Annika is almost 14 months old. I’m in awe of her. She’s like a sponge, soaking up everything and showing us every day that she’s comprehending more and more. We can recite a few lines from a book,and she’ll go into the other room, seek that book out, bring it back to us to read it to her, and plop herself in our lap expectantly. (And by read to her, I mean open the book so she can turn the pages.) After we found acceptable shoes, she loves to walk. And by walk I mean run, stumble, fall, pick herself up and run again. God, if only we as adults were so resilient.

Not to say it’s all roses. She’s a strong willed individual, and not particularly reticent to show her displeasure when things don’t go her way. She’s become more of a picky eater despite our best efforts. She’s not horribly picky, but if there is a Cheerio within sight, it’s all over. (I think we’re single handedly keeping Cheerios in business. For every one Cheerio she ingests, four hit the floor. That ratio is quadrupled when she’s in the car, though. I’m always vacuuming out her car seat.)

I’m asked sometimes by friends how we’re getting ready for the next one. I have to honestly answer that I’m so thoroughly caught up with Annika, it’s easy to forget sometimes that another one is impending. We did get another crib, but we haven’t decided on how to paint/decorate the room, or decided on names. We’re not finding out what the gender will be again – it doesn’t matter to us, and we’re not going to be doing anything different. Jyotnsa is doing better in most ways with this one – she doesn’t have the same food aversions and nauseousness that she had with Annika, but she’s bone-achingly tired at the end of the day and has had this pregnancy-induced rhinitis that makes her sleep even more painful than it already is. I wish I could so something to make her sleep better, but I can’t.

We’ve come through that gauntlet to where we have a baby that eats solid foods and sleeps through the night like a rock as long as she’s in her crib. (And she’s getting better sleeping in strange environments even.) I remember thinking in the months after Annika was born why we ever do this again. I was told by knowing, wiser parents that you soon forget the sleeplessness, the painful crying, the frustration. Well, they were all right- I barely remember it, and it’s hardly been a year. It must be Darwinian – if we didn’t forget, we wouldn’t have more than one child, and fertility rates wouldn’t hit the replacement ratio, and we wouldn’t exist as a species. I have an atrocious memory for some things (usually the important things, the trivia is what sticks) so when someone asks me “When did Annika stop taking a bottle?” I have to turn to J. with a blank look on my face.

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