Over the past few weeks we have gotten into the habit of bringing you into bed when you wake in the morning and we lie you down between us in the hopes of getting a precious few extra nanoseconds of sleep.
But the thing is, once you are awake, you smile and sit up between us and look around with curious bright eyes and clap your hands and chat away about oh nothing in particular, syllables mostly and how ridiculous they are, and then if we fail to pay proper attention you gently lean towards us and thrust your fingers up our nose or pull our hair. And that one you get from your father.
I’m still nursing you, but only just, mostly at night or in the evening and in the morning “comfort feeds” my GP called them, as if they were nutritionally less essential than other feeds we’ve shared, and perhaps they are but you’re still a little baby, still my little baby, and comfort is essential still, for both of us. But I can see that as the weeks go by that time is also passing.
The other night I held you in my arms and we stood staring accusingly at your father as he typed Just One More Email and then I said: Tell Dadda it’s Bath time. And you did. Because you are a genius. Or at least you said: gnuugagang Ba Ba. True, your diction was poor. But your tone was firm and assertive with exactly the right amount of nag and you only had to say it three times before Dadda finally pushed Send.
Dadda is the King Of Bath Time. I realised this a couple of weeks ago when I went to put you in the bath and I knelt beside you to hold you up and your father said: no no, let him sit up by himself you don’t need to hold him, it’s fine.
In about two seconds I think you are going to walk which really means you are going to run. Even now, while crawling, you achieve speeds that no baby should be able to reach, one moment I look up to see you playing by your fabulous fifties style tent as gifted to you by Uncle Marky the next you suddenly appear at my feet with my computer cord firmly clamped between your incisors. You’re even faster after bath time, when we allow you to scamper in the nuddy on the lounge room carpet. And there’s that standing hovering business…three seconds….ten seconds…. before you drop down onto your bottom with a very smug expression on your face.
It has been a big month for you, a month of travel and new faces, and old faces when you don’t expect to see them, which has caused a certain amount of sleeplessness and concern. When you saw your Aunty N for the first time after a few weeks away from Sydney and the Big House you burst into tears and the same thing happened in Newcastle when you saw your grandmother again, even though you adore both these women. I think it was the first time you realised that people go out and come back into your life. You knew these people but you hadn’t seen them for a long time and you had forgotten them until that moment they held you in their arms. It’s a pretty freaky reality jolt for a small person but just one of many your mind will have to wrap itself around.
I myself remember being about eight and having to get a tooth pulled and waiting in the dentist’s chair for the anaesthetic to kick in and thinking to myself…this is now…and this moment will soon be gone forever…and next week this moment will be a memory and so will the tooth pulling moment…and now this moment has gone forever etc etc which was also a freaky reality jolt and funny how all these years later, that recognition is crystal clear in my mind but the tooth pulling that came after is a blur.
Your eleven month birthday was actually a few days ago on the 18th of June but today, the 22nd is my actual birthday.
This morning your father brought you into bed and whispered “happy birthday Mama” and to my surprise you gently kissed me, lovely soft wet kisses, and put your cheek against my face and we lay like that for a moment and it was a beautiful birthday present.
And then you pulled my hair and stuck your fingers in my nose.
I love you.
Your very own