Today, my little snugglebug turns one. 12 months ago, right at this very moment, I’d been a mother for all of 25 minutes. I’d spent 16 hours in labour, tried to deal with the pain drug-free (failed), tried gas (failed – because honestly, aside from making my head feel a little wooh-wooh, it really didn’t do much for me) and after 12 hours of the most excruciating pain ever, an overpaid anesthesiologist stuck a needle in my back and all was right with the world again. I lay there in a beautiful drug-induced numbness, appreciating my pain-free body like I’d never done before. And 25 minutes ago to the second, my world changed forever with the arrival of the most precious bundle I would ever have the honour of cuddling.
I can’t really believe he’s one. Sometimes I look at him and I see a baby. A pudgy, squidgy, adorable little baby. But sometimes when I look at him, I swear I can see not only a toddler, but I catch glimpses of features that he’ll have when he grows up. A furrow of the brow, a surprisingly mature smile. These glimpses thrust me years into the future, much further than I’d like to be right now.
Another glimpse into the future is rockstar Sam:
It’s been three months since my last post on motherhood, when I was all riddled with guilt over going back to work. Well, very surprising, I slipped right back into work as though I’d never left. All that angst about leaving Sam and stress about not being able to get back into the work psyche, all for nothing really. It probably helped in a “sorry-not-sorry” way that about nine months’ worth of work was dumped into my lap on day one and I wasn’t even given a chance to think about whether I’d sink or swim. I just swam. And I’m still swimming. Even all the way to Johannesburg and back, I missed my baby like the
mad clingy overprotective mother that I am, but yes, I’m still swimming.
Panu’s been on paternity leave the past nine weeks. It’s been the most amazing experience for both of them and a privilege not very many men have the opportunity of experiencing. It hurts my heart that Sam adores his dad way more than he likes me (this is true, you should see how he crawls around the house looking for his daddy) but also melts me to my core knowing they’re building a unique bond now that’s going to last them a life time.
Panu goes back to work in a couple of weeks. He’ll be heart broken. Sam will be heart broken. I’ll probably be the one who cries.
Over the past three months, Sam has become easier and easier to look after and consequently so much more fun. I’ve almost forgotten the newborn pain because aside from a few whingy moments, he’s just a little kid now, doing his own thing. He crawls around the house, topples, cries, gets back up and crawls around. He’s curious about everything (right now it’s doors) and the curiosity lasts his entire attention span of 30 seconds before he moves along. His motor skills are so impressive, easily picking up the most slippery things, especially when the end goal is getting it into his mouth (he’s also going through an I-only-eat-finger-food phase). His coordination is even better, landing pretty much every single stacking ring on its pole on his first go.
God, my baby is totally growing up.
Some readers of my previous posts (6 months and 9 months) have told me that my transparent and honest writing about the difficulties of having a baby resonated with them. I almost feel bad that I don’t have anything negative to say in this post and maybe it’s because Panu’s on daddy duty so I’m not on baby watch all day, every day. But I actually think it’s because he’s actually grown out of that ‘really hard’ stage where there’s endless crying and carrying and rocking and tiredness and helplessness and and and… the list goes on. So if you’re still in that fog, believe me – at 12 months, there is a light and the end of the tunnel isn’t all that far away.
Now we just wait for the terrible twos!
ps. We’re having a party for Sam on Saturday. But today he’ll have some cake. Naked. On the floor. Pretty much how most adults want to eat cake.