For the last few weeks I've been feeling really reflective. It started just before bub turned one and it continued for a little while after. There's nothing like a milestone to make you reminisce about the past. Yes I know a year isn't really all that long, and it kinda sounds wrong referring to such a short period of time as the past. But in reality that single year makes up her entire life to date and that's massive. It's quite amazing just how much a baby changes in their first year and how amazingly fast it seems to fly by. I really don't understand how pregnancy seems to drag on forever, yet once the baby comes time goes by at light speed.
I've been missing my little baby for a few weeks now. I don't think I was really ready for her to morph into a toddler quite so fast. Her first few months of life I was willing her to grow up and reach milestone's, but come eleven months I was begging her to slow down. Ironically it coincided with when she started to walk. Since then I've been in this weird half sad, half clucky mood wanting my baby back. I'm guessing its natures way of making sure we go back for more...?
I started considering having another baby purely to get those baby moments back again. But then I reminded myself of the sleep deprivation days and quickly got over that idea! I still entertain it sometimes in my dreams, but for now I'm happy to live vicariously through my friends who have younger babies.
To be honest I was starting to get quite down about not having a baby anymore. For a while I thought it might be some kind of slight resurgence of my pnd. But then I realised all my friend's have all gone through the same phase around their baby's first birthdays. It seems missing the "little baby" is just a normal phase all us poor mums go through. I imagine it'll just get worse with each child, especially the last. I think it's just hit me a bit harder because I honestly don't know if I'll be able to have any more children so she could very well be my first and last baby.
I'm happy to report though that I'm finally out of my little funk. She's still developing rapidly, but instead of mourning for the little baby I had before, I'm focusing on all the things I have to look forward to. Each day shes doing new things and saying (or attempting to say) more words. Each passing week there are more and more activities we can do together as she gains new skills.
I'm quickly discovering toddlers are just as amazing as babies. Sure there are tantrums, and shes already a master at those, but there are also really good moments too. Like the cuddles and kisses each morning. The huge stories she tells... rah rah rah mum mum bub bub ha ha ha ah mum mum. Playing with the ball at the park. Watching her interact with the cats. Exploring new textures with water play and building sand trenches at the beach. Being a toddler is still new and exciting and most of all fun. Best of all shes getting better at communicating what she wants and including me in her playtime because she wants to, not because she needs me to help her.
I used to think only the baby stage would be magical (excluding the sleep deprivation and poo parts) and that the older stages would mainly be full of tantrums and frustration. I'm now learning that every single stage of childhood is magical, for both her and me. I love my little big girl so much and no matter how big she gets she'll still be my baby girl.