Babies, something I always wanted from as long as I can remember. Growing up, I would dream of being a mum, and loved picking names from this name book that my parents had in the house. Having a sister who was 13 years younger than me probably contributed to this dream. I used to help my mum out and change her nappy, choose her outfits, do her hair, take photos and video her playing – all the fun stuff, actually that sounds like what I do these days with Tyler and Lily! Of course there is a lot more to that when it comes to being a mum, and my mum did all the ‘boring’ stuff with my sister, like feeding her and trying to get her to sleep and all that.
Anyway, I am waffling. It was MANY years later before I had my babies. And I am glad I got to do all the career stuff and holidays and partying before settling down to be a mum. I’ve done everything I ever wanted to do, and can now concentrate on my babies.
I had Tyler 3 years after I got married, when I was 33, so we had some fun years as a married couple before he came along. We lived in South London while Tyler was a baby, and I took him to baby groups in Clapham and Brixton in that year.
He was a really laid back baby, and I had put him on a routine as most people do with their first baby. It suited him, and it helped me to plan my days, with what time he’d be due a feed or a nap. When you’re a first time mum, everything feels like guesswork, so the routine helped narrow down what might be bothering him if he was crying.
He was a really easy baby to look after, apart from the 3 weeks of colic he had when he was newborn (do not want to live through that again!) I was just saying to my husband the other day that I miss baby Tyler, he was so cute!
Lily was born last year when I was 37, two years after we had moved to Slough. There is four years difference between Tyler and Lily, which I timed on purpose so that Tyler would be at school and I’d be able to concentrate on Lily in the day and take her to baby groups. She was a completely different baby from Tyler. Where Tyler did not even cry when he was born, Lily came out screaming!
She was loud and cried a lot, from what I now know was frustration from not being able to do things herself. As a toddler she is fiercely independent, so as a baby she was frustrated when she could not sit up or when she could not reach things herself. She was so much happier when she could crawl. Baby Lily was beautiful though, with big brown eyes and loooong eyelashes – actually, so was baby Tyler. I loved dressing her in outfits and taking photos – she loved the camera. She loved it when she discovered food, moving swiftly for purees to real food when she started picking things off our plates.
Both baby Tyler and baby Lily loved toy cars, pushing them along the floor from the day they crawled. And whereas baby Tyler loved music videos – in particular Gangnam Style and that Duck song (Bingo Players – Get Up), baby Lily loved Peppa Pig, her eyes glued to the screen as soon as the theme song came on.
Their teeth came at different times too. Tyler had his first FOUR teeth come out in the same week when he was 8 months. Lily had her first tooth at 11 months.
Baby Tyler loved bathtime and did not mind me washing his hair. I also gave him a bath every day without fail at 7pm. Baby Lily hated bathtime (still does), and she screamed when I went to wash her hair (still does) – she seemed so afraid of the water and I dreaded it, so she only had baths once or twice a week.
The baby years as so short in the whole grand scheme of things – it’s only one year of their life! It feels so much longer because as a mum, you are sleep-deprived, and this usually continues through the toddler years unless you are very, very lucky! Despite this, I do miss the baby years. Every day they would learn something new, and I feel so lucky to have been able to witness every new thing, and that’s probably why there’s a million photos of them. I always say, one day that won’t do that anymore and you’ll miss it. Like the giant belches when you are burping baby in the newborn days – though at the time you think I can’t wait for the day I don’t have to burp him/her! Or the little purring sounds, or their amazement when they are staring at the cot mobile going round.
Having a baby is such a wonderful thing, and I feel so grateful that I was able to have those baby years with my two.
Do you miss the baby years? What’s your favourite memory of it?