I thought I’d write you a letter and a list, for your first birthday, because, I like to document stuff. I will do this every year, even when you are middle-aged, and your partner rolls their eyes at my annual gesture. God, you’re nowhere near leaving home yet, and I already miss you…I need to reign it-in. More mother, less smother.
I’m currently a walking cliche; well, they are running through my mind and pouring out my mouth, like never before. So, I’ll get a couple out of the way now. I cannot believe you are one today! It has gone so fast, you’ve grown so much, I cannot remember life without you, and, I want you to know that I’m one proud mom. Like, the proudest I’ve ever been in my life.
It hasn’t been the easiest year, and your beginnings were such a challenge. However, I hope your dad and I have ensured that you’ve had everything you’ve needed. NICU feels like a separate part of our lives now; our family started the day we brought you home. You were so tiny, and we were so nervous, but, incredibly excited. You were tube and wire-free, and I could be next to you 24/7 (I still am at the moment, as we’re in quarantine). As with any new arrival, it was all overwhelming and exhausting, but magical and wonderful too. I was, and am, confident that you’ll always be okay, because you are surrounded by so much love. You also fought so hard, from day one, to get home; I just know you’ve got that feisty spirit.
A list for your first year:
- You’ve lived in 4 places: NICU, our apartment in Bristol, your grandparents house in Sutton, and now, our apartment in the JQ, Birmingham.
- You’ve had 3 staycations: Abergavenny, where we stayed on castle grounds, the Cotswolds, where we stayed in a tree house, and Snowdonia, for Christmas with the fam.
- You hate putting sleeves on. Hate it. You literally sound like we are murdering you, every time we try to put your lovely, pudgy arms, into a sleeve of any kind. But, as soon as they’re on, you’re fine.
- You love the bath so much; I think you’re going to be a bit of a water baby. You fell asleep during your first ever bath, but now you love to splash about. We will be off to swimming lessons, as soon as we are out of quarantine.
- I’ve found nothing that you won’t eat, apart from cucumber. I don’t blame you. You’re favourite treat is cheese. I don’t blame you for this either.
- Your smile and laugh are the best. They are getting your dad and I through weeks of isolation.
- You can be a bit violent. You enjoy clapping, with my face in the middle. Often, you will stick your finger in our ears, mouth, or nose, and give it a good yank. You pull hairs out of my head every day, and I can no longer wear earrings. Headbutting and kicks, are also a favourite activity.
- You move and roll around really fast. And, you are never where I left you, even if you’ve been asleep the whole time.
- You’ve just started to crawl, and it’s the best thing ever.
- You find loads of things really funny.
- Your first teeth have finally popped through (08/04/2020), and it’s the two in the middle, at the bottom. Your top-middle two are on the way.
- You’ve got super-blonde hair. And, you’ve been growing one strand since NICU, and it’s really long; much longer than the rest of your hair.
- At the moment, we’ve decided that the top half of your face looks like your dad, and the bottom looks like me.
- You’re favourite thing to watch is a baby sensory video on YouTube, that has different coloured shapes, moving around the screen, to various pinging noises.
- Your favourite book is Where’s Santa? From your aunty, uncle, and cousins. You love the bright-coloured felt.
- We found out very early-on, that white noise helps you to sleep. First it was a hairdryer sound, then rain and thunder, and now, it’s the sound of the inside of an aeroplane, in flight.
- You are stubborn and strong-willed, and very vocal about the things you’re not happy with.
- You are also sweet and cheeky, and making you laugh is our favourite thing to do.
- You can sit-up on your own.
- You get stuck under our sofa, multiple times a day.
- You grab whatever you can, then put it in your mouth.
- You’ve celebrated your first Easter, with your first taste of chocolate.
- Your favourite toy is a box of plastic eggs, with plastic chicks in them; they make chirping sounds and are brightly coloured.
- You are so much fun.
You continue to change every day (sorry, more cliches), and I do my best to soak it all-in, and enjoy each stage. Who knows what your next year will bring. It’s really uncertain times right now. However, I’m looking forward to your first steps, making you laugh, and your character emerging even more. Hopefully, you’ll have the opportunity to start nursery and begin new relationships with people.
We are throwing you a birthday party today. Family and friends will be there, online, because of lockdown. We’ll be having cake and balloons, and we will make sure the whole day is about celebrating you and how far you’ve come.
Happy 1st birthday baby boy!
All my love, Mom x