A year ago today, I posted on Facebook wishing I could bottle the scent of a newborn. I had one at the time and was absolutely besotted.
She’s now thirteen months old and I still am. Last night she was sick as a dog and while I was changing her bed and running her a bath (for the second time that night) I looked at her as she chuckled to herself and started to wee on the carpet. In that moment I laughed too and thought to myself ‘How is she still so utterly adorable when she’s puking and peeing everywhere?!’
I’m not a baby-mad type, I don’t instantly go gooey at the sight of teensy humans and the newborn phase is probably my least favourite (they’re just so needy). But what I really do love is the ‘adoring them’ phase – and I’m still firmly in it with our littlest. I do see glimmers of it passing, like when she fish-hooked my nose earlier this week, or when she looks at me with a menacing glint in her eye before throwing a handful of shepherds pie on the floor, but it still lingers. The ‘ohmygoodnessIcouldjusteatyouyouresocute’ obsessive-like stage is still here for now. I know it will end. I know this because the adoration phase is sadly over with our eldest.
Our ‘big girl’. Our Rose. I love her. I cherish her. I treasure her. But I no longer constantly adore her, and that’s hard to admit to myself, let alone anyone else. She is clever, she is brave, she is beautiful. She’s funny, she’s cheeky, she’s stubborn. I love the hilarious things she comes out with, I love her quirky little ways, I love the way she clings to my leg when she feels shy. I love how her face lights up when she figures out her Dad is winding her up about something and I love how she’s already started to pick up sarcasm at the grand old age of three. When she heard her baby sister waking up from her nap while we were enjoying a film together one afternoon this week, she looked at me, rolled her eyes and exclaimed “Brilliant”. I thought in that moment, as I do in so many others, “YOU are what is brilliant, my Rose”.
However, alongside all that brilliance, her tantrums are awful, I despise how volatile she can be when she’s tired or hungry and absolutely cannot stand how she refuses to listen to me at the moment unless I’m yelling. She avoids sleep when she’s exhausted (WHY DO THEY DO THAT?!??) and she almost always refuses to use loo roll when she goes for a wee.
But as tough as it is to accept we are no longer in the bubble of adoration, what we now have is a real relationship. The honeymoon is over. We have our ups and downs; we push each other’s buttons. We have things to forgive of each other; we don’t simply worship each other all the time. We are on another level now and I’m actually starting to like it here, despite it’s challenges. Here’s to the next chapter – one with fights we will forgive, words we will forget and a forever love which will outlast every phase.