I still remember that evening so vividly. When my waters broke just as I climbed into bed, ready for a good sleep. Only that was not to be as you kept me pretty busy for the next 6 hours before you made your grand arrival. When your siblings went to bed before there was any fuss and woke up having a baby brother. Has it really been a year? Impossible.
And yet here you are, so big, so mobile, so skilful. If I look past the baby rolls and that big, soft, squishy tummy, I can see the toddler that you’re becoming. The determination and skills that you are developing. And the strong will which will ignite many battles in the future months, I am sure. I observe you daily, partly in horror and partly with a smile on my face as you stand on your tip toes, desperately trying to reach a forbidden object on top of the cupboard or shelf. Or when I come running to assist your big brother who is trying to save you from falling out of your high chair when you wriggle your way out of the harness and sit on top of the tray (and there was that one time when he couldn’t). The good thing here is that I already have some experience in the field. All this is not too uncommon to me. And another good thing is that this time, we’re not alone. You have two older siblings who, despite the bickering and teasing, are actually really helpful with entertaining you, containing you, picking up things for you or wiping your nose. Of course you pay for these things by having to participate in tea parties or sit through a hairdressers session (you are quite perfect for that one with your gorgeously thick hair, you just have to improve a bit on sitting still and refrain from eating the hair brush…).
You are such a fun and good-natured baby. So easy going. I feel so terribly bad that we drag you around in any kind of weather, cut your naps short, make you sit still when you want to go play, delay your dinner as we manoeuvre between school runs, after school activities, errands and different appointments. Years back when Samuel was a baby, I read a funny article in a magazine about the difference between the first, second and third baby. With the first baby, it said, you pick a name as soon as you find out that you’re pregnant while the third one you name after an aunt/uncle (not what happened with you, however we did only name you when you were 3 days old). With the first baby you attend a million over-priced, guaranteed-to-turn-your-baby-into-genious activities, the third one you take to the supermarket. I thought back then the article was hilarious, only now I’m not laughing. And we don’t even take you to the supermarket as we get our groceries delivered.
Yet somehow you don’t seem wanting for anything. Lacking anything. You’re definitely not any slower reaching your milestones compared to your siblings. Quite the opposite – you were the first to roll over, sit independently, crawl and cruise. You have been the best sleeper and the first to sleep through the night. You were also the quickest to get your first tooth and on your first birthday, you have the most teeth (n.8 just coming through) and by far the most hair. You most definitely eat the most and even though I haven’t weighed you properly since your 8 week check up, my back says you weigh the most too.
You love music and books. Anytime you hear music, you will sway and bounce and clap in delight. And while your siblings took a while to show interest in books, you love sitting in my lap and turning the pages, listening to my reading. It makes my heart so happy. You are very ticklish, just like me, and I delight in tickling your tummy and hearing you laugh out loud. I love rolling around the bed with you, cuddling and smelling your skin. And my favourite? My favourite is the moment when you bury your head into my neck and play with my hair. Even if it’s 2am. And I hold you until my body aches and your head gets heavy and your breathing slows down. And when I leave your room my body may be tired but my heart is full.
I love you, David. Happy first birthday, my gorgeous boy. You will do great things. Grow as you must but there is no escaping the fact that you will always be my baby.