challenges of motherhood

Happy 2nd Birthday

Dear O,

Two. In the blink of an eye, you’ve suddenly turned two little O. I could sit and ponder how two years have flown by so fast, how quickly the little bundle of baby you were has turned into this running, babbling little toddler. But I won’t. Because it won’t change a thing, and every year I’ve had with you and your brothers leaves me wondering how you could all grow so quickly.

New Born Little O

You’ve been in our lives for two years; you brought us tears of joy, tears of frustration, many sleepless nights, moments fraught with worry but most of all you’ve brought us joy. You bring a smile to our faces in so many ways; the way you wrap your little arms around our necks for a cuddle, the way you stroke the top of your brother’s head when he hits it against the climbing frame, the way you give us wet kisses and try to say ‘dank je wel’ when we hand over your beaker, the way you sing the theme song to Nijntje whilst swaying your head side to side, the way you boogie whenever the mood takes you, the way you point to the sky and shout ‘gaaaaaaa’ when you hear an aeroplane, the way you adopted the word papegaai to ‘papagaai’ and ‘mamagaai’.

Little O, you made sure we knew you were around from the moment you were born. You wouldn’t lie in your Moses basket, you cried and screamed incessantly. You wanted only to be held by one of us, all day, all night. Sleepless nights took their toll and we landed in the hospital with you. Silent reflux the paediatrician said. A few nights in hospital would help you get into a rhythm of sleeping at night the paediatrician said. Without mama or papa the paediatrician said. Less than two weeks old and my mothering instinct screamed no way. We took you home again. We gave you medicine and slowly but surely there were longer periods of night sleeping. We all got some sleep again. The crying stopped. The screaming stopped. After a few months you could lie in your bed on your back again without the pain. And then you began to shine.

You smiled, and laughed and gurgled at us. You sat up. You began to discover the world around you. You started crawling, getting into every corner you could, getting into mischief wherever you could. You began to take little steps. The steps got bigger and faster. You said mama and papa. And then Nijntje and bol. Suddenly there were cats and cars in your world, and waving and shouting bye bye became second nature. You started blowing kisses. You began calling your eldest brother Sassa. You started careering around the garden in the Little Tikes car and free falling from the slide, with no fear or apprehension or idea of the potential dangers. Fun became your main interest. And good for you little O, that’s what being a child is all about. Playing, having fun. Making sure you squeeze out every smile and laugh that you have inside you. And lucky for us your laughter is infectious. And how contagious it is. Every day.

And so today, you turn two. Soon, you’ll go to pre-school a few hours a week with your brother, the same familiar place I have to drag you out of now when we drop your brother off. It’s the first little step to discovering the world outside the safety of your home, of meeting other boys and girls to play with, to listening to someone else other than mama or papa. It’s a step that has come all too quickly.

When ‘Sassa’ was born, each new phase he entered was a hip hip hooray moment, it couldn’t come quick enough. The first smile, the first clap, the first step and word, the first day at pre-school then junior school. Basking in the glory of every new step he made dimmed the realisation that our baby was slipping away into a school boy.

Over the past two years we have felt no rush to see you take your first step, babble your first conversation, start school, because we know all too well that every stage comes soon enough in it’s own sweet time. And with every new stage you reach, something is left behind. With you, little O, every new phase comes too quickly and this time with the full realisation that the baby has gone. In his place stands a toddler. There will be no more crawling, gurgling babies behind you, no more first steps or first words. You are our last firsts, and that makes every moment even more poignant. Whilst you will always be the baby of the family, reality is that you are a baby no more. You’re an energetic, fun loving, busy, adventurous little toddler with the ability to spread smiles and laughter around you like wild fire.

Discovery

Happy 2nd birthday little O, I hope you enjoy your day celebrating the amazing little boy you are becoming. And never stop smiling.

Love mama, papa, Sassa & C,
xx

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