I find myself asking this question more and more lately. My baby girl turned one year old this week and I just can’t believe it. The first year of her life has passed by so quickly and she has grown into an increasingly independent and capable girl in the blink of an eye. She’s no longer my tiny baby. I had wanted that stage to last just a bit longer – she’s my third child and the last member to join and complete our family. I long for her little snuggly face and her lasting gaze as she was fed. I miss holding and cuddling her; with her not wanting to climb down and set off on her adventures. I wish for a few more times of her lying beside me and not wanting to follow her brothers around on their travels. That little helpless bundle has long since moved on and in her place I have an excited, happy, fun-loving almost-toddler who loves nothing more than roaming around unaided and unfettered.
I know it’s great that she’s so capable and able to do all of these things, goodness knows we were willing J on to achieve these things he found so hard. It’s bittersweet though. She no longer relies on me to help her get around and she even eats mostly on her own now too. She likes a cuddle but only for a short time, before she has more important things she would rather be doing.
I find it amazing that she has grown so quickly, she really wasn’t a baby for long. She has been doing or trying to do things for herself for a good while now. The time has flown past and she’s developed so far in the blink of an eye. She’s really taken it all in her stride too and hasn’t made a big deal out of it. She rolled over, sat up, started eating solids, crawled and walked round furniture without too much of a fuss. She’s the only one of my three who sleeps right through the night and she even goes down to bed with very little drama. Her teeth were probably what bothered her the most. The poor soul was fevered, red-cheeked and had an upset tummy too. Even then it wasn’t on the same scale as the boys.
I sometimes wonder if it’s just that I’ve gotten used to the things they become able to do, or if we are just so busy this time around that we haven’t paid the same attention to the smaller details of how things are achieved. In reality I do just think she is a ‘good baby’ as people would say. She mostly has a big grin on her face, laughs and smiles when she sees us and loves following her brothers around. In fact she’s maybe just a little bit wild as a result! She’s no shrinking violet at the moment. This is a good thing though and I hope it doesn’t change. She’ll need to be fit for the other two as she gets older. There are many times when she yells at them or gives them a warning look that seems so old for her years. At times she has the best shrieks and belly laughs too. She also has that devilish glint in her eye as she crawls off when she knows you want to change her or put her up to bed. It’s such great fun to crawl off, laughing and looking over your shoulder for mummy to chase you around.
She loved her birthday too and seemed to be a little aware of what was going on and that it was for her. Present opening was a fun, new experience. Getting dressed up in her party dress was great, as was eating the party food instead of her own healthier/more nutritious meal. She loved having people visiting who wee there to see her. She’s really quite sociable and just loves having company.
In such a short space of time my baby has become a little girl. She’s learned so much and taught me a few things along the way too. She’s my saving grace most of the time in our insane lives. Her smile never fails to cheer me up and I get so much joy from the big and little things that she works so hard to learn to do. Looking after three kids is hard work, as I’m sure many people can tell you. I love them all for their own unique little personalities. I hope that one day my girl will grow into a beautiful young woman and that I can have taught her well to cope with the demands life will no doubt place on her. I also hope that I will have been good enough at all of this, that she will also call her mum her first best friend. Fingers crossed!