Newborn no more

I LOVE the smell of her baby-milk spit, because it means she is kissing me.

I love her pulling the hair on my temples because it means she has reached out to me.

I love her cries as much as her gurgling and cackles because it means she still needs me.

Because before too long, she won’t.

At four months, my second baby can roll over and is trying desperately to sit up by herself.  She is in a big hurry to grow up.

Since I suspect she may be my last baby (note to husband: I reserve the right to change my mind), I don’t want her cutting teeth or saying her first words too soon. There’s still plenty of room in my arms for her to curl up in a while longer.

My older son was still trying to sit up at six months, but this gung-ho girl will be looking for paid employment by then.

Thankfully, there is already a hectic routine of kindergym, playgroups and swim lessons courtesy of her big brother for her to revel in.

My son was almost two months premature but still managed to develop as well (“sometimes better,” she boasts) as kids born full term in the same month. However, I had nothing to do but care for him – feed him, burp him, bathe him, gaze adoringly at him.

So I didn’t mind how quickly he stopped being a “newborn”. But the luxury of time is sometimes lacking when a two-year old also requires feeding, cleaning and entertaining.

And that, I guess, contributes to the feeling that time is flying by.

My son, too, is developing faster than I anticipated.

While potty training officially started two days ago (we don’t include the impromptu nudie runs through the house), he has already “conducted his business” successfully, something I thought would take much longer.

And I woke the other morning to find him already up in the loungeroom, watching the television. He has mastered the remote control. Soon, I’ll wake to find him making breakfast.

Now, there’s a nice image. Waking up after a full night’s sleep (something I’ve been deprived of for more than two years now) to breakfast in bed.

 I guess growing up isn’t all bad.

I did take some comfort, however, at his heart-broken cries when I had to leave him recently. Okay, I wasn’t exactly throwing my hands up in delight, but it’s nice to know I’m still needed even if he can mange most things himself these days. Sorry WetSide, you may be coolest water park north of Brisbane but your powers of attraction are no match for mum’s presence.

Undoubtedly most mothers pine for their babies when their children are picking up new swear words at school, or their teenagers are talking back, or their adult children haven’t called for three weeks. I know I’ll always look back at pictures of my babies and miss that precious, small time of their lives when I was so attuned to their every whimper and they needed me close by.

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