Image An update from William; "If a dog walks by, I go crazy. I love dogs! I bark like a dog to let my mommy know what's going on. She doesn't quite catch the spark, and sometimes I get frustrated. Why can't she take me out to see it?"

I just had my first birthday. My mommy keeps telling me NOT to grow up, to stay her little baby forever. But I am way too busy to pay attention.

Whenever I am not being held, or playing with toys, I try to escape to the front door. I crawl as fast as I can and pull myself up to the glass, looking out onto the street. I watch cars and bicycles as they go by. I point at everything and babble on about them. If a dog walks by, I go crazy. I love dogs! I bark like a dog to let my mommy know what's going on. She doesn't quite catch the spark, and sometimes I get frustrated. Why can't she take me out to see it?

I love all animals. My mommy makes me practice "gentle hands" when I pat them. She holds my hand shows me how to stroke fur gently. But as soon as her back is turned, I experiment. I pull a tail, or better still the hair between their toes, and usually there is a very interesting reaction. Dogs can be scary, especially if they woof, but that's all part of the fun. People run to rescue the pet from me, or me from the pet. Then I experiment again. I also like to chase them.

Bathing is my chief pleasure in life. I have a rubber duck and some colorful little cups for pouring and stirring and drinking. (Yum, bathwater!) But my favorite toy is shampoo bottles. Mommy thinks she is very clever by giving me empty ones, but I saw through that trick the first time. I search around the tub for a full bottle. Then I bob it around and squeeze it. It makes the bathwater smell lovely and make glorious bubbles. I walk around the edge of the tub, while mommy sings bath songs. The water never gets too deep. I take care of that by removing the plug every few seconds.

Yesterday, as my mommy was about to give me an oatmeal bath, I knocked a cup of dry oatmeal onto the floor. Oh joy! Oatmeal is lovely stuff. I got on my hands and knees and messed it around. It scattered everywhere. Hmm, what a pleasing effect. I pushed some under the sink and around the toilet. I picked up little pieces and placed them, one by one, along the edge of the tub, which took great concentration. When that got boring, I just shoveled it into little heaps and crawled through it. What fun!

But don't think that my life is all fun and games. I have to work hard. Eating, for example, takes a lot of focus and determination. My mommy puts little bits of fruit and cereal and peas on my highchair tray and gives me a spoon. Somehow, I have to get those little bits of food into my mouth. I concentrate with all my will. I pick up a pea and put it on my spoon. Carefully, I lift it up to my mouth. The pea rolls off. I try again. This is hard, hungry work. Sometimes I give up and just use my fingers.

Food is definitely one of the highlights of being alive. I love to try different tastes: salty, sweet, bitter, it doesn't matter. If anyone else is eating, I mooch around and hope they will give me a sample. My daddy gives me little tastes of beer. Yuck. I prefer the old standbys, carrots and bananas. My mommy likes to introduce healthy food. She reads online, goes to the health food store, and comes back with HORRIBLE food, like fish oil. Gag.

Nursing is still a big part of my life. I nurse before each nap, and at bedtime and early in the morning. I don't plan on giving it up. Ever. It is the cosiest time of the day. Mommy and I curl up in pillows and blankets on her bed. She reads or snoozes, and I guzzle away. I've had teeth for many months now, but I know better than to bite.

Sometimes life is hard. I get bumps and bruises, and when I am tired, everything is frustrating. Nobody gives me what I want. I get very cross and make my loudest, worst noise, something between a screech and a growl. It is like an alarm, and it tells my mommy that I need to be put to bed. That makes me VERY upset. I lose consciousness. When I wake up, life is great.

Before I fall asleep, my mommy reads me little rhymes from my nursery rhyme book. It is the same every day, which gives me something to look forward to.

One of them goes,

"The world is so full of a number of things
That we should all be as happy as kings."

That is exactly right. I don't know why grown-ups are so grumpy and anxious about things. They go around with their knickers in a knot, while the world is an exciting and beautiful place, waiting to be explored. They should take a lesson from me. I find life so full of things to do and see. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thank you, mommy.