Oh my lovely boy. A year ago today I sat in the post natal ward, holding in my arms a very long, still pink and slightly scrumpled looking brand new baby. The noises of the rest of the ward ebbed and flowed around us and I just sat, staring, drinking in every inch of you, and falling more and more in love by the second. I remember those moments like they were yesterday, they’re so strong in my mind, despite the sleep deprivation (then and now) and there’s a little part of me that just says that no that really can’t have been a whole year ago. Or perhaps just doesn’t want it to have been a year ago. I set out to cherish and treasure this first year of yours, knowing from experience how fast the days turn to weeks and months, and I think for the most part I have done that, I just want time to slow down even more, to have even more time with my lovely baby before you become all little boy.
But the evidence is incontrovertible; I looked at you yesterday evening as you tucked into your mash, wielding a baby spoon in one hand and the fork which you’d purloined from H’s plate and thought how much the baby is fading and the little boy coming through. It’s lovely and wonderful and exciting and happening so very very fast.
So before I blink and you’re two, what can I tell you about you at one.
Well you may be one, but you’re wearing either 18-24 month clothes or age 2. I keep joking that you’ll have caught up with Elma soon, but then when I was searching for clean pyjamas I put a pair of tartan reindeer jammies on Elma, looked in your rather empty cupboard, decided that half a centimetre of wrist showing meant she’d grown out of them and promptly put them on you, and they fit. We’ve had to add squishy corners to tables that never needed them before and move everything that isn’t little boy friendly higher and further back. You pull up against the side of the desk in the lounge and try to pinch my phone or the keyboard, against the sofa in search of the knitting and yesterday I found you climbing into the basket of trains to reach a wooden pirate that Kitty had put on the windowsill.
You’re getting pretty good at climbing the stairs whenever we’re not watching, though I’ve only found you on the half way landing once, but then again, once was quite enough. You love to roam around the ground floor of the house to come to find us or watch the washing machine and though you’re not walking or even really cruising yet, you’ve got a high speed crawl and the rest won’t be far off now.
I keep thinking that you’re teething too but so far it’s always turned out to be a cold and you still have the most gorgeous gummy grin. It’s probably a good thing too given that you give kisses by trying to take a nice bite out of someone’s cheek. It’s very affectionate and very slobbery.
You do love your food though, teeth or no teeth, especially mash, pasta shapes and sausages, along with cucumber sticks and just about any type of fruit, and you get very cross if you see someone else eating and they’re not offering you a bite. No amount of substitution or distraction is going to work, you want what we have, which means Mummy and Daddy may have been slightly more relaxed with their third baby than they were with their first when it comes to the question of feeding the said baby tiny morsels of cake.
You love to chatter; you have a good “Amamama” for me and a “Dada” for H but your favourite word is “Da!” which generally means yes. No is a big shake of the head and backing away.
In looks I see so much of your biggest sister as a baby; the two of you are very alike in colouring, especially now that your hair has gone full on blond in the summer sunshine, and in expressions, and I think you’re all three very easily identifiable as siblings.
I think it’s fair to say that you are happiest surrounded by your family. You’re not terribly keen on new people or places until you’ve had a chance to warm up to them, and many of our visits to family and friends have involved you climbing into my arms and staying put for the duration or until you decide it’s safe to come out. I loved that when we were camping you became comfortable with the tent so quickly, and you loved that you slept every night curled up in my arms. You love your Daddy and your Kitty and your Elma, but just right now, Mama is the favourite and you’re quite happy to shout at anyone else who tried to comfort you until I appear.
You have your moments when you’re not impressed with the world; when I take a phone or the computer keyboard back off you, when you realise that I’m in the room but not actually holding you, or when someone shuts the lounge door to save having to retrieve you from the stairs for the umpteenth time that day, but on the whole you are a sunny little boy, with an ever ready smile and a gorgeous giggle.
And after a year of being a family of five it feels like it has always been this way; Mummy, Daddy, Kitty, Elma and Pip. I can remember what life was like as a four, but mostly by remembering specific occasions or activities, the sense of rightness about being a foursome has gone as if it never was. Instead it feels as if you have always had your place in our family ready and waiting for you, that five has always been the right number. You have made that jump from four to five feel so very natural and easy, and now it is our wonderful everyday ordinary.
So have a very Happy Very First Birthday my darling little Pip Squeak. We love you x