Friday, June 22, 2007

Letter To An Eleven Month Old Birthday Present

My darling Tricky

You are now A Month Off Being One Year old.
How can this be? It’s impossible, ridiculous, incredible, exciting and just a wee bit sad all at the same time.

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.

When you’re still half awake you keep your eyes tightly shut and you wail and pound your tiny fists and thrash your head from side to side and carry on a real treat and there’s no more sleep for any of us. Your father and I are looking forward to this particular phase being over but I happen to know that I’m exactly the same before I’m properly awake except for the head thrashing.

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.

And then, and I don’t quite know why, seeing you unsupported sitting up by yourself, caused me to have some kind of horrible anxiety attack, it was as if a giant foot was squashing me down to the bathmat and I just lay there and cried and had to crawl my way out of the bathroom. But thinking back on it, it was possibly the first time I had bathed you since the Foot Under The Hot Tap Incident which had obviously scarred me even if it hadn’t scarred you.

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


Mony said...

Love your letters to Tricky! He's dazzling!

MsPrufrock said...

Happy birthday Mum, and happy 11 months Tricky!

Given that our babies are only a day apart I enjoy these posts. The crawling is totally kicking my ass, so I can only imagine what it will be like when the running starts. God help us both.

granny p said...

happy birthdays present and to come xx

shlinki said...

happy 11th month to tricky, and happy birthday to you, OG. it is my man's bday tomorrow, and we have just read your letter to tricky together. i think you now have a new fan.

Jennifer said...

I love your letters to tricky. My daughter is 8 months old and they are like little glimpses in our future to come.

Nico said...

I've tried the putting Ant into our bed for a few extra moments of sleep. Every now and again we do get to catch a couple more z's, but mostly he's just decided that 4:30 ante-meridian is a really good time to get up. Ugh.

Happy birthday to you both!! I love all the pictures as usual, but the last one made me laugh. What a great face!

Thalia said...

ooh he's such a cutie. But then he has always been adorable, and your letters make me cry, pretty much every time. But I'm a wuss, we all know that. Happy birthday sweetie.

Bon said...

oh my god, that last photo. i think he made me ovulate.

your words to him are beautiful, as observant, so interested. and his birthday present to you? i swoon.

happy late bday.

Lin said...

What a gorgeous little chap he is and I feel quite honored to share a July 18th birthdate with him.

Beautiful note to a beautiful boy.

Anonymous said...

Happy Eleven Months little Tricky. Happy, happy birthday sweet Ova Girl.

I've always loved your letters to Tricky en utero and out... I wish I had the courage to begin writing letters to Baby Surprise.

heleen said...

You and Tricky have such a sweet love affair!

Mandy said...

I love that last photo--pure joy! Your memory of being in the dentist's chair brought back a similar one of my own from about that same age. I clearly remember being about 7 or 8 and I was looking forward to a weekend trip, and it occurred to me that I would never have that moment again, that in a few short days it would be Post-Trip and I would be looking back on that Pre-Trip moment. That really blew my mind at the time! And I still remember that to this day...