When I started this blog, I promised myself I wouldn't write a bunch of sappy stuff about being a mother and Beatrice turning into a one year old baby. We don't use the T-word around here. Nope, no toddlers here. Just tiny, little babies that don't become toddlers for many, many years. But as her birthday approaches (4 days!!!), I don't think I can keep my promise. She's just so wonderful and this first year has changed so much for me that I just have to write about it. So here it goes.
She fell asleep in the car today on our way home. I was prepared to sit and wait it out while she slept, but she woke after about 20 minutes. Knowing my child's crappy sleep habits like only a mother could, I knew that the chances of her going back to sleep on her own were slim. So I took her in and rocked her. I haven't rocked her to sleep in months so this was a big deal. As she nursed and fell asleep, I sat there and soaked in that sweet little moment. Pretty soon, she won't need me to put her back to sleep or to nurse her. She will not want to rock anymore. She will be big. But while she's still little, I want to soak in every detail and remember what my little baby is like.
As I watched her settle into a rhythm of heavy breathing and swallowing milkies, I wondered if I would remember this moment when she's a bigger girl. Would I remember the way she played with my shirt while nursing when she's a 5 year old going off to kindergarten? Would I remember the way her once tiny body fit perfectly in my arms when she's a teenager? Would I remember how content she was snuggled on her mama as a baby when it's her wedding day? Would I remember how I felt so needed and loved and special being her mom today? I hope so.
Her looming birthday doesn't make me sad. I actually love having a big girl baby more than I loved having a newborn. I love that even though she can't say many words, she still understands everything we say to her. "Beatrice, are you ready to eat?" She crawls to her high chair and waits to be served. "Beatrice, do you need a diaper change?" Up the stairs to her room she goes. She's such a little person now. A little person that I have a hard time saying no to...those eyes, those cheekies. They turn me into mush every time. And the thing I love the most? Although she is growing independent and loves to learn how to do things on her own, she still wants to cuddle and lay her little head down on our shoulders to give us love. She is the perfect mix of baby and T-word.
I can't say that I've enjoyed every moment of her babyhood. The sleeplessness of the first month was not fun and the initial fear of not knowing how to be a mother sucked pretty bad. But now that it's almost over, I'm just trying to savor the last tender moments of having a baby while I can. Because in 4 short days, my little baby will be big(ger) and I'll be a mother of a T-word.
"Beatrice, how big are you?" Sooooooo big!
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