You are nine months old already, can you believe it? Three quarters of a year! This has to be my favourite age… until next month when I will no doubt repeat those words this time convinced they are true.
We are in the last leg of my yearlong maternity leave. Some days I feel like superwoman and others I feel like a complete mess (so not much has changed there). Most days I feel somewhere in-between. We aren’t going to so many classes any more – most have run their course and we haven’t renewed due to my going back to work soon or other commitments. There is a new music class in Ratho which we sometimes attend on a Monday – a good chance to catch up with your baby pals. The Tuesday drop-in class at the Centre is still a favourite and we usually make it to a couple of bookbug sessions each month. Swimming has finished for the time being – you passed Level 2 with flying colours, easily the most chilled out baby in the pool no matter how many times you’re dunked or how tight your wetsuit has gotten(!)
You are absolutely the best baby ever. I know most parents think that but the only difference is that we are right. You sleep so well and have done for a number of months – believe me when I say that we do not take this for granted. You are so happy and relaxed, smiling at anyone who will meet your gaze. It’s such a pure joy that comes from babies – unadulterated (never has that word seemed more apt). Every night after dinner daddy takes you upstairs for a bath while I tidy up the kitchen. I come up with your bedtime bottle, set it on the dressing table and then tiptoe round the corner to the bathroom. I stand in the doorway quietly until you lookup from your bath toys (the red cup is still your favourite) your face cracks into a wide smile and you say ‘aah’ upon seeing me. It’s the best feeling – I never tire of it. You offer up the same gift to daddy when he comes home from work. He sneaks up behind you while you’re in your high chair having dinner and you crane your neck to look up at him while kicking and squealing in delight. How wonderful to feel even a fraction of the adoration we feel for you.
The biggest changes over the last 3 months are your sitting and eating. Never have those two words been uttered with so much pride. You sit and you eat! SO well! We eat dinner together as a family and it’s the highlight of the day. You discovered a love for blueberries recently and at first we popped them in your mouth before letting you try to pick them up on your own. It took a few days and a lot of squished blueberries before you mastered it, but mastered it you have! For breakfast you have a wheatabix mashed with banana, for lunch you have an Ella’s Kitchen fruit pouch with yogurt with some finger foods like bread, bits of cheese, cut up fruit or baby crisps. For dinner you have something savory (fish pie, spaghetti bolognaise, chicken and veg or baby curry – your favourite) followed by some custard and more finger foods! We have given up on store-bought baby food but fortunately you like mummy’s cooking. This healthy appetite is very apparent in your clothing size – you pretty much skipped 9-12mth clothes altogether, easily as big as most one-year-olds already. It was bound to happen but it makes me a bit teary to think how fast you’ve grown.
I expressed that recently to a friend – that I was struggling with how quickly you’ve grown*. She reassured me that the best is yet to come and I believe her whole-heartedly. I remember being frustrated that you couldn’t entertain yourself and seemed unhappy when other babies weren’t so – but now! You love toys (stacking cups, wooden house, Noah’s Ark), you love singing (Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Wind the Bobbin Up, If You’re happy and You Know It, Insy Winsy Spider), you love tickles (This Little Piggy), you love LIFE.
The yearning to be with you has only gotten stronger. Daddy has to stop me from waking you up for a cuddle nearly every night (sometimes he’s tempted too). It’s akin to a crush – such a feeling of infatuation that I can’t get close enough to you. Fortunately you seem to be going through a cuddly phase – burying your face in my neck when you’re excited and pulling my face close to touch noses.
Motherhood has brought me such sated joy. Just last week I was worrying over some minor inconvenience and Daddy reminded me that as long as you are ok, we are ok. He’s right. Having a child can be stressful at times but it makes everything else seem less so.
Oh my sweetness. I couldn’t possibly love you more. Except that I will – tomorrow and the day after that.
*There’s a song on the radio right now called ‘Hold Back the River’ by James Bay that captures how I feel about how quickly time passes these days…
Hold back the river let me look in your eyes
Hold back the river so wide
Hold back the river let me be by your side
Hold back the river, hold back.