And now my maternity leave has ended, I mean…Enough with the Game of Thrones references!
Right then, my littlest one, where to begin. You are almost eight months as I write this, so let’s take you back to the start.
I finished work on the 18th December 2014 at 37 weeks and a day pregnant. Three years previous to this, I had given birth, very quickly, to your sister at 37 weeks and a day. As you can imagine, I waddled out of the car park as fast as my swollen
little fat legs would carry me, with a beautiful bouquet of flowers in one hand and a blue Tesco monster pencil case in the other. I feared that you might arrive right there in the school car park.
But then, my little bundle of joy, you kept us waiting. You allowed your Grandma to have her birthday on the 23rd December and you decided not to share your birthday with your Daddy on Christmas Eve. I spent Christmas Day cross legged, uncomfortable and sober in a dress that was way too tight and short for a heavily pregnant woman to be wearing over the Festive Period and in utero you stayed. You chose not to make an entrance while I was partying the night away (nursing a cup of tea) on New Year’s Eve. My birthday on the 3rd January came and went which meant I was not allowed to eat goat’s cheese when Grandma treated us all to a birthday meal. Daddy then returned to work after the Christmas festivities were all over.
On the morning of the 7th January, I dropped your sister at nursery and decided to get my priorities in order by watching one of the final episodes of Breaking Bad. It was the Ozymandias episode and for those of you familiar with the series, it was one of the most intense things I have ever watched. I was screaming away at the TV with my raspberry leaf tea in one hand and my whole (yes whole) pineapple in the other. After the episode had finished, I decided to go the bank, as you do.
It was in Natwest Bank in Pontefract when you decided to start your descent into the world. Paying in my money, I could feel a trickle down my leg. I couldn’t help but smile at the fact that I knew you were on your way and no one else around me did. In those moments, my friend text me to see how I was getting on in my very pregnant state and I told her that my waters were slowly breaking in the bank. The somewhat tenuous link to Breaking Bad was not lost on me and I made a mental note to try to watch the final two episodes before you popped into the world. In a state of panic, my friend wanted to come and retrieve me from the bank, but I calmly reassured her that I would drive home and call your Dad. And I did. I also managed to watch about twenty minutes of the penultimate Breaking Bad before I admitted to myself that my contractions were quite strong and about three minutes apart.
We arrived at our local midwife led unit (five minutes from our house) and you were born about an hour and a half later. Like your sister, you didn’t wait around and we were back home for 8pm after I had been forced into having a bath while my midwife watched me, dried me and randomly commented on how tall I was. Once home, I managed to watch the end of Breaking Bad…(no I didn’t, you got cuddles and I suffered with after birth pains!)
So my dear boy, in the last eight months you have changed our lives. You were the most laid back new born ever. You latched on and fed instantly, you barely cried, you fell asleep on your own in your cot, on your playmat and in my arms. But, then at the end of May when I was due to start moderating coursework, something just flipped. And it was you. The day you learnt to flip over was the day that changed you forever. You are still the most loved and most beautiful boy I know, but when you throw yourself forward, flip over, arch your back and scream and scream, I just don’t know what to do. I dread putting you in a sleepsuit as it usually results in me either covered in wee, sick or both and I end up chasing after you as you attempt an escape and make a mad dash for the stairs.
Which leads nicely onto your crawling. Ah, yes, my clever little boy, you learnt to crawl a couple of weeks ago. Two months earlier than your sister no less. And when you learnt to crawl, did you start slowly? Did you ease yourself into this ‘being able to move around the house at your own free will’ thing? Did you chuff. You launched into crawling like a rocket into space; if you’re not wrapped in electric cables or chewing on the Sky box then I worry for you. If you’re not heading full speed towards the fireplace to eat some faux coal then I think you’re under the weather.
At seven months, you’re standing! Standing! What’s all that about? I can see you looking up at the stairs knowing that they are your Everest and I can see the cogs in your head turning thinking ‘this time next week and I will have conquered you, you b@stard’ and I will be the nervous wreck rocking in the corner with a glass of red wine in one hand and with the other outstretched to catch you in case you fall. And maybe one day in the future, you will fall, but please know, my son, I will always be there to catch you.
You have grown so much in the seven and a half months that we have known you and you have brought us so much love and happiness; our family is complete. I love you, your Daddy loves you and your sister, despite not allowing you to play, touch or lick anything that belongs to her, she loves you too; I think that someday soon you two will be the best of friends and the worst of enemies. Being an only child myself, I can’t wait to watch this all unfold.
And now my
watch maternity leave has ended and I return to work full time this week. My boy, it has been a blast. You have provided me with laughter, tears, giggles and gipping. Plus, you have even given me an under active thyroid. However, now it’s my turn to provide for you. I want you to know that I go out to work every day so that you and your sister won’t want for anything (and so we can pay the damn mortgage). I want you to learn that through hard work and determination you can achieve anything and be fulfilled in the career path you will, one day, choose. I want you to know that when I leave you crying at Grandma’s or at nursery that I am thinking about you lots throughout the day. I want you to know that even though you share me with lots of other children, you are mine and I am yours. Always.
Mummy is going to be very busy and tired for the next few years so just do me a favour, my Ninja Flippin’ Dude, and sleep.
For like seven hours straight.
That would be lovely.
Lots of love, Mum. (The slightly dishevelled person you wake every two hours to use as a human dummy.) xxx