My darling girl,
You have grown so much already. You are 5 months old now, no longer the tiny, scrawny girl we bought home from the hospital. You’re beginning to try tastes of solids, sitting up more and actually preferring to push through your legs and stand awhile. Getting to see you grow into yourself is my purest joy, just as it is with your big sister.
You are such a smiley baby. Despite all the madness in the world around you, you are the happiest soul I have ever met. You have been unmistakably smiling since around 8 weeks of age and your laugh is the best medicine.
No-one can make you laugh like Squidge can. Your face lights up when she comes home from nursery and gets a little sad again when she comes to tell you she’s going to bed (we’ve told her to do this so that you will learn she always comes back!) She has learnt that she can make you burst out laughing by singing (and hopping!) along to Hop Little Bunny, and she loves to do it. Good thing too because I am guilty of asking her to do it when you cry impatiently for the milk I am making, or just because it takes my stresses away. It reminds me of the gifts that I have in you and your sister and the love that exists within our house. I did that.
Things are getting tougher in this family. Your Granny is currently in hospital with COVID-19 and the constant wait for news, only to receive none because this is a long and challenging illness; oh, I’ve never been more grateful to have your sister and you to keep me busy, to have you to play with and cuddle. You are the best company, with your happy, smiley face.
And even when you’re not happy, getting tired and crying out for milk to comfort you, I smile. Because I’m learning about you. I recognise these states now because you cry “Muuuuu!” which, the first time I heard it was “Mum” and oh, how my heart swelled. But I was wrong. You are in fact asking for “milk” and that made me laugh. And it’s so very much needed to laugh just now.
But the reason I wanted to write to you, my littlest one, was to get down some of these precious moments, because you are growing so fast and becoming yourself. I don’t think it will be long until you are on your feet and away. You bounce yourself across our laps now, so desperate to get out and explore. You don’t have a clue how to crawl yet, but I don’t think that matters to you, why would you want to bother with that when you can push yourself up?
I wanted to tell you about the most precious moments you give your mummy right now, because I am so grateful for them and loves them as much as I love you.
You come to bed with me each night, normally restless because why would you sleep when there’s so much to look at? I lie you on the bed beside me and you’ll cry because you’re not sleepy yet. So instead, I’ll sit you up on my chest and chat any nonsense I can to you that will make you smile. If you’re still grumpy after that, you normally want teething granules, which make you purr like a kitten. I like to put them on my finger so I can feel your bumpy gums in anticipation of that first cut tooth. It’s not there yet, but that’s OK, because you almost gobble up my finger, you’re so keen to taste the relief of the granules. It makes me smile.
After that, you calm down and normally lie beside me, your eyes bright and your gorgeous gummy smile beaming. I’ll give you my finger and you curl your tiny little fist around it with all your might. It is the most loving thing you have learnt to do, because it is instinctive. To me, it says: “I am here with you Mummy. This is where I belong.”
So then I will feed you your milk, which if you are ready for, you will latch on hungrily and keep suckling until you are asleep. The way your eyelids lower is almost rhythmic and it makes me feel like I am doing the best job in the world because, you’ll still be clutching my finger. It is the most peaceful moment of my day. I hate that we have to put you back in your cot each time, which Daddy dutifully does for us each night so we can keep you safe. I wish you could stay with me always in that peaceful moment of belonging. I am so grateful for it, my littlest one, and so, so glad you are here with me.