Last year I didn’t really take the time to appreciate her birthday as a milestone. Maybe because I was partially comatose from sleep deprivation and in part because we were so busy planning a big bash. This year, the party is a lot smaller, and I am more keenly aware of how fast she’s growing up.
It seems fitting tonight, that unlike every other night she wanted to sleep in our bed (just for old times sake?) and she now lies next to me, breathing heavily and occasionally kicking the keyboard.
I’ve loved the last year as she became a confident walker, a prolific talker, a superstar tantrum thrower, a sensitive soul and an affectionate creature. I’ve also had my share of frustration – I’ve raised my voice, used harsh words and today I even threw a stuffed toy. None of these things end well, for me or her. I hope that the good far outweighs the bad and that her experience of her second year is far more filled with tickle fights, trampolines, chasies, book reading and games than with anything else. So my goal for her third year is to manage my emotions better so we don’t have another stuffed toy incident. It’s not that I don’t want to be frustrated around her – because it’s good for her to see me frustrated – I just think I’d be teaching her a hell of a lot more if I handled it in a healthy way rather than victimising innocent stuffed animals.
But for me, most of those frustrations and irrittions are just blips in what has been a joyful year. I love that when she gets scared, she still buries her face in my chest. I love that when she’s had a bad dream, she still comes into our bed and while she’s asleep wraps both of her pudgy arms around my neck. I love that we can have conversations now and she is quite possibly one of the cheekiest creatures on the planet. Because as much as I might bemoan the end of babydom – it’s really the beginning of a relationship as two separate people.
Because let’s face it, she’ll always be my baby.
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