Well, today is the 7th of November, Jules and you know what that means. Well, no, actually, you really have no idea. It is now one whole year since my wonderful little man was born, and brought so much joy to our lives that I honestly cannot find the words to describe it.
I always wondered if it was possible to love another child equally to your first. When I heard people say “oh, you love them the same”, I wondered how that was possible. Much like, when I was pregnant with Mina, I wasn’t sure if I could love my own baby as much as I loved my niece! And of course, looking back on both of those things now makes me laugh, because you know what? It is possible to be absolutely one hundred percent in love with one child, and absolutely one hundred percent in love with another. But, like I have often over heard people saying, I actually don’t love you and Mina the same. I love Mina because of who she is, and I love you for the special little man you are becoming.
Right now, you are just about cruising on the furniture. I don’t think you are quite ready to walk yet, but hey, there’s no hurry! You also had a bunch of teeth all come in at once — one week there were no top teeth, the next week there were FOUR of them!
You are always asking for your Dad, and don’t yet refer to me as “Mum”. I know you love me anyway. You have learned how to wave hello and goodbye, and like all new tricks, you practice it over and over again. You drive me mental by turning my computer off when I am working. You have taught me to save things frequently.
You’re still bald, and its kind of funny because I look at some other 1 year olds and think to myself that you can’t possibly be as old as they are… you are still my little baby, with your not-yet-unblue eyes and your big bald head.
Let’s talk about that head. My word. I am sure you already know that this whole “boy” thing has been a pretty steep learning curve for me. I remember the days when I was vigilant and actually childproofed and that was with your sister. Mina never needed any childproofing because, quite simply, she never got into anything and never made trouble (hard to believe now!!). With your sister I was just so lucky because of her temperament and also because I had more time, I ended up being pretty relaxed.
Then you, my normal, curious boy of a baby suddenly got mobile. And you fell off things, fell on things, ate things, chewed things, spilled things, stabbed things, drank things. You went head first off a change table, head first off the couch. You bang that giant noggin of yours daily and come out unscathed. You’ve definitely got that Smith bogan head.
My GOD, boy, how on earth you have managed to survive with me as a parent, I have no idea! I feel like I am learning how to be an actual parent of a toddler this time around, and I even contemplated buying cupboard locks for the first time this week! But, you do it all in the name of learning and thats ok with me. Watching you explore, turn around and look at me with your twinkling, cheeky eyes just makes my day.
Its hard not to be reflective at your kids birthdays — and man, I have had a hell of a year. I spent the months between July and November worrying about whether you were going to be very premature because of preeclampsia. Somehow, I was the lucky one though and you managed to not only hold on, but on your birthday at exactly 37 weeks, you weighed in at a spectacular 3.195kg. Thats a great weight for an early baby that had the problems you did.
I remember the weekend before your birth like it was yesterday. On the Friday before, after months of constant monitoring, things started to escalate. I developed Bells Palsy on one side of my face (I forget which one) and hyperreflexia. My blood pressure also started to head up. I wasn’t admitted until the Friday evening, but because I was stable, I spent all weekend in hospital and tried to hold on till Monday. By Monday morning, my blood pressure was at 160/105 so it was very lucky they caught me.
I had the most wonderful c-section that was empowered and wonderful, despite some people thinking that it was a bad thing. The main thing that mattered to me at the time, and still does, that you are happy and healthy. And anyone who thinks that anything else is important can go fuck themselves.
I also spent a month away from you when I was in hospital. During that time you cut your first two teeth and developed a bond with your Dad that I am occasionally jealous of, I have to admit. But I know you love me, even if the first thing you ask for is “dada” and the last thing you say is “dada” — that’s so incredibly awesome but I do feel pangs of jealousy that you don’t say “Mum” yet.
Anyway, I just thought I would write this little post to mark your first year on this planet. You are growing into a wonderful, secure and hilarious little boy, and I loof forward to seeings what’s next. Hopefully its “Mum”!