Last February, we were slowly extracting ourselves from the snowbound horror of the first eight weeks of parenthood, and taking it in turns to stagger to bed for temporary nap sessions.
Even fourteen months into parenthood, the daily milestones are little altered…I find myself lurching with you from meal to activity to nap to the next meal and round and round. You woke up last night at 4 in the morning and gesticulated ‘milk’ for an hour. you were eventually settled not by water, or a nappy change, or cuddles, but just by MORE MILK. You were being quite clear. Silly Mummy.
You love your food so very much that I’ve probably been under-feeding you, so anxious am I to not allow you to fully satiate your appetite at all times of the day. If it were up to you, your rampant and universal signing of ‘please’ (which has rapidly come to mean ‘I want’) would result in a constant supply of biscuits, grapes, hummous, toast and cream cheese and diluted juice. As it is, we think of many and various ways to keep you away from the kitchen so you can’t get ideas from cupboards and shelves.
Up there with the love of food is your love of wires, things that go ‘beep’ and things that have lights. Thus we are now into day three of Life Without A Remote Control. We look forward to the day that we can either encourage you to find language and tell us what you did with it, or (possibly before then) Daddy and Mummy’s subtle stalking of you of an evening will result in us discovering some secret hidey-hole and return us to the Twenty-First Century of sofa-based channel hopping. Mummy’s rubbish button phone is not nearly as exciting as Daddy’s iPhone, which is not nearly as exciting as the lato. That would be laPtoP but my fourth finger on my right hand is getting rather exhausted from the excessively firm key-stroking required to get the P to type already. Cheers for that darling. Most exciting of all is Grandma’s oven timer, a little handheld device that has four buttons that go ‘beep’ when you press them, and then, some specific time after play has ended, sets off beeping its alarm call, and summons you back for more playing.
You have been going to swimming lessons now for four weeks and love it. Blowing bubbles, kicking, splashing and gliding are all faves. I fear Mummy’s desperation to be ‘teacher’s pet’ may be backfiring on you, as I dunk and submerge you in more elaborate and extended ways each and every time we are instructed. If I get extra credit for being the BEST SWIMMING MUMMY then you will be a better person. That’s how it works.
Speaking of water, you are a little sponge for information now, and as long as there is noone to witness the brilliance (Mummy, I DO NOT PERFORM), you have now quack-quacked your hands for ‘ducks’, mouthed little o’s for ‘fishes’ and replied ‘rrrrrr’ to my ‘ROAR’ for ‘lion’. Your parents were so delighted when you made the ‘ssss’ for snake in Where’s Spot, that you now make the ‘sss’ noise for every flap you lift in the book. Nearly, darling, nearly!
You are a magnet for all things dangerous and disgusting, and sadly your love of shoes has now reached its logical conclusion in LICKING. Welly boots are particularly attractive, but as they retain memories of Grandma’s chicken-coop, we were not best pleased with the licking. And thus you are not best pleased.
Half your lifetime ago, Mummy was in a horrid place. The place was dark and bad and tiring and impossible to escape. The place was lonely and heavy and dangerous and Daddy came to find me and tell me I didn’t have to stay there. He told me I was better than that place and he helped me get out. He held my hand every day and told me where to put my feet. When you see any children by themselves at playgroups or playtimes, you ‘cuddle’ (translation: rugby tackle) them, and I realised that you have learned from Daddy how to make people feel loved and cared for.
You smile and giggle and laugh and cheek your way into everyone’s lives and no one can see you but burst out laughing at your mischievous glances. You know when you’re not supposed to be doing something and you just check, just make sure, just confirm that the boundaries haven’t shifted since you last slept. You are never malicious. You are never mean. You are boundless and enthusiastic and rarely stop smiling. Thanks for bringing my smile back, little one.
I love our little home. I love our little family. And I love that our little family has made sure it stays intact.To quote the current seasonal song on CBeebies (my new BFF), it’s cold outside, but it’s warm in here.