anna was an infant, people would literally race across a shop floor to congratulate me on the beauty of my spawn, with her perfect angelic blonde head and too-cute-to-be true Gerber tuft. They never did that with you and I can't understand it. Maybe it's because I had the 'don't come near me or I'll stab you' expression of a sleep-deprived mother, or maybe it's because they were thinking 'fuck me that babies eyes are messed up'. Whatever is was, they were wrong, because you are stunning.

I feel that too often you get short shrift as a second child; hand-me-down clothes, hand-me-down toys, hand-me-down been-there-done-that parents, but I think it's worked to your advantage. You are brimming with confidence, with a zest for life that only someone with 4-D vision can have. I told my friend S. that your latest trick is to squeal with delight at the slightest thing, baths in particular have you sending the neighbourhood dogs in to fits with your screeching. You love life. S. suggested that we should take lessons from you and find more joy in the ordinary. Have you seen Avatar? SQUEAL!!! That's the best bite of sandwich I've had today! SCREECH!


Today you turn one, or Juan, as LK likes to say. A whole year of Lucydom. This evening we are having one of those ridiculous one-year-old birthday parties. The kind where you will blink your unremembering eyes at the hoopla around you and then smash your fists in to your slice of birthday cake and paste it into your hair.

I decided months ago that a party would be ridiculous. I was going to take a picture of you under a sign reading 'I was born in a recession year'. Dress you up in a sack cloth and give you a copy of Grapes of Wrath to chew on. Then the guilt started to creep in. There would be no festive 1st year photo, no paper hats or streamers. That was four days ago and I now have nearly twenty people arriving in an hour for appetizers, champagne and birthday cake. *Yikes*. It seems the lure of a 1st birthday party is too strong. Either that or there's nothing good on TV tonight.

Anyhoo, back to the main event - what can I say about my smallest daughter now that you're officially 1? Well, you're an all-business chick for a start. You know what you want in life and you go for it, unfazed. You love baths, running, climbing. You took your first steps on the day you turned 10 months old. You weren't bowled over by the idea, so you carried on crawling at top speed. Then a few days before you turned 11 months, you walked from the coffee table in the lounge, into the kitchen, across the entire length of the kitchen, to the foot of the stairs, where you proceeded to climb then. It was like having a mute child suddenly reciting Shakespeare. You have not looked back.

You love books, dolls, soft toys and toilets. You don't like to be held. You don't like cuddles. You want to be down, off, there not here. Dammit. You pinch, and then laugh. You bite when you're tired. You don't sound very nice do you? Except that you're absolutely irresistible. Beautiful, passionate, headstrong and fearless.

It's going to be a wild ride.


Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Happy 1st Birthday, Miss Lucy! She is such a beautiful little girl and I can just hear in your words how amazingly delightful she is.

seadragon said...

Aw, this was lovely. Hope the birthday party went well.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, gorgeous girl. I'm always late with birthday greetings for the K's, but they are extra enthusiastic greetings as a result. Can't wait to see you again soon. Keep Squealing!! S and G xx

queersome said...

What a beautiful post, Ali!

And of course: Happy Birthday, Lucy!!! I think your eyes are awesome :)

Ruth said...

Happy birthday, big girl!! You sound wonderful ... every generation needs strong-willed women.

aibee said...

What a wonderful entry.

Happy First Birthday, Lucy!


Jane said...

Congratulations Ali! A one year old is a beautiful thing. Where has the time gone? Your girls are beautiful, treasure them.
Happy birthday, Lucy!

Ali said...

Happy 1st Birthday Lucy! She is just divine, Ali.

Muddling Along Mummy said...

Congratulations ! What a great year and happy birthday to a beautiful little girl !

Hope you enjoy the celebrations

mmennen said...

Yay - go Lucy! Just reading this one now, very nice post - and her Bette Davis eyes are gorgeous! Hats off to the parents too for surviving the first year of having 2 little ones! I just love it how your girls are so different in many ways .. including those yet to be seen. Makes me very curious to see how baby #3 would turn out?
; )

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