You are One. I have to keep saying that to myself, reminding myself that you had reached and now passed that milestone and I can’t help thinking that next you will be Two. I know that is crazy, there is another 361 days until then but oh, it is so easy to imagine. I think that at the beginning, because I had trouble coping and I was unwell and it was so hard for all of us that I kept wishing we would reach the next stage, hoping that when you could eat, or get about or walk you would be a bit happier. And as it happens as you reach and pass each of these milestones you do get much, much happier and now I find myself sad that I wished that time away.
But it has gone and I am not sorry because oh, my baby girl, what a joy you have become. All traces of the screaming angry baby are gone and my days are filled with smiles and giggles and chatter. You still have your moments, but you only cry when something displeases you, and a quick meal / bottle / nappy change / sleep is usually all it takes to put that great beaming smile back on your beautiful face.
I know that I am biased but your beauty takes my breath away on a daily basis. Those eyes, those cheeks, your amazing hair. You smile and everything else fades away. I say over and over ‘How did I make something as beautiful as you’. At these times you see me looking at you and you give me that cheeky look and come tottering towards me to show me you love me too. It is unlike anything I could have ever imagined. You give real proper kisses with your lips sucked in. If I sit on the floor you come over and throw yourself into our arms and pat us on the back. If I lie on the floor you immediately throw yourself across me with the same gay abandon that you reserve for wrestling with your brother. You are a little bit crazy and I love it.
You say Mama, especially when you are upset and crying ‘Maaaamaaaa Maaaamaaaa Maaaaamaaa’. Breaks my heart. You say ‘Yeah’ all the time and ‘Bow’ when we play peekaboo. You are not very ticklish at all but I can get the occasional giggle with a rib tickle or pretending to eat your belly. Nom. The best laughter and giggles you reserve for your big brother, especially when wrestling or chasing each other. He is very good and very kind to you. I am not sure how long that will last but it is good while it does. You are a Daddy’s girl and seeing the way you obviously love him is a magical thing.
I love the way you tell me what you want. If you want more food at dinner you shout to get our attention and strain towards whatever you want. You can be very loud. If you don’t like something you pass it back to us. If you are finished you try to rip your bib off in a manner very reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk and it is very funny. If you are tired you will go and find a cushion and lie across it, not under your head, but under your belly and try and roll over so you are lying on it on your back. Very funny indeed.
You love swimming and you are more than happy to be thrown around in the pool. Your underwater pictures were brilliant and you are always happy when we are there. You are happy to spend time in the buggy as long as there is enough to look at. You can walk now and from a few tottering steps a week ago you are now crossing rooms. You are very cautious though and have fantastic balance, you rarely fall over, just find your feet, wait and then try again. Totally different from your brother. On the other hand when it comes to climbing you are fearless. You sleep all night, most nights and wake at 6.22 every morning. That freaks me out a little, I mean, how do you know?
This letter is getting long. I just wanted to capture what a joy you are to be around. How much we all love you and how you have made this family complete. This past year has been worse and better than I could ever have imagined and I cannot wait to wake up tomorrow and spend time with you again. You have turned my world upside down in the best way possible.
I love you baby girl, always.