Norah Bean Casserole

My littlest person turned the big 1 this weekend so Glen and I are now the proud wranglers of two toddlers. It’s almost adorable how I thought everything was sticky a few months ago. Because now everything is really sticky, and “mine,” and lost forever. But I wouldn’t trade it for all of the non-sticky, non-mine, non-lost things in the world.

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Jack and Norah are close in age. Bordering on “medically improbable” close in age. Which at times is insane, but a lot of the time it’s not because Norah is just the coolest. Jack is too, but it’s her birthday so girl is going to get one thing to herself for the first time in 365 days.

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When I was pregnant with Norah I referred to her as “Chill Baby.” Also “Bonsai” but that’s kind of a long confusing story that involves Ronald Reagan and a monkey so we’ll leave that for another time. She kicked around in there sometimes but mostly she just chilled. Even if I was running full tilt to save her brother from traffic or eating my body weight in straight sugar she wasn’t fazed. At least seven ninths of the time I forgot I was pregnant.

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After she was born she managed to somehow be chiller. Maybe because as a second-time parent I wasn’t a nervous wreck this time and not projecting my nervous wreckedness onto her. There could be soccer balls whizzing by her head at the toddler version of a Metallica concert and she would sleep peacefully. She could be in an aggressive love headlock moments after waking up and smile with delight. I’ve seen her shed approximately 6 tears in her life. Which is downright impressive because I shed 6 tears this morning before 7:30am. At some point early on we started calling her Norah Bean Casserole for reasons still unknown to the whole family, but she took the dinner inspired nickname in stride.

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As she has grown she has maintained her chill but also developed some serious spunk. And disregard for her own personal safety. If she is mad that you took away the screwdriver she was playing with (Oh don’t tell me your kid never played with a screwdriver…) or her milk arrives 34 seconds later than desired you’ll hear about it, but I like to think that she is preparing for a life of speaking up for the little guy/girl in this world. The disregard for personal safety bit has me slightly more concerned because her stair climbing, banister swinging, full-body tackling seems to line up well with a career in the WWE. But I’m in career services professionally so we will have a long talk about transferable skills and finding your passion in ways that don’t involve glittery barely-there spandex.

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Maybe my favorite Norah story is from a recent trip to the grocery store. She’s pretty socially adaptable and known as “the fun girl” at daycare, which is awesome. But this trip she took it to the next level. Rocking some seriously adorable pigtails, Norah managed to interact with every single human at the store. She also talked to Tony the Tiger and a poster of a cow advertising milk. You could hear people two aisles over talking about “that super cute happy baby” so now I know what Kate feels like when she takes Princess Charlotte anywhere. And then in case she hadn’t reached ultimate levels of cutedom, the girl put her hands behind her head, leaned back in the cart and uttered an audible “Ahhhhh…” It was like all she needed to complete the trip was a virgin Pina Colada.

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So to my sweet, funny, smart little lady – Happy 1st Birthday. Your smile could launch a thousand ships, your spark will set the world afire, and your heart – well that my dear is pure gold. We can’t wait to see what adventures the next year holds. I love you.

 

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With love and some serious hair envy,

Mama

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