My dear sweet Kaya,
Today you are six months old. I joke that we planned your arrival perfectly to be halfway to Christmas, but the reality is we’d been waiting and hoping for you for long enough that we didn’t really care what date you arrived.
Today you were up early as usual, talking loudly in the travel cot in our room, so Far took you downstairs as he usually does so that I could get some more sleep. Only this morning you decided to practise your recently discovered skill of screeching happily. I lay in bed listening to you cackling loudly and decided I wasn’t in the right place, so slippers on, I came down to my happy girl.
The best gift that you give me each day is your reaction on seeing me after we’ve been apart. Like two days ago, when you woke up while I was still in the shower and Farmor came to knock on the bathroom door with a sad-faced baby. But as soon as I opened up, that gorgeous smile of yours beamed across your face and you tumbled forward into my arms, leaning back every few moments to confirm ecstatically, yes, it’s really you! before hugging me again.
You have no idea what those moments do to my heart. I’m not sure I could love you any more and yet each new day proves me wrong.
Here’s the truth: I really miss sleeping. Every time another mother mentions her baby is already sleeping through the night, I imagine a hundred ways to wake that baby up at 3am tomorrow. I daydream of the night I get more than three hours in a row. And there are nights when I wake to your complaints for the third or fourth time and mutter to myself that I am selling you first thing in the morning.
I promise I don’t really mean it.
Really, we are so aware of how lucky we got with you. You are happy and sociable and so so flexible as we cart you round multiple countries to sleep in multiple places – from a blanket on the floor in a Paris hotel, to a borrowed pushchair in a Danish department store. You love meeting new people, smile at strangers on the metro, and enjoy nothing better than watching in rapt amazement children a few years older than you.
And you’re talkative. You mumble away to yourself everywhere we go, from the supermarket to the bus to the back of the car. The number of different noises you make is expanding every day and it’s so fun to have conversations with you.
My favourite thing is figuring out how to make you laugh. It’s a funny gurgle of a giggle – you sound a little like a seal – but just the sound of it will have your Far and I in stitches ourselves. This week it’s eskimo kisses that you find hilarious. You love being surprised, anything to make you jump. And yesterday you figured out how to play peekaboo all by yourself, which you’re very proud of.
Standing up is still your thing and you hate tummy time, so we’re the lazy parents who don’t really push it. You’re sitting up on your own like a star and you have learnt to grab your feet and roll back and forth when I’m attempting to change your nappy.
You’re a vegetable lover. You’ve been chomping down on broccoli and cucumber and avocado like it’s the best thing you’ve ever tried. Banana is meh. Apple you positively dislike. Clearly you take after your Far with your tastes rather than your Mama. But I already look forward to the day I can start teaching you to bake with me.
In the meantime, you’re still breastfeeding almost as much as ever. You’ve started feeding with one arm straight up in the air, reaching for my face. If I’m lucky, you’re feeling gentle and then it’s super sweet. If you’re feeling more grabby, I spend the whole time trying to dodge that little hand reaching for my lip or nose, without causing you to spurt milk all over. You keep me on my toes, Baby.
You and your Far are the best of friends and I adore watching you two together. I will always be grateful you’ve had this time together – never was a redundancy so welcome. You two have your mornings together and when you’re overtired and grouchy, he’s the one who can calm you down and get you to sleep. He takes you outside to watch the cars going by and the man who would never sing for me or in church sings to his little girl nearly every day. I love the way you light up when he walks in the room.
Kaya, being your Mama is a treasure and an honour. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, and I doubt my selfish, clueless self every day. You’re revealing so much to me about myself, and together we’re learning how to be together, how to love each other well. I guess we’ll be doing that for the rest of our lives.
Happy half birthday, min lille skat. Your Far and I love you ever so much.