Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Letter to baby at 11 months

Here you are, 11 months old. The main things I've noticed this month has been lots of teething, and new social skills. You're waving now. Night night! We took you camping again at the weekend and we played with some feathery seeds all together in the herb garden there. You caught them with your hands and then set them free to float. Afterwards you replayed it for me, gesturing how you caught the seeds and let them go.

Still cruising too, and standing alone for very short bursts.

You and your sister played all the time when we camped, including some game of toss and fling in the tent which seemed to involve getting pillows thrown repeatedly at you, which you seemed to love!

We've been to see our new house again. There's a photo of you there. I worry about how you'll find moving there, when all you've known is here. It'll be unsettling. But it will mean you won't have to be in the car everyday. It'll be a lovely green and watery 10 minute walk to the school.

Nearly 1...


Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sweet B

Wow, how long is it since I posted about you?
Now you're older, it's less appealing to post too much about you.  I've been making sure we have a record of some things on Instagram though.  And of course in my heart!

Finished your first year in school now.  It's been good.  You have made lots of friends, and developed socially in lots of good ways.  You will now speak up, share and perform in groups.  When you feel like it...which is just the way you should keep it.

We went camping with the school at at the weekend and it was a joy to see you running off gleefully with your friends...with hardly any arguments.  Being capable of close relationships and collaboration, and joy,  is perhaps the most important thing in life. Still trying myself with those things.

You love dressing up, dance, colouring, making things ( a box for your treasures, block structures, a mud tunnel in the garden).  You are gentle and loving with nature.  You are loud and boisterous. You still love to sing - it's a big thing for you.

You enjoy talking in a baby voice.  Like always.  I must admit it drives me crazy, and I have asked you to stop doing it too much.  I know I should let you be...but honestly....arghhhh!!  It is so creative though - it's quite hard to structure sentences in the baby way that you do, and you also like to mix the sounds of words around.  It's amazing I can understand really.

You are very caring and funny with your baby sister.  She thinks you are such good fun and squeals in delight when she sees you in the morning. You think of great games to play together - pushing her around in the cart/blowing toys off your nose across the room etc.

You spend most of your day in the garden - swinging, digging, climbing, wandering, playing imaginary games, gathering flowers/leaves, inspecting insects.  You are always mucky and bruised, and...because you don't wear shoes...have cuts on your feet.  Just like a child should.

Like all 5 year olds, you are demanding, but very amenable to waiting for things/time once situations are explained to you e.g that we need some quiet in the hallway when the baby is asleep.

We are going to have such a good time this summer.  I've agreed a structure with you i.e. clean up before play in the morning/then quiet time after lunch.  This helps so much as it means we are both happy - I get stuff done/rest, and we both get to have play time together without distractions/resentments.  Win/win.  The baby so so much easier to mind with you around too, both because you help, and because she loves to have company, especually her favourite person, you!

My relationship with you is one of the most important things in the world to me, and it has suffered a bit this last year.  I've only had so much energy, and I needed to spend the bit I had in nurturing your relationship with your sister, feeding and looking after her and us all.  I wasn't able to do too much with you. Now though, I am feeling much more energised and we are becoming really close again.


Letter to baby at 10 months

10 months, going on 11 months now....still a baby, but not for much longer.

You are sweetness and light itself.  No matter what my mood, I need only look at you and warmth spreads through me.  

You are cruising.  And took your first steps with the wooden trolley last Friday (17th July)!  Standing one-handed.  Loving pulling things out of the fridge...and playing with the loo brush :-0

You babble all day long. You make a particularly questioning noise often ("huh?") which is very endearing.  You are also very vocal about what you want and don't want and ask for it quite clearly, which is a help.  Sometimes.

You eat like a champ.  All day long it seems, and will eat anything really.

I've started to bring you to music classes and swimming, which you love.

And you love to dance.  You seem to have a very innate sense of rhythm and shimmy on down to the merest hint of music.  You often bang (rhythmically) on the bongos, and are a mean hand at strumming the strings of the ukelele and guitar.

Big sis is on her holidays now, and you couldn't be more pleased (as am I) to have her here with us all the time.  This summer is going to be so bonding for you two.  For us all.

You've been camping for the first time.  Slept like a dream, happy with all the fresh air and people watching.  In fact, you are sleeping better in general.  You suddenly seem to "get it" a lot more.  For the first time I can remember,  you fell asleep whilst lying down together( while camping). It seems that you now really want to go to sleep and get that you can just close your eyes and decide to go to sleep quite easily, without waiting until you are practically passed out like before. 

You are clapping, trying to wave, waving your arms around when you want something, trying to scoop food from the plate with your spoon (ok the handle of it...but still).  We got you a baby swing for the garden, and you absolutely love it, especially when big sis is swinging in the one alongside it, or even better when she pushes you. Oh! Climbing too on anything you can, up and down steps and onto your sister's bed.  You love having a good nosey around her room, especially crawling into her little tent.

There must be more that I could say, but for now I'll add some photos.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Letter to baby at 9 months

So here you are, 9 months old. As long on the outside as on the inside.

This week you finally got that right leg arranged in the right place and you are crawling.
You are trying to put your hands up to be lifted. 

You have a cold and are teething as usual so have been upset. I'm taking you into bed with me a lot now.

Today you crawled over to the back door and just stayed there for about 20 minutes jabbering out the door to your sister who was swinging as usual in the garden. So sweet and funny. 

You are a determined little soul, not taking any prisoners for sure, preferring to e.g. feed yourself.  And you do eat a lot, which is a joy to see.

Very clear in what you want. What you don't want. And how to express that. 

It is emotional to think of your 9 months inside, well matched by the 9 months here with us. Your spirit is so strong, fierce, soft. Glowing. Burning, even.   I think of your name...it is so meaningful to me. It is so evocative I couldn't resist it though softer, prettier, even some shall we say cosmopolitan names were appealing to me.

Your sibling who I miscarried last before you was to be called Oriane. Golden Dawn, as she was to be for us. 

Her light shines in different ways now. I'm not religious or even spiritual. But energy doesn't die. 

Not one of us can be anything for anyone else. 

We belong to the winds, to the wilds of fortune. This is what your name evokes for me. Nature. Beautiful, powerful and merciless.

And most of all. Free.

Mam Xx

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Letter to baby at 8 months

Now you're 8 months, and looking very big all of a sudden.

It is brilliant to have a fat baby...you have lots of lovely rolls. I must take some good photos before they are gone.  You are just so gorgeous and squidgy.  And such a sunny personality.

You love to eat - picking up peas, devouring oranges, loving everything.

You are chatting away to us.  The other night as I said "night night" to the sun as I closed the blinds (a nightly ritual) you grinned as always and said something very like night night...the same tone and inflection.  You also use the same tone and inflection as me to say something like "Hiya". It's fascinating.

Other things you do are to pick up and bang down a little ball.  If you bang it it lights up and you saw me do this so you are trying to do the same.  You succeeded once and were delighted.  Tonight you banged Daddy's phone in the same way as you have seen that light up.  It's amazing what we see when we observe.

You are trying to crawl still, and are making lots of efforts with rolling.  You go up on one knee but the other one stays over to the side often.

You have moved from the hammock to a cot by my bed and are getting used to it.  Neither you nor your sister were ones for co-sleeping as babies, although when semi-conscious in the middle of the night you will sometimes fall asleep next to me.  Not very cuddly babies - no sitting down cuddling or taking lovely daytime naps together.  Not too fond of slings either, although you will sleep in one for a limited period. Not a fan of it generally when awake though.  You love to be picked up, but with a view to having a good ole nose around - strictly not for cuddling.  I have to laugh at your fierce independent spirit - with you, not at you of course!

We had a trip to Cork so everyone could see you.  You were very unsettled for the first few days when there, seeming to have some stranger anxiety, which did ease off.  I think we had done too much travelling beforehand with two other trips, and you were teething too.

I keep getting glimpses of what you will look like when you are grown up. You have a very strong look - so much of it I can see comes from various patrts of the family, but you are very much yourself. It's funny I can imagine what you will look like as an adult but not as a toddler or as a child.

We are trying to move house at the moment and we are far too busy.  I want to enjoy this very special time before it is gone.  

Love Mam x

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Letter to baby at 7 months

 Baby girl....7 months already.  Blink, and you'll be a toddler.

- So much bigger now - moving up the scales from the 25th to 50th centile
- Eating solids
- Two teeth on the bottom, just like your sister
- New sounds - Mammammammam really clearly Easter Saturday, followed by Lalalalala and Daddaddaddad. So chatty.
- Still up for milk every few hours, and fed on demand.
- No routine, though I think I could find a napping one...only for the days you nap though as sometimes you don't!

Spring is here, and you have been out looking at flowers, sat on the grass, been to the playground, the reclamation yard, swung in swings, had a trip to London, to Nanny Linda....and soon will take your first aeroplane ride to Ireland.

Your big sister is on schools holidays and you are very happy to have her here.  You love company, and are always happiest when we are out and about.  It's ironic as I went out and about lots more with your big sister when she was a baby and she didn't enjoy it as much. But maybe there is a connection to be made there - she was out too much, and you are out too little.

People love babies, but it does seem that you cause a sensation wherever you go - people think you are just so cute, and they are right. We had a fright the other night - you ate a lot of solid food when we were in London for the weekend and vomited a lot after you went to bed. If we hadn't heard you on the monitor it doesn't bear thinking what might have happened. We had delayed slightly turning it on too as the holiday flat was so small and we didn't think we needed it.

I am so in love with you - thinking of you or looking at photos of you when you are asleep.  I love to squash my cheeks against yours, kiss the top of your head (or any part of you really) or gently rub our noses together.  Blowing rasperries on you always gets a laugh, and you love it if I pretend to eat your feet from under the high chair. Sometimes you won't let me put you down at all, and I have ordered a ringsling all the way from America just for those short carries around the house. I can see that I am the most special person for you - when the chips are down it is me you look to, despite a very strong bond with Dad. It is a very special love between a mother and a baby.  It changes later I've found to something just as special but less intense.

The world is waking up now, and you are keen to crawl, sitting up very well, and rolling with much more force and gusto.   I am out of hibernation and I think of all the things I must do for you - hold you on the little rocking horse, bring to the beach, on countryside walks...oh the time is flying!

Love Mam x

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Baby in her party gear

The attractive parents….not
Vegan turkish delight and strawberry cake, nice.
 She is now 5. Time passed so quickly and so slowly. I am a much different person to 5 years ago.

But is she?  Developmentally, yes of course...yet she still retains so much of her essence. Curious, vulnerable, exuberant, loud, open, funny, fun-loving, watchful, observant, thinking, particular, loving, impatient, questioning, creative. These labels don't really capture her. Can you ever capture a person in words? Perhaps just your own fleeting interpretation of them, if you are good enough to accurately express this, that's all.  She is so much more than I have the language for.  And there is so much of her that is unknown, unknowable.  As it should be.

It took her to be born for me to truly understand the words "force of nature". For she is one, a blast of energy which has shot through our lives, changing it and the world forever.

It is a joy to watch her unfurl.  To find her people, to gain more confidence to go out into the world.

There are times when she drives us crazy, of course.  Our adult, traditionally brought-up selves can sometimes hardly bear the sheer untramelled humanness of this small child. We put negative labels on her (usually silently thankfully) - rude, selfish. We attach intentions to her- interrupting, ignoring, not listening, dawdling.  I catch myself thinking she is ungrateful at times, Yet she has not asked to be given things. And is actually surprisingly grateful mostly. This is for another post…I have many thoughts on all that modern kids are given.

All the while she is just being herself.  Perfectly imperfect. Like us all if we could just accept.

Enough of the musings now.  She is a most wonderful daughter and being and we celebrated her birthday in style.

Pink coconut cake (pink ALLLLLLL the way through, baby!) for bringing into school, balloons, a toy owl to keep her other toy owl company, a pink bike basket (the last two requested), a book about a girl engineer (Mam chosen of course), lego, more books and much more from family and friends.  Then a family trip to a hydrotherapy pool. Disco lights! Water jets! Bubbles! Currents!

Pizza and ice-cream on the seafront? Of course!

Then at the weekend a wonderful party in a local museum with lots of fairy and Medusa based activities, to tie in with current interests, with all the school friends, and some from before.  It would have been brilliant to invite everyone, but not possible, or desireable I guess. It was both a relief and a joy to see her run free and spend the entire party playing with her friends and to be so excited to celebrate with her people. No clinging to us at all.  Not that I mind helping her feel safe.

And there we are. Just like that. And not just like that.