Caring for baby
Six months ago you entered this world, a puffy purple little newborn. 3.24kg of wide-eyed perfection, you looked around curiously in the brightly lit hospital room before descending easily into a long, deep sleep. I would spend the next six months trying to get you to sleep so soundly.
When we first brought you home I worried that you weren't all that fond of your new situation. Your skinny little legs were permanently folded up close to your tummy and your arms were always bent with your teeny tiny fists clenched at your shoulders. You kept your eyes closed, even when you were awake, as if to block out the world around you, and you protested whenever we changed your nappy or clothes. You didn't like being fussed with but as soon as we placed you in a warm bath you relaxed. In fact, the first time we bathed you at home you fell asleep in the water - I think it reminded you of being in my tummy, and that still felt like home to you.
Over the last six months you've gradually become accustomed to your new world. Your little limbs have unfurled and I think it's now safe to say you're pretty happy with your lot. You wake up each morning and spend a good fifteen minutes babbling away to yourself in your room, then when I open your door to wish you a good morning you greet me with a smile that instantly dissipates the fog of tiredness that clouds my head. As I move towards your cot each morning you flap your little legs and arms with such excitement - I have never felt so loved. And I have never loved so much.
People say the time goes so fast, to enjoy every moment. It's true, the time really does race by. I can still remember the excitement of seeing that blue line appear on the pregnancy test. I remember my heart racing as I heard your heart beating. It raced again when I saw your silhouette pop up on the ultrasound screen for the first time, and the second time, and the third. I remember lying in bed, night after night, with my hands resting gently on my tummy, savouring your every movement, wondering what you would look like, how our world would change when you got here... I remember it all so well.
So it seems absolutely crazy to me that you're already six months old, sitting up on your own, babbling away in a language that only you understand, reaching for food and toys... reaching for me and your dad. Every day I look forward to what will come next while also wishing I could slow time down. Wasn't it just yesterday we were oh-so-gently buckling you into your car seat to take you home from the hospital?
We spend a lot of time together, you and I. You're my full time job - in fact you're pretty much my boss these days. Through your eyes I am rediscovering the world around me all over again, and learning to appreciate the little things like the comforting warmth of lying on the carpet in the afternoon sun, the chaotic fun of splashing around in the bath, and the simple pleasure of watching leaves dance in the breeze and rain fall on the lawn.
Over the last six months I've learnt a lot about you, and I figure you're not going to remember this time we're sharing together, and perhaps I will forget the details too? So I thought I'd tell you a bit about yourself, for both of us to look back on one day.
You love food. You haven't turned your nose up at anything I've put in front of you to date and you freak out when we don't get the spoon into your mouth fast enough. You're also very good at holding yummy treats in your own hands and munching away, though you get frustrated with the slippery bits of banana and mango that so often escape your clutches.
You love sucking on ice. I give it to you in a mesh feeder, and that will occupy you for a good 10 minutes, buying me just enough time to empty the dishwasher.
You also love to suck your thumb. It helps soothe you to sleep, and we always know it's naptime when your thumb makes its way to your mouth.
Your new thing is to screech like a pterodactyl (at least it's how I imagine a pterodactyl sounds thanks to Jurassic Park). I never knew something so loud and obnoxious could also be so cute. Sort of.
You have a big head. Not figuratively, literally.
You seem to really enjoy music, and you also love being outdoors. You like staring at the dog and cat as they go about their daily business of padding about the house, stretching and sleeping. You love my remix of Incy Wincy Spider, and you're really starting to get into Peek-A-Boo.
You are totally obsessed with your own toes.
You don't like clothes going over your head, and you're not a fan of loud noises. You absolutely hate it when I try to clear out your nostrils, and you don't like too many people getting in your face all at once.
You love my interpretive dances. No on else seems to appreciate my special skills in this area, so I'm delighted you enjoy my performances.
You have eczema all over and it breaks my heart to see your little body so ravaged by it. Thankfully it doesn't seem to bother you too much and I'm hoping you'll grow out of it.
You have ended up with a whole collection of nicknames: Little Vic, Baby Vic, Victorini, Vicalicious, Boo Boo, Beano, Chubba Choo, Booschnicken... sorry.
Your dad is your favourite person in the whole wide world, and your mum comes in a close second.
Victor John, you have brought so much joy to our lives over the last six months and I feel so lucky to be your mum. It hasn't always been easy, but it's always been worth it. I hope one day you will have children of your own, and as you marvel at their amazingness you might come to wonder 'did my mum and dad feel this overwhelming love for me?' and the answer is yes. Oh how we love you!
Happy six months my darling boy, thank you for teaching me how to love in a way I never knew was possible, and thank you for lighting up my life every single day. I'm so excited to see what the world has in store for you, and what you have in store for the world!
All my love, always,
- Essential Mums
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