Watching your child develop and grow as a parent so often you just have to sit back and accept the journey. At first you start as an –us– during pregnancy. I watch now some of my pregnant friends as they start on their adventure to motherhood and fondly look back at the beginnings of my own.
Back then, it was us. Both of us would go to the shops, both of us would eat lunch. One single entity, in some ways this was a much easier phase, I didn’t have to carry her around along with everything she needs to live, laugh and develop into a happy little human being. This phase was lovely, all it really asked of me was to give up various physical aspects of my life. Make some trips to be prodded with a needle, lose a bunch of weight and accept throwing up for months on end as “ok”.
There is a lot of control at this stage, you plan everything aspect and read loads of books. Frankly it’s a very nice transition, much like the run up to your wedding – plan, plan, dare I even say there is an excitement for it to be over and done (ha yes I know, some how then it doesn’t seem like just the beginning). I doubt it’s the same the second, third or fourth (you get the idea) time around. But for that moment you are still you, well us. But mostly you.
Then came the –we-, this was much like pregnancy – sort of. It again asked again for another self less sacrifice in terms of sleep, stamina, when they are so small I found it pretty easy. They sleep, most of the time at that age and there are lots of cuddles. Lots of idle time while they are asleep on you, again probably not so much if it’s not your first child. Unless they are at school. Yes the we stage, still some control but suddenly there’s a world of things you can’t do so easily. Some things that require thought before action, going outside for one, walking around with a tiny person attached to you in one way or another. Some how you master the art of multitasking in a new way, learning to turn on the TV with your toes, showering really quickly. Still “we” are going to the coffee shop, we are eating lunch, we are going to go to that lovely sign and sing class. We actually do these things because you don’t have a say in the matter, much.
One day we becomes –you-, overnight they develop their own personality you find yourself asking them what they want to do. Does Ariella want to go out today? Do you want to wear this or this? Do you want something to eat? Just like that one day they aren’t happy just following you around and doing what you want to do, they want to explore and have their own time. I think this is so far the hardest phase, watching but not interfering is a difficult balance. Being ready to intervene if needed but not always needed. I imagine it’s just going to become more like this, I’m sure eventually you adjust to having a bit of your own time again, piece by piece. This is certainly where you are, you are your own person and know your own mind.
It’s been a great year, the quickest and the longest year so far 2015 – 2016. The days seem to fly but the hours seem longer some how, perhaps because rather than the 9 – 5 schedule of work we are working on your new schedule. Wake up, breakfast, play, nap, wake up, play, lunch, nap, wake up, play, CBeebies, dinner, play, -your- bedtime. Perfection!