Looking back at the past year the overwhelming urge I get is to laugh. Never did I think I’d utter the words “I don’t think the turtle needs to go in your bottom does it?” Or “You don’t hear mummy crying when it’s time to stop brushing her teeth do you?”
I found patience reserves I never thought I had, I’ve seen 4am more times than I did in the whole of my 20s. Ive had someone else’s poo on me and didn’t scream (it took a few times), I cleaned white vomit off every outfit I wore for the first four months, scooped five orange vomit-canos out of the high chair’s crevasses and scrubbed diarrhoea off the car seat. I’ve picked noses, cleaned ear-holes, bitten fingernails, creamed bottoms and wiped snot with my bare fingers.
I’ve been fed soggy biscotti, licked Calpol off hands, shared most things I’ve eaten in the last 4 months and have tasted so much baby food I could be a critic (Cow and Gate cauliflower cheese is my favourite), I’ve perfected the fish-hook-finger-in-mouth-object-removal-technique. I know the words to all the Disney songs and have sung and danced in public more times this year than I care to recollect.
Ive been woken up by screaming, head butting, face slapping and once, a tiny finger rammed straight up my nose.
Every evening after bath time, I have a long and tiring wrestle to get my freakishly strong child into her pyjamas (every single night) but seeing her excitement as I get the hair brush out* makes the bent back fingernails and kicked in boobs all worth it.
And when I tuck her into her bed with her freshly washed bedding and she does a last minute head-turn as I’m giving her her calpol meaning it squirts its bright pink unfathomable stickiness all over her clean sheets, I just smile**, change her bedding and kiss her goodnight.
Yes she might fling food across the kitchen, hide every remote we own and eat my iPhone every time she sees it but when those chubby little arms go round my neck for a big squeeze (no matter how inconvenient the timing) or she totters towards me with drool all over her face for a kiss (always with her mouth wide open, why?) it makes all of the above just forgotten in an instant.
I can’t believe my tiny helpless newborn is now a loud and rambunctious toddler and I can’t wait to see what the second year has in store for us – I have stocked up on Calpol and am busy inventing an armoured bra.
* she loves having her hair brushed, it’s not for beating her with.
** not really.