I can’t believe that you are no longer my baby. Although I’ve known it for a while, it’s now staring me in the face as you clock over to 2!
So much has happened since that Wednesday morning two years ago. We had spent the weekend before wondering whether you’d make an appearance, worried about you not growing optimally in my tummy. Tuesday, we saw the gynae again. She told us she wanted to go ahead with the C-section and explained some of the biology (we didn’t have that with your sister because she came early and I had an emergency C-section.) Then she looked at us, smiling, and said that we could bring you into the world that afternoon or the next day. We opted for a few more hours of you cosy in your warm, dark space and some time to prepare our minds for your arrival. The next morning, we were up early and went to the hospital in the dark with no fanfare. You were born at 8:20. (Click here and here to read the birth story.) I heard the paed exclaim that you had lots of dark hair (quite unexpected after your blonde sister!) I kept thinking you were hot because you were so red. Because Daddy couldn’t be there a lot, we had some special bonding time in the hospital, snuggling while we slept.
The first few months, you had colic. It was unpredictable and untreatable. You struggled to latch properly even after your lip tie was lasered. I didn’t realise that I had postnatal depression and our family suffered because I wasn’t on treatment. As a result, I remember very little about your baby days and it’s something I’ll always be heartsore about!
When the days of colic were over, you became a happy baby! You took awhile to sit and when you weren’t sitting by 7 months, we chatted to an O.T. Within a week of doing exercises, you were much stronger! By 7 months, 3 weeks, you were sitting.
Just before your first birthday, you started to crawl. And then, just like that, you were a sweet, little one-year-old!
Exactly a week later, COVID hit South Africa and hit home. We were all thrown into a flurry of how to handle the plague. Three weeks later we went into hard lockdown. You cut you second two teeth a week or two later.
We spent lockdown with our friends and had a blast. One of your first words was your baby friend’s name who you’d enthusiastically point to whenever we saw them!
When we were finally able to go on walks with your grandparents at the end of June/beginning of July, we would go into the forest and walk to the dam. You soon wanted to join your sister and throw “nones” (stones) into the dam. It was hard to watch you grow, knowing they were missing out on so many of your milestones. You granny once said to me that you would walk before lockdown lifted. She was right. We had to take you out of the pram on a bumpy forest road to show them your wobbly steps.
I remember looking through photos and coming across very little pictures of you and your grandparents. My heart broke because I couldn’t picture their relationship with you.
The bonus of having lockdown was that Daddy worked from home. And the two of you developed a very special bond that hadn’t happened because he would often be with your older sister while I was sorting you out.
It’s been strange to think that you forgot what being in a car seat was like. It was three months that you didn’t travel in the car. When we put you back in after such a long time, you cried!
I think you must have been quite overwhelmed to be back in a shop! I think it had been almost 6 months! And I realised that you had seen very few people who didn’t have masks on.
You were having three feeds a day and you dropped two and almost the third within a week! I was relieved when you picked up the last feed just to give me some relief. You completely weaned yourself in two weeks. You were 21 months. What a blessing to reach that milestone with you when I thought you would give up much sooner because of your struggle to latch!
You transitioned to a big bed when you were 20 months old and I found the moment bittersweet. I had to accept that my baby, who I struggled to enjoy and who I missed out on baby months with, was no longer my baby. This time, the cot wouldn’t stay up for another baby. We had to disassemble it and pack it away. It was hard to accept that the baby years may be over for us.
We think you were stung by a bee one evening and whenever we mentioned a bee, your bottom lip trembled and you would stick out you finger and say “kiss” in a woeful tone. Now, whenever you are sore, you blame the bee or the cat. “Bee “crash” (scratch) me!” or “Titty “crash” me! Kiss it!”
You have always loved food. I’ve never had to coax you to eat. And sometimes, I’m amazed at how much you eat. It’s great! You particularly love all the good stuff like chocolate, “kips” (chips), hot chocolate, pancakes and smarties. You cry when you ask for a “maana” (banana) and there aren’t any. You also like apple. Both of these you can eat 10 minutes after breakfast. You do not enjoy many veggies but will eat them if pushed. Tomato seems to be the one you are least likely to eat. For some unfathomable reason, you do not like melted cheese in any form – toasted sandwich, macaroni cheese and pizza. You would much rather knaw on a cube.
You aren’t really into screen time unless it’s Mickey Mouse (which you love!) or maybe a bit of “Tiger.”
You have the most amazing imagination and love making us tea (with a vegetable or fruit balancing precariously in the cup) or changing your rabbit or baba’s nappy. When this happens, I find nappies, liners, disposables, wipes and a hanging mat of sorts on the floor so you can sort out the “mud”(poo) in their “poofy” nappy.
You love building “kitty house” with blocks or towers with Duplo. The other day, you came and told me you had made a train and I nearly fell over backwards!
You have some interesting adjectives such as “wobbly,” and “fun.” You regularly tell me “Cefiwl (careful) car coming!” I love the way you say breakfast (fekist) and crocodile (dakil.) You think it’s hilarious to say “Dolphin pash! Face!” as you tell me that the dolphin splashed water on a face. You learnt this after going to the aquarium.
I love your sense of humour. You have a cheeky smile and a mischievous twinkle in your eyes. Sometimes you cock your head and ask me something cheeky like, “Feskist. Pancakes??”
I love how you laugh at your own jokes and tell us a story that you think is hilarious as I try to decipher what you’re saying. You love chatting to people on video call and you stick your chin forward and your finger out, raise your eyebrows, stammer a little as your mind works faster than your mouth and then say something with such intensity that it’s impossible not to smile at you!
You’ve been at home alone with me for the first time in your life when your big sister started school this year. I am amazed at your ability to entertain yourself. You can be away from me, upstairs while I wash the dishes, for almost an hour, happily chatting away to yourself.
You are a real cuddle bunny! You love being up, being held and giving hugs, especially fresh out of the bath! You love to be on top of me when I lie with you on your bed. But, my living! You are the most restless sleeper I know. You cannot lie still and sometimes end up upside-down on the bed. I was seriously worried you’d fall off your bed because you were never the right way up!
I can’t believe we have reached this milestone! As an early birthday present, your sister gave you a haircut and half your head lost its gorgeous curls!
My little babe, you have brought such joy to us! I pray that you will grow up to be a woman who continues to have a sense of right and wrong and remorse when you do something you shouldn’t. I pray that you will never lose your sense of humour! May you, more than anything else, choose to serve the Lord from a young age!
We love you, precious girl!
Love MommyTags: baby, birthday, child, coronavirus, covid, covid_19, daughter, motherhood, second birthday, toddler, two