Breathe Them In

I remember the first time I held Sophie until she fell asleep in my arms. I remember how she would curl her tiny hand round my collar as a comfort to sleep. I remember the last time I held Sophie and rocked her to sleep. I remember the last time she cuddled into me and fell asleep, her eyelashes resting on her plump little cheeks. I remember breathing her in and running my hand over her wispy blonde hair. I remember this was a year ago.

I didn’t know it was going to be the last time she let me hold her to sleep.
I didn’t know that she was going to be so excited about moving from a cot to a toddler bed that cuddles to sleep with mummy was ending. I didn’t know.

You never know the last time is the last time. It only hit me tonight, when I picked Madeleine up out of the cot and she snuggled into my neck. I’ve been so busy feeling exhausted and run down and frustrated because of colic/sleep deprivation/toddler Olympics that I haven’t had a decent chance to stop spinning in circles and just breathe Madeleine in. Don’t get me wrong, she’s fallen asleep on me numerous times, but it always seemed clouded over by the “now, how do I get her to the cot without waking her???” Worries. It’s always been “thank goodness, now I can rest”. Of course, no one with a newborn can really blame me for that, throw in an excited toddler who doesn’t nap and you generally get points for remembering to brush your teeth.

She is now seven months old. Seven whole months have passed and it has been a blur of sleepless nights and sleep training. Teaching Madeleine that mummy cannot possibly rock her for hours and hours until she is in a dead sleep, only to be wide awake the moment her head hits the cot. Teaching Madeleine that falling asleep on her own is a good thing. Well, it is a good thing, self settling is important all round not just for my own sleep but for hers too. The trouble is, now she can do it, I miss my cuddles. She now needs her own space to fall asleep and this is great for me especially as her bottom teeth are FINALLY gracing us with their presence. She very very rarely falls asleep on me for a nap or bedtime now. She likes to starfish in bed, and who can blame her?

Tonight, three hours after bedtime has been her first wake up and she was a little upset. The bottom teeth and gums are so sore and she was just quietly and gently crying, so I picked her up. I expected her to wake up fully and get myself into a shit situation and no sleep. Instead, she snuffled into my neck, clutched hold of my necklace and snored away. I didn’t put her down straight away, I couldn’t. I gently swayed, and breathed her in. I smelt the milk and sweet smell in the crease of her neck. I could smell her shampoo. I smelled a sweetness that is Madeleine and a scent I just can’t describe. I held her and rocked her gently for a good twenty minutes before laying her down. She didn’t wake up again, she snored a little more and made me smile.

It really hit me that one day, she and Sophie won’t want me to cuddle them at all, let alone to sleep. They won’t want me invading their space and smelling their hair. Sophie is already so independent, she loves it when I play with her hair and will ask to sit with me, and in church she lays her head on my shoulder while I sing the hymns and sway at the back. But she’s growing up. They both are.

You just, you never know when the it’s the last time.

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Peggy #2

7 months is really not a long time. In the grand scheme of life, 7 months is a blip on the horizon. However, the last 7 months have been the fastest 7 months ever. Sophie is growing up so fast and I feel like if I blink I will miss it. Sophie has two teeth now already and is so strong on her feet.

64860_10151364434947153_1458131218_nShe has an activity station and she spends most of her time standing in it rather than sitting and playing. She gets on her feet and stays still for a good few seconds before toppling into the seat. She turns her head when you call her name, and she says Dada all the time.

Sophie has also learned to wave. She copies when her Daddy says ‘hello’, waving at her. My daughter waves. It doesn’t feel like it was five minutes ago that she was this skinny legged little baby plopped onto me after birth. And now she can stand, wave and has two little teeth. 599082_10151364434962153_989678345_n

I never knew how hard it was to watch my daughter grow up. Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing her develop and discover everything, but she is changing before my eyes and I want time to slow down so that I can treasure these moments. I want to have more time right now so I can look at her and count all her eyelashes, and when she’s quietly sat in my lap with her dummy and playing idly with my bracelet hold her a bit longer, a bit tighter.

Before I know it, she will be climbing up the sides of things and running full pelt across the park and trying on her very first school uniform.

I wish time could slow right down and let me have these moments for longer. I am so proud to have been chosen to be her Mummy.

Dinky Pegs
Dinky Pegs