Dear Little Miss,
You’ve been in our lives (out of my belly that is) for just over 10 months now. Things are pretty awesome right now. See, the thing is, I’ve spent so long trying to figure you out. Since you were born, you kind of kept your cards close to your chest about who you might be one day. I knew you needed to take your time to figure things out – new places, new people. I know you love me and you’re my little koala and as much as you love everyone else in the family, you have always given me the best, snuggliest cuddles (shh don’t tell them). For the first 7 months at least, you would not really go to other people. I was a little worried that you might be painfully shy or anxious. I felt reassured that our bond has always been strong (that’s so important in a baby’s life), but unsure of what that might mean in the long term.
OK, I’m going to be really blunt here…
You were kind of a hard-to-read blob for longer than I expected you to be! There. I said it. A very cute blob. A very special tiny person. Just maybe you took a little longer to come out of your shell than I expected! I think maybe your big brother’s exuberance and old soul qualities that he’d possessed since day 1 of his life gave me false expectations of what babies are like haha (he is a pretty special one off just like you are).
Speaking of your big brother. You idolise him. He’s not quite Mummy or Daddy, but you light up when you see him. You will crane your neck to check out what he is doing. You let him play with you and cuddle you. You are quick to tell him when to back up and I like that spunk in you! You live for school pick up. So much so that you won’t sleep in the car anymore in case you miss out on time with him (not so great for me but lovely in its own way)!
Now you’ll go to family and most friends (you only cry if you’re quite tired). You’re so lucky to have a wonderful village ready made (from the Little Mister’s mums’ group especially) and I am so grateful. So many people offer to hold you and watch you and it is so lovely. I feel a bit guilty I can’t always give back to that same level right now (ironically because I have you haha) but I want them to know how special it is and it means a lot.
Recently, you’ve started crawling. You’re just beginning to realise this skill can take you anywhere you want, whenever you want. That must feel so empowering! You know. Until I stop you from opening drawers or cupboards or from pulling stuff down on you from coffee tables or cabinets. Or from eating shoes or other random scraps and crumbs on the floor. You’re getting better with the not eating everything you see inside the house habit (I said ‘getting better’ not cured of it haha) but outdoors is another matter! You want leaves, random lumps of wood or soil, you name it. You really like nature haha. I have to watch you like a hawk and sometimes when we’re out (especially at the Little Mister’s cricket afternoons) I have to put a dummy in your mouth to slow you down with the whole oral fixation thing!
We’ve been a little slow with the child proofing thing this time around (I think we’re in denial because the age gap between your brother and yourself let us think we can have nice things), but we’ll get there! Your nana got you a lovely play pen. Sometimes you’ll only go in there with a big person (which kind of defeats the purpose haha) but it has allowed me to shower alone in the morning (your happy-to-play-independently time) which is awesome! Knowing you’re somewhere safe lets me breathe for a minute. I swear I don’t remember worrying about the Little Mister this much! I was either naive or maybe he wasn’t so mischievous or maybe things were better child proofed!!! I’m currently researching second hand play pens because it’s almost Christmas tree time! We need to protect that sucker and the presents underneath it!
Your sense of humour has emerged. You play little games with me. We laugh so hard as a family when you get your pointy finger out and choose who to point it at and then I lift you up and we chase that person so you can poke them hahaha (probably bad parenting but so hilarious). You are learning how to copy little movements and skills like putting blocks in a cup or taking them out. I love when you discover something new and let out an excited squeal. Your first Christmas will be so special. You are already loving the decorations at Woolies haha.
I’m not precious about screen time in our household. As long as everyone has a good attitude and does varied activities away from screens each day, I don’t mind it for chill out time! I do find myself wishing you’d watch TV for like 5 minutes though haha. You’re just not interested and while that’s a good thing in the big scheme of things, I would love the mental break and to be able to have it keep you happy in the play pen for a second on busy housework days or when I need to make a call!! Come on – a little Play School? Please?
You’re making lots of sounds now. You started saying “mum” when you were angry one day at dinner time which cracked me up (and warned me about the future)! You say bub and dada. I don’t think you know how to say those things intentionally just yet, but you know who everybody is if I ask you.
I love that you’re pint sized. You’re not small for your age, but you’re also not big. This is awesome because I feel like you’re not growing up too fast (you are but you’re literally not growing up too fast). I get to enjoy your little-ness for a bit longer than I did with the Little Mister who grew like a weed and always looked a year or two older than he was when he was a toddler!!
Every day I still feel so lucky to have you. We went through some shit to get here. Our family is complete and I am forever grateful you have entered our lives and given us this gift of your presence (oh fuck that’s a cheesy line). I mean, you took your time, but we’re so glad you’re here!
I know I write about you at really weird times – not the usual milestones – but this has felt like a really special time for you. Your personality has come out and I love it (even if I know it will challenge me)!