Last year I also wrote you a letter, and I ended it with “hopefully the second year will not fly by so quickly.” Unfortunately the second year flew past MUCH faster than the first one! I blinked, and there you were: singing, dancing, chatting, laughing, tantrum-ing ;-), like a ‘real’ little girl. With a favourite colour: pink.
It was an intense year, with a lot of challenges. I thought (naively?) that by the time you were one you would only want to breastfeed in the morning and the evening, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. You were already 18 months old when you finally started to show some real interest in solid foods, and if you got the chance you would nurse 12 times a day. Some nights I thought I would lose my mind! You woke so often, and the only thing which settled you was the boob. I can’t tell you how many times I thought ‘why doesn’t your dad have boobs?! Whose dumb idea was that?!’ Stopping was never an option for me, because even though it was sometimes hard, I still enjoyed all those moments together while you nursed. No matter how big you are now, when you’re nursing you’re still my ‘little baby’. Those big blue eyes of yours, your little hand touching my skin, your head in my arms… well that’s how it can be. Sometimes you turn it into a sporting session with some acrobatics while you nurse. 😉 When I really felt like I couldn’t go on, I found refuge in Facebook groups with other mamas, and they all told me ‘it gets better’, but when?!
They were right. In the last 2 months things have slowly improved. You wake less often, you sometimes fall asleep without nursing, and you’ve slept ‘through the night’ twice. Well, until 5am, and last week until 6:20 am. I’m starting to realise it will end one day, and eventually I’ll be able to sleep through the night again, which makes me a happy person. 🙂
You are still a booby-monster, and although I told myself I would always nurse on demand, I had to change it with you. If we did that we’d still be nursing 12 times a day, and that’s really not necessary. We only nurse in bed now, and although you do try your luck multiple times a day, I stick to my guns.
That sticking to my guns is not always easy though. You have proven this year that you will do a lot to get your way. “Pwease mama?” “cuddle mama?” It continues to amaze me how sweet-natured you are, and how important it is to you to show your love, and receive love. I enjoy it immensely of course, I can’t get enough cuddles with you. <3
You got the hang of talking really quickly, and now that we can have conversations, it makes life even more fun. It’s wonderful to hear you singing, and it amazes me how many songs you know in Dutch and English. Even though I can’t sing to save my life, with you I sing loud and proud.
This year was a year in which I struggled with myself. All around me, mothers went back to work and said, “It’s wonderful to just be out of the house for a while,” but no matter how hard I tried, I didn’t enjoy it. I enjoy waking up with you, having a relaxed breakfast, playing together, going to the playground, doing the shopping, cooking and relaxing. We’re very lucky, of course, that we got to do all this over the last year, with papa, but when I leave you, I miss you. After an enormous internal battle I finally admitted it to myself: I enjoy being your mama more than I enjoy working, so these days everything to do with my company is very quiet. I still have doubts sometimes, and so sometimes I do a project which I enjoy, and time will tell how things will go from here. But this perfect time is ours, and nobody can take it from us.
In your second year we went on some wonderful journeys: 6 weeks in a camper around Australia, which was AMAZING! 3 weeks backpacking in South Thailand. A few days in Italy, and a week in Montenegro. It’s been wonderful to do all this with you! You’re a born traveller. You enjoy it all. As long as my boobs are nearby, you can sleep, and you get attention, then you’re as happy as can be. If you got your way we’d travel all the time. Papa and I feel the same way. 😉
For around 6 weeks now you’ve not worn diapers, and it’s wonderful. Last year I took photos of you with your big ‘cloth diaper bum’, and now your photos show a little girl in trousers which I’ve had to take in so that they don’t slide off your little bottom. 🙂
You are well aware that there will be presents, bunting, balloons and cake on your birthday. You’ve never been to a birthday at an age at which you were aware of what was happening, and we haven’t celebrated our birthdays, but you know all about it. When we ask how old you’ll be, the answer is ‘two’.
Far too quickly, but you are such an incredible kid, and I am the luckiest mom in the world to have the option of being with you full time to celebrate this. Every day is a celebration with you.
Sweetheart, I wish you a very happy birthday.
I have no idea how long we can continu this, but it was nice to try again this year 🙂 First photo by Lobke Koppens.