A whole year of this boy. He turned one on the last day of summer, and we celebrated by rescuing Sam, who got stuck in a parking lot at work when his car wouldn't start. We went and bought some jumper cables, got the car going, and decided to go out to dinner, since it was Sam's day for class, which means he would have missed Oliver's birthday entirely if the car hadn't broken. So silver lining there, I guess. We ate Chinese food and Oliver made friends with every waitress there (and made a huge mess on the floor, which we did our best to clean up). They even brought him out a little bit of cake with a candle in it and we all sang to him. In classic one-year-old fashion, he had no idea what was going on. He loved the attention, hated the cake (which he refused to even try). He did love stealing broccoli and noodles and carrots from our plates. It's the best way to get him to eat, actually, to let him grab the food we're eating.
At one, Oliver has an awful bruise on his nose from the other day when he fell over trying to walk. He stands on his tippy toes to reach things that are high up, loves walking and exploring everywhere, and always loves leaving the house to go somewhere new. He's an adventurer and a charmer and the sweetest little boy who sometimes even gives kisses and cuddles now. And the cuddles! This is entirely new. He will come over and rest his head on my shoulder or lap and lay there for a minute, then up he jumps to run off in another direction.
His sleep is still terrible, his eating is random (and I can never tell what will be a hit, except he loves most forms of fruit and Cheerios), and he will play happily on his own for short stretches of time. He sometimes imitates us, now, like by trying to bang on his new toy drum the way he's meant to, instead of just sucking on the drumsticks as he would usually do. When we go for walks and we pass a certain playground, or a group of kids playing outside, he will sit bolt upright and try to stand up and go over to them, sometimes even stretching out his hand in desperation. It is cute and sad, since of course the kids are always much older than him and he isn't going to go make a new friend. But he would love to.
His very favorite thing in the world is being chased. If we say his name a certain way and start to come after him, he shrieks and giggles and tries to run away, sometimes by climbing up the shoulders of whoever is holding him. He loves the swings and he loves being outside and exploring the grass and twigs and plants in our yard. He loves his dad, and is so happy whenever Sam is home to play with him.
I can't believe how good-natured and cheerful and independent he is. He has strong opinions about what he wants to do, and is so curious and excited to explore the world. I can't wait to show him more and more as he gets older. In fact, I'm pretty sure that this next year is going to be even better than the last.