Why did nobody warn me that this year would be the fastest one yet? That the second time around would pass at a positive warp speed compared to the first time around. I have blinked, a year has passed and suddenly my baby girl is one. ONE! So, just as I’ve written to your brother each birthday, here’s my letter to you my beautiful babe…Before you arrived I was so worried about how we would cope with two children. Would your brother handle the transition to big brother well? Would I be able to love another child as much as I loved him? I look back now and laugh at myself, they weren’t silly questions but they seem it now. Of course we would manage, of course he would cope and of course we would love you just as much. When people say their heart just expands, I thought it was rubbish but it really does. I couldn’t imagine a world without you in it these days. Who knew that little (well, not THAT little at 8lb 15oz!) bundle we brought home from the hospital would turn into the blue eyed, blondie here today?
You’ve been such a laid back child from the word go. Adamant you weren’t going to come out on time, you kept us waiting a full two weeks over your due date before you shot into the world at speed. We were laughing about that as we went to bed the night before your birthday – as we dropped off to sleep around we said ‘this time last year we were still waiting’, and less than two hours later there you were. And after a bumpy first few hours in the NICU where your daddy held you all night whilst you beeped away on the monitors, you were all ours to lap up. Another baby. A girl. After two years of having a boy we kept calling you ‘he’ when we spoke about you, you poor thing. Sometimes it still surprises me to this day!
When we came home you slotted straight in. We would stand for hours watching you sleep on your back and in the Moses basket; three things your brother steadfastly refused to do. You’d wake for a feed and a quick cuddle before resettling yourself back down for another snooze. That first week you found your fingers on your right hand and they’ve been your comfort ever since. ‘The two fingered suck’ as we like to call it. It’s become your trademark pose, your sleep aid, your go to whenever you’ve got a spare moment. I don’t know if it was that or your personality or us but you were a breeze to look after. No screaming on car journeys, no crying in the pram, no worries about sleeping; you were, and still are, super chilled. Well, for the most part.
Since then you’ve added a whole new dimension to our family. Being a family of four has meant more of a juggle to manage you both but watching you and your brother interact has been immense. You want his toys and he wants yours. You’ll chase him around the house, idolising everything that he does. You wind him up by getting involved in things that he’s doing yet he makes you laugh in a way that no-one else can. When you started crawling and moving we saw that relationship begin more and now that you’re walking around confidently it’s changing again. Seeing you laugh together loudly or play together quietly are my favourite things to do.
You are brave, confident and fearless. If there’s something worth climbing you’re up it. Steps, sofas, you even used the potty to attempt to launch yourself down the toilet. With that comes all manner of bumps and bruises but, after a cuddle and a cry, you’re right back doing it again. I think you may have inherited your mother’s stubbornness and determination. Good luck kiddo!
You are funny, happy and loving. You have a wicked laugh that sounds like you’re faking it half of the time. You’re quick to smile and it’s infectious. From the word go people have commented on it; it creases up your eyes and lights up your face. A proper little sunbeam, that’s you. As independent as you are, you’re a huge fan of a cuddle and love nothing more than to throw yourself backward on to people or cushions for a snuggle with a big ‘ahhhhhhhhh’. Your kisses are wide mouthed and slobbery. Your hugs are warm and often accompanied by you scratching or pinching at us as you try to cling on as much as possible. Most recently, when you’re happy or on a post-milk high you’ll smile away at me whilst saying ‘Da-da-da-da-daaa’ over and over which is ridiculously cute, especially as we all know you’re a mummy’s girl through and through.
The last twelve months (and a day by the time I post this!) have been some of the hardest and some of the best of my life. We’ve dealt with teething, stomach bugs, learning to crawl, learning to walk, numerous bumps and bruises, starting nursery, me returning to work… it’s felt like the fastest year yet and still I can’t fully remember a time before you were in our lives. I can’t wait to see what the next twelve months bring for you and for us; the thought that this time next year you’ll be chatting away to me is mind blowing to me.
Keep smiling my beautiful little bird and keep being wild.
Happy first birthday gorgeous