Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I missed my baby

About ten seconds ago, I had this:

And then I blinked, or I turned away, or I did something; but I don't know what, and when I turned back, and opened my eyes, I had this:

And I'm not saying that the second isn't every bit as magical and astounding as the first; I'm just saying that  all I did was blink.  And I missed my baby.

Because he's six months old tomorrow (or possibly the day after: B and I disagree on this one.  If you're born on the 31st May are you six  months old on 30 November or 1 December?  And how much more complicated if you're born on 29 February?) and he's not a tiny baby any more.

And somehow, where with L, the first six months took years: an endless, wonderful,  wouldn't change it for a second agony of learning curve and colic and sleepless nights, and with S and A they were a focused marathon, feeling every yard of those twenty-six miles, don't worry about whether you're enjoying them or not (for the record, I did; in parts), just get through, the last six months have disappeared in the blink of his unbelievably long eyelashes, or the flash of his ever-ready grin.

But I didn't want them to. I wanted to savour them.  I had plans. There were pictures I wanted to take, that I never managed to get of the girls: the mole-rat face of a tiny baby, just off the breast, nose to the fore, eyes tight closed, like a naked rodent and no less adorable for it; the bottom lip, pushed out in fury beyond the seeming stretch of those tiny muscles; the first taste of solids (adores them, for the record, but I still haven't taken a picture); the first weighing in the calico hammock the health visitors bring; the moments he mislaid his thumb...

Because all those are gone, fleeting as daybreak, a moment in time that will never be repeated.  Like the sounds and feelings that I will never experience again: the tiny weight of my newborn, the blind seeking for milk, the first hesitant squeeze of my finger, the tearless, angry, babybird cries.

And I tried, I really did.  I have found myself thinking, countless times, that I wanted to bottle that moment, that feeling, that smell.  But it passes, and I forget, and now I can bearly remember what he felt like at three weeks, or looked like at three months.

M is not the baby he was.  He has lost his startle reflex. He has lost his skinny new baby look.  His voice is older, his smile is more knowing.  He has grown and changed and I am so proud of him. But despite all that I can't help wishing I had noticed the moment that I lost my baby.


  1. Oh he's adorable. But surely he can't be 6 months old already! How's his weight now? x

  2. That's exactly what I mean!!! Surely he can't, but he is! And we're getting there on the weight. Like I say, he loves his solids...

  3. He's just gorgeous. Just make sure you don't blink for the next 6 months!

  4. Well, I must have blinked a few times, because my babies are 7, 11 and 14. You can savour without taking a photo (at least I hope so).

  5. He's so sweet. If only we could bottle all those moments....they do pass by quickly in the rush of everything else but they are obviously in your head still, and that is most important. Plus, now you've got the memories down here...I love blogs for that and hope to use mine one day to look back and bring this whold period to life again.

  6. Please refrain from writing posts like that. i am blinking to remove tears I have in the eyes. I have jsut found out today that Bonnie (my 14month old) is playing the bid sister with one of her younger class mates as the nursery (she can't do that, she is a baby, my baby). Me & The Girls

  7. Sandy - thank you. So am I.

    Fiona - will do! Matchsticks under the eyelids I think!

    Iota - don't! I will think of my M and your T every 31 May and feel terrified at how quickly it all passes...

    Tanya - you're right, of course, and in all honesty that's why I wrote it. I've been pretty bad at baby books, but I'm hoping that in part this blog will be a small subsitute.

    Me & The Girls - don't be sad, enjoy it! One of the absolute best best best things about the last six months (and now five days) has been how wonderful the girls are, without exception, with their baby brother. I have honestly (famous last words) never seen any of them do anything even lacking the slightest bit of love to him. It is such a delight. They can be utterly hideous to each other, of course, but not to him, and that playing of "big sisters" just makes my day, every day! So even though her "little sister" isn't your baby, I still say be proud!


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