Wow. One year. I have felt this day coming for weeks but I cannot believe that it is here already. You have been the centre of our universe for one whole year, twelve months. It is hard to get my head around but on the flip side it is hard to remember what life was like before you came along. I think we were probably just waiting around for you. Although the past week I have had vivid memories of the last couple of weeks before you arrived, and the days after you did. It was a rough ride but we got through it, and we are all here in one piece, a year later.
So much has happened in the last three months that I am not sure that I can capture it all here. I am sure that there will be loads that I will forget. You change every day. Perhaps now these letters should be written more often. They might be shorter then! The first thing is that you started nursery in May. After your first visit when you cried for twenty minutes, you settled in almost immediately and you seem to like going there. It is so strange knowing that you are spending time with and playing with people I do not know. I hope that you are making friends. I love the fact you bring back paintings for me, our kitchen wall is full already. Perhaps we will decorate the whole house? I go to work on Monday and on Friday and you go off with your Nanny for the morning and play at nursery in the afternoon and it all seems alright. I have been back at work for a few weeks and you seem to have accepted it, after a couple of clingy weeks.
We went on our first summer holiday, to Grandma and Grandad’s house in Cornwall. You had a lovely time, being spoilt rotten, Grandma took you to the park every morning and for a walk around the village to show you off. A lot seemed to change in the two weeks we were there. Your sleep was brilliant, night after night of sleeping through. I got a really good rest which was nice. You dropped your morning bottle of milk and started eating more and more. You now have three meals a day, and soon I will stop your afternoon bottle too. Not just yet though. One of the best things about being in Cornwall on holiday was getting to see you play so nicely with your cousins. I wish you could spend more time with them.
For the whole two weeks you were there everyone kept saying how close you were to learning to crawl, but after a week you learned to sit up from lying down, and then six days later, one hour before we were due to come home with a little encouragement from your dad you crawled across Grandma’s front room. You’ve got great timing I will give you that. Since that day you have not looked back and now we have stairgates and you follow us around the house. I love hearing the slap-slap-slap sound of your hands coming nearer, and seeing your face pop round the corner and grin.
You are talking a lot more. If I say “Ready, Steady” you will say “GO” most times. It is so cute. You say “Hello” and “Bye Bye” sometimes even at the right time. You shout DAAAAAA when you want your Daddy and very occasionally you have said a quiet “Mummy”. You babble away all the time. Your sleep is better but now you can move about even more you get yourself caught up and stuck on your front and all sorts of weird and wonderful positions that we have to come and untangle. Most times you go back to sleep before I’ve even put you back right. You still don’t like cuddles at night anymore, so you ahve your milk and cry until you are in the cot with your rabbit. Then you make your lodle-lodel-lodel (I will never be able to do justice to the sound you make, it’s like yodelling and everyone loves to mimic it) sound until you drop off to sleep.
You love your cars. You love books and music. You want anything that we are using (laptop, phone, remote) and can create if I won’t let you have it. You spend hours playing with the Mega Bloks and love to put things on shelves and tables. You like us to hold you up on your feet but you do not use the furniture to get up at all yet. You kneel up, with your bum on your feet and you can see so much because you are tall. You look like a little meercat!
I am so proud of myself, and of your Dad. We did it. We have survived the first year of being parents. We have had our ups and downs but I really feel that it has made us a better, stronger couple. Before you came along we were very much in love, and didn’t really argue much at all. Now we have been through sleepless nights and illness and worries. We have learned that the occasional disagreement is not a bad thing. We have learned that honesty is best and that we can do anything as long as we just keep talking, and don’t bottle things up and stay mad at each other. It works. Having him around to share being a parent makes it all even more amazing.
This is you today, on your birthday (while Grandma sings you Happy Birthday over the phone, I’d have that expression too!). Three months ago I said that you were now a baby. Already I see flashes of the toddler you will become. A boy, with your mischievous grin and sparkling eyes. You have a great laugh, which I can always get from you by kissing your belly. Always keep laughing my baby. Remember that we love you so very much. Thank you for the last year. We are very much looking forward to the next one. Be kind to us, we are all learning together.
I love you.