Here's the list:
So, I went through the list. It turns out raising an 11-month-old is all about relationship building. Here's what I discovered about each "challenge":
1. Baby and I find things to do together ALL day long. It's
2. SO far. I don't yell at my kid. This is SUPER weird for me, because I remember my mom (mostly) and dad yelling at us and at each other a LOT when we were growing up. I'm sure I'll yell at some point, but I'm glad we've gotten off on the right foot thus far.
3. I hug my kid three times before she's out of her crib. Done and done!
4. Every time she lets me, I kiss my girl when she's asleep. Talk about bliss!
5. I treat my girl like she's a 1 year old boy all of the time... this totally works for #9!
6. I bake, make, and buy many foods. My child's favorites are the processed ones she tries on accident with me, or on purposed with other people who shall remained unnamed. So, I guess this one's super-easy too. Although she doesn't get crazily sugar-laden or fried foods EVERY day, she gets them sometimes (even with me).
7. Sweet notes come in the form of blog posts and text messages, of late.
8. There are less than 1000 weekends before the girl graduates. As of the 1st bday, there are approximately 888.
9. At nearly one year old I have no real idea of how I felt, but I can guess that I felt happy when my parents praised me, and otherwise pretty stressed out. But, that's the same at almost EVERY age until very recently.
10. Joy. SO many forms of joy. But today: two things that are joyful are my sleeping child, and the fact that she picked up her phone yesterday (she has two cell phones... longish story) and said "Da" (Dad). So we called her "Da" and while she gurgled (very excited) nonsense he got really excited about being a dad. That was joyful.
11. I usually tell baby I'm glad she's my kid. I don't think she totally gets it, but I do tell her. Fact of the matter: no other girl-kid could SO be the embodiment of her mama and dada. She's US to the maximus.
12. Pray for wisdom. I don't tend to pray. For a LOT of reasons. Not because I don't think of myself as Christian-- I do. But, more so because I tend to ask for help in particular areas. I guess I start asking for help in this arena. Although, I generally do ask for parenting help. (BTW- I don't think "God" just keeps that wisdom to his/herself-- as far as I can tell, it's OKAY to seek out other PEOPLE in this matter.)
13. Don't criticize. I need to work on this. Some days I don't. Other days I do. I'm a critical person, as it turns out. But, I realized the other day, I don't want the girl to be "best" at this or "most" of that. I just want her to be happiest in as many things as possible (and generally well-behaved). I think I'm doing OKAY at being not-so-critical. Hopefully.
14. Motherhood is a gift. This is one of the easiest things to forget. Being a mom is something I wanted more than ANYTHING for quite some time. I am lucky to be a mom, lucky to have a family, and so happy to watch my little person flourish.
15. Firmness, but not harness. It's not really fair to be harsh to a less-than-one year old. So, even if I feel that way, she doesn't get to see so much of it. (Right now) firmness comes in making rules, sticking to rules, enforcing rules, and giving THREE tries to abide by rules before enforcing consequence. Lack of harshness comes in the choosing to not be "mad" at my 11-month-old, explaining to her the reason behind the discipline (i.e. it's not acceptable to run keys over the wood coffee table since they'll make marks, or stop standing in the tub because you'll fall and hurt yourself... followed by lots of kisses. And reminders. Hopefully this works for awhile.