Emily is asleep in her cot.
It does not quite have the same ring to it, as Emily is asleep in her cradle, does it.
It saddens me a little to think I will never start a blog with those words again.
She is too big for her cradle now.
It sits stoically in the corner of our bedroom awaiting its fate.
I have not quite been able to bring myself to do anything with it yet.
I am not sure if it is because I am secretly hoping for a second baby, or if it is something a little more complex.
It seems far too soon for baby girl to be in her next size bed on a permanent basis.
I fear I am always going to be one and a half steps behind when it comes to her growing up.
Before having Emily, I never would have considered myself to be that mother.
The mother who hangs on to the remnants of a shadow, asking the littleness from the past to return.
However, here I am, looking rather perplexed at the two baby booties in my hands, and wondering how on earth it came to this.
Surely if I wish hard enough… Surely, I can make them fit her not so tiny feet.
But of course not.
I know the cradle will not sit quietly in the corner forever.
Moreover, I promise to move it before the resentment sets in.
Before it becomes an eyesore.
Before it becomes the wedge in our marriage.
Before it becomes anything more than what it is, Emily’s cradle.
The cradle she slept in for the first five or so months of her life.
The cradle we rocked.
The cradle she loved.
The cradle we love!
However, for now, I am not done grieving for the passing of the newborn phase, and all that it meant.
This is not to say I am not appreciative of where we are. Rather I cannot quite get my head around how quickly we arrived.
Because this is how I imagined it.
Whenever I thought about having a baby, I always saw her in my mind’s eye at about this age.
So this… This is the sweet spot for me.
This is what I equate to my pre-parenting parenting visualisations.
This, I know.
This I can relate, because I have seen it in my mind’s eye so many times.
This is the part where I get to relax, even just a little.
She is growing up, and becoming a little more independent.
She will lie on the floor and play with her toys while I write.
She will sit in her rocker and watch the tennis, the washing, and the happenings in the house.
She will munch on her teething biscuits, apples, and plastic measuring spoons.
She will babble happily to squeaky mini, the birdies outside, or her daddy as he passes.
She will examine everything with such curiosity and enchantment.
I cannot help but be brought back to the present when she is near. Be it a simple game of pull mummy’s hair while I blow raspberries on her belly, or the simple act of feeding her smashed up carrot.
So often as we engage, time slips from our world, and there is nothing or nowhere else, I need to be or do.
It won’t always be like this, I remind myself as I pull her close and offer her my breast.
It won’t always be like this, I remind myself, as she sticks her fingers up my nose and bounces on my lap.
It won’t always be like this, I remind myself as I put her dummy back in her mouth at 2:00AM.
One day she will not need me.
I know I am not going to be ready.
I wish I had not worried so much in those first six months about what I was doing, how I was doing it and the potential consequences therein.
Because my God! None of it matters.
I kept telling myself I should just relax and enjoy the ride. Nevertheless, loosening my grip proved difficult. Even if it was, only the grip I held in my head.
I wish I had gone with the flow more. And not worried about where she was in relation to other children, or her development milestones.
I wish I had not read all those advice forums and blogs.
Oh God! And I so wish I had not bought that stupid baby book.
I try to remember what she was like when we first brought her home. However, the memory does not come flooding back naturally the way I expect.
I have to stretch my mind and concentrate.
I have already forgotten the lightness of her bundled in my right arm. The smell from of her head. The sound of her brand new baby cry.
Things come back to me in snippets. However, they are fleeting and almost distant as though they belong to another mama.
Even now, sometimes I will be holding her, and I cannot believe I get to be her mummy.
Still I feel like an unknown someone is going to ask me to hand her back.
How did I get this job, I wonder quietly to myself, not quite believing it is actually real.
Honestly, I did not know this much fun could be had in the in-between.
I am more content, liberated, stressed, relaxed, tired, energised, clear, motivated, conflicted, happy, and in love with everything than ever!
Pregnancy for me was my waking up to the world.
I do not regret not doing it earlier, because I think a part of what makes this great is the fact that I waited. Even if it were not so much of my choosing, as opposed to life knowing and having a bigger plan than I had invisaged for myself.
Lord knows if things had gone the way I had hoped, my world would be a disaster.
I accomplished a lot before becoming a blind mama, and no doubt, I will accomplish a whole lot more.
However, this in between is exactly where I want to be.
Just daddy, mummy, and baby makes three.
Sometimes it is so difficult not to shout about every one of our mundane moments during the day.
The how did mummy get mango in baby girl’s armpit?
The absolute cuteness of Little cupping my face in her hands as she comes in for a big open mouth sloppy kiss on my nose.
How peaceful she looks when she is asleep.
My delight as I can hear her squealing with happiness at the top of her lungs outside while I am in the shower.
Her excited arms and legs as she sees something she likes.
The sound of daddy explaining the mechanics of the dishwasher to her as they unstack it together.
Or a million other moments which make up our world.
However, for now, Emily is asleep in her cot.
She is heading for a record two hour sleep in the afternoon.
The visit from her friends must have worn her out.
She never sleeps this long during the day.
Goodness, at night at the moment we are lucky to get more than two hours.
I think she is going through a growth spurt.
She is constantly hungry.
Which again, is a nice problem to have.
Every time I pick her up from her cot, I swear she is heavier.
Sometimes I purposely hold back, so Michael has a chance to fetch her.
Because he too should have, the opportunity to experience that glorious smile after she first wakes up.
Because it won’t always be like this…
She won’t always need us to pick her up out of bed.
However, I have a feeling; there will always be a part of me, which needs to do so.