In the three months since I last took stock here, a few major things have happened.
That tiny baby they gave me at the hospital… no, alright, that beautiful, chilled little “chunk” turned 1! One whole year old. My baby is a baby no more. She is a little girl, a person… her own person.
I look as haggard and tired as ever, but that little lady sat in my lap reading the 1st birthday cards… that’s my little lady. Kept her going for one whole year. Maybe that’s not a fair assessment – she keeps me going.
She is my sole purpose for getting out of bed in the morning, my drive to accomplish anything. She is the thing I am proudest of, because by now, the life is seeping out of me. I ache constantly, I’m sore, and I can’t reliably expect to be conscious north of 8pm. It’s 8:45 as I write this and my eyes are itching, but it’s important to take stock, to recognise all of the reasons I have to be proud of myself. Because I don’t feel like much of a person anymore. My friends must despair of me, and I envy any energy they might have. I wonder how long might be left before they abandon me completely and I’m not sure I have the energy to start again. Meeting people exhausts me in every way. But I do so hate to be lonelt.
But I suppose my trade off is Squidgelet. For all the things I am no longer able to do, as I admit I feel less and less independent these days; all my daughter expects of me is to drag her across the floor by the feet she offers me in mid air, like she wants to polish the floor with the jumper on her back. Oh, she shrieks with the best laughter in the world.
She also doesn’t mind that Mummy prefers to be down on the floor either. After all, Mummy on the floor can just as easily be a living room horse!
She is much heavier now, although I don’t know how much because she hasn’t been weighed for half her life by now, the strained NHS meaning that the provision of a health visitor has all but abandoned us. I can’t carry her around much unless I have a surface to lean on to take her weight. But she doesn’t even seem to mind that…. if I have to put her back down in her cot, it’s much much more fun to to be uncurl against the mattress onto your back so that you bounce gently on the springs. She laughs so much.
She’s getting much more confident walking too… we take her toddling along the sea front now to tire her out. She’ll reach carefully for your hand, it is the sweetest thing I have ever seen or felt, her tiny fingers around mine. It’s hard for me to keep myself stable walking to her tiny steps, but she seems to intently watch the differences between hers, mine and her Daddy’s footsteps on the ground. I hope I’m not kidding myself that she might wordlessly be beginning to understand her mummy.
The other day, I was sat down and over she came, so gently pulling on my hand to stand up. She was walking in front of me as she held my hand, but looking back at my feet. I was worried she’d fall over the pile of shoes in front of her (Squidge can never leave a neat line of shoes alone!) but I know that she was thinking the exact same for me, checking my feet weren’t going to get into trouble with the shoes! I’ve never felt more proud or looked after. Let’s not let the fact that she apparently wanted to make sure that I carefully delivered her dirty nappy to the bin take away from how caring my girl has shown herself to be.
She can even make her own way up the stairs now! I get nervous, teetering behind her in case she falls, but Kev thinks it might be a blessing for me that our sleepy girl can carry her own weight up to bed. Not that that’s why she does it, everything is a challenge now and there’s nothing she can’t tackle!
I suppose it’s important to show her that no matter the struggles, her’s or mine, Mummy will always try. But for now, to bed, because to try and rest is just as important for this Mummy.