Frida was nine months old yesterday. Nine months! Where did that time go? I often look back at photos of her when she was just minutes, days, weeks old. So different and yet so absolutely herself.
As I have previously written, I am finding this stage delightful. She is very good fun to be around, forever playing little games with us and finding new things to laugh at. Her favourite games include trying to grab her daddy’s glasses from his face (hilarious), “waking” me by bashing my face when I close my eyes, and being held up high then swooping down to “peck” whoever is below her. The sound of her laughter is still the best sound I have ever heard.
She is a lesson in mindfulness and living in the present, losing herself in concentration when interacting with her toys, or a water bottle, or a leaf. Observing her at work is so grounding.
She is a very happy and sociable soul. In the last month she has started waving and clapping in earnest, and she loves to wave at people on the train, on the tube, or in a shop. She becomes quite cross if the wave is not returned promptly. However this is rare as people seem drawn to her wherever we go.
She is now crawling, kneeling, and pulling herself up to standing, and can stand for a few seconds unaided before she loses her balance. It’s amazing watching her learn how to control her little body to make it do what she wants it to do.
Although my sleep is still broken she fills me with so much energy. I would not change a thing.
In no particular order, here are some things I never want to forget:
- Sharing meals with Frida is a joy. She is a fine dining companion, and will happily sit her way through multiple courses, trying all of the food on offer. The foods I thought she would love (pancakes, eggy bread) she is not moved by, but her favourites include fish, marmite, steak, broccoli, and olives, as well as practically all fruit.
- Although she is eating more “real food” she is still an absolute boob-fiend, and starts laughing when she hears the word “milky” or when she sees me start to un-clip my bra. I love breastfeeding her so much, the way her little body curls into mine, her smiles, the way she stretches up her little hand for me to kiss.
- She loves looking at photos at the moment, especially ones of herself, and of my husband and me. We currently have a big photo montage in our hallway and she likes nothing more than staring intently at it, exclaiming “dada!” When she handles photos she gets very excited and will scrunch them up in glee.
- Every word is dada – no mama, despite my valiant efforts. She will shout it triumphantly, croon it into the ears of her toys, whisper it softly to me.
- She has started to really enjoy being read to, especially The Gruffalo. She has several times now gone over to her book basket, pulled it out, and brought it over to us to read to her. I think I now know it off by heart, as does my husband.
- Our bed-sharing is still going strong and I still enjoy it just as much as I did when she was a newborn, in fact probably more, as I’m less paranoid now. She is a very chivalrous bed companion, and doesn’t move or wriggle when she is asleep. I can’t imagine sleeping without her warm little body next to mine, her hand grasping my big one, her scruffy-haired head in reach of kisses at all times. Yes, bed-sharing is easier when you have a breastfed baby who often wakes. But even if she slept through the night I would sleep next to her – soon enough she will be bigger and won’t want to sleep with me any more. These days are precious and I relish lying in the dark listening to her breathing, her sucking, her murmurs.
- I wish I could bottle the look of triumph and delight she gets when she grasps an illicit object she thought out of reach. My mobile phone, a mug with some water in, a pen, my oyster hard holder – the grubbier and more unsuitable for babies the better. I try to leave her with whatever she has grasped unless it is actively dangerous.
- At times I still catch a sniff of that delicious baby milky smell, and hope that she keeps it just a little while longer.
I am also feeling slowly more capable as a parent. There are still a lot of improvements I could and should make, but look! I have made it nine months and my baby is thriving and happy. Not bad going at all.