ONE

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I have been sitting here for about five minutes wondering how to start this post. Peach turned one last week and I’m still musing over how it seemed to come about so quickly. So quickly, it seems, I can barely believe it has come and gone. I want to take the time to think about her, to mull over her softness, to wonder how I would have ever lived my life without knowing her.

She is such a round little beauty of a baby. When I was pregnant with her I was asked by a friend to describe what I thought she was like. I thought for a moment and replied: Happy. And she was and she is. The happiest little creature. From the moment she was born she really hardly cried, so much so that I commented on it to various people, wondering if she should be crying more than she was! Don’t get me wrong, she certainly does cry, but her problems are always very easily fixed with a cuddle or a tickle (or a piece of toast!). I do hope this is a quality she maintains throughout her life.

Being the third child, she generally rolls with the punches… she gets dragged from here to there and really loves nothing more than watching her big sisters play. She’s always trying to get involved in their games, and has no qualms about letting them know if she believes she is being treated unfairly (eg. when they retrieve their toys from her fierce little grip in a highly ungraceful manner).

Her favourite thing to do is to collect shoes from the shoe basket and to place little toys and the like inside. KB sent me a photo from work the other day after he had retrieved a puzzle piece from inside his work shoe. Coming up in second place is clanging things together, anything really, wooden spoons, blocks, pencils. She is rarely found without something in her hand.

She is not yet walking, and instead of crawling she is the first of my children to do a bum shuffle. It’s quite funny to watch and although it stresses me out and ruins all her pants, I have come to accept that she is just not going to crawl. One of these days she will pull herself up to walk and I will forget this phase of dirty bottoms and socks. The other two were also late walkers, Bird at 19 months and Pixie at 17 months. While they both crawled, the Pixie had a highly unorthodox method utilising one knee and one elongated foot. It was bizarre, but she too popped up one day and began walking.

Her favourite food is blueberries, just like her sisters. And, like them, she prefers to feed herself and gives me the cold shoulder along with a very loud yell almost automatically if I poke a spoon in her direction.

She has her two bottom teeth, which I think she got around eight months (see what attention to detail the third child gets!?), and has had an awful week teething. Tonight as I put her to bed I could see two sore lumps protruding from her upper gum and she has just been miserable, which is out of character. It feels like each girl has been more sensitive to teething – either that or I have become more observant! It appears more teeth will arrive very soon.

Like the Pixie, little Peach is not a fan of sleeping. We haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over a year and I am suitably exhausted. But unlike last time, when I fretted and moaned and stressed about the lack of sleep, I have to say it has been easiER this time. It’s not easY by any stretch of the imagination. The stress of laying your head on the pillow each night knowing you’ll be awakened again and again and possibly: again. It’s needless to say that it is not fun, per se. But then I’m laying there as she cradles her little body in towards mine, and it fits perfectly, like it was made especially to curl in that very space. Somehow, just somehow, all is forgiven and that is how we spend our nights. I do look forward to her sleeping overnight – more than that, I look forward to going to bed without the anxiety of being woken. I don’t feel I’m explaining this very well, but I’m sure all you sleepless mamas out there know what I mean.

While I have just loved having babies so, so much, I’m really looking forward to the coming year. I’m looking forward to watching my girls and my family grow now, I’m looking forward to more sleep (please!), I’m looking forward to getting some of myself back, but also giving more as they get older and their needs change.

So to finish up: thank you darling Pea, for rounding us all out, for bringing us endless joy, and for being the bright shining star that you are. Thanks to you, I will never again doubt my heart’s ability to offer endless love and compassion. Thanks to you, I feel whole. And I really mean that.

this time, one year ago

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You were cradled in my arms, all bunchy and squished. We were in bed. I was most likely eating something. (Food tastes so good in the days following childbirth, don’t you think?) We were surrounded by loving family. We were at home.

A few hours earlier I felt your soft hair flowing through my fingertips under water, moments before I held you for the very first time and felt your skin against mine. I looked down in surprise to find you were a little girl, not a wee boy as I had thought during my pregnancy (due to nothing more scientific than a dream three years prior).

Well my darling pixie babe, you have been full of surprises this past year, some which have delighted, others which have perplexed your tired mama.

Your lively nature and determined spirit is contagious. You make us laugh each and every day. You squark and kick your legs when you don’t get your own way and we all know better now than to refuse your commands. We simply obey. We cuddle you at night and touch your face and kiss your cheeks. We rub your tummy and feed you and tickle your toes and smooth our hands over your skin in the bath.

Happy first birthday my sweet, vivacious girl. My life is forever changed for the better with you in it, you bring me daily joy and a love so deep and complex and fulfilling and all-consuming that I am completely and utterly addicted to it, and to you.

We love you deeply and dearly little pixie. May your second year be just as bright as your first, and on and on.

Big love, your mama.