There are so many things I want to remember about right now, about how things are, or rather – with the ridiculous speed at which time travels – about how things were.
“Sweet boy”, Ella says, and I don’t think there could be a greater description of you. You are not difficult or demanding. You want for very little. Never could I have known how much having a boy would floor me. I am completely enamoured by your laid-back ways. Your sweet demeanor. Your straightforward and simple happiness. It feels uncomplicated, like there’s no need to get all worked up about things. You just lie there staring at me, and when I give you the eye contact you’re searching for, the look you give me is enough to sustain me through the roughest of nights you might put me through. (Which, just quietly, I need to have a little word with you about.) You’re my little buddy. We just hang out. No fuss. No problems. Just me and my little mate.
You are happiest when I blow raspberries upon your neck. Or run my finger over your nose and lips. This always gets a smile, and just these past couple of weeks, it now gets a laugh. A goofy laugh with a high-pitched squeal at the end. Billy, your smile disarms me. It’s the very first thing I see each day. I seek it out, this smile, way before my morning coffee, or a quick scroll through Instagram. I flock to it like a magnet because within the easy-going curl of your lips and the sunbeams which shine from your eyes as they go all crinkly, I feel like I’m home.
You’re not the greatest sleeper during the day. You have a little bed in our room, cosy with quilts as colourful as rainbows. You sleep for 30 or 40 minutes at a time, but every now and again you’ll take a three-hour nap and I keep going and checking on you to make sure you’re still breathing. I miss you, after these three hours, hanging out for the weight of your body in my arms again, your soft cheek resting against mine as you peer at the world from your favourite spot – slung over my shoulder with my hand on your back.
You’ve slept through the night a couple of times, but you usually wake up two, mostly three times, still needing your little tummy filled and still learning the art of putting yourself back to sleep. Even when you cry, it’s laid-back, and every now and again when you’re upset, you stick your bottom lip out as your eyes crease over and it’s possibly the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.
You turned three months old yesterday.
Three months has passed, but as every mother knows, it’s felt like it’s spanned lifetimes. Like you’ve always been here. Like you’ve always belonged to us.
Because you have, of course.
“Baby Billy sweet boy”, Ella says. “Ella love him.”
“Me too, sweetie”, I say. “So much.”
Well goodness. Honey, you are two years old and every bit yourself.
Every day I could write about the things I want to remember, the cute sentences you now say, the quirky habits you have and it still wouldn’t be enough. Like how, after I give you a massage each night, you say “Mummy’s turn!” and you sing the massage song you have adapted to go: Massage, massage, massage, massage right down to the hoodie! – while you whack me on the bottom and giggle. Where on God’s green earth you get this from, I’ll never know. Everybody says you have the sweetest nature. You do, you know. You share your food with me, even when you really, really want it for yourself. You kiss Baby Billy at least three hundred times a day. “Gentle with Baby Billy”, is without a doubt the most repeated phrase I currently use, over and over again, day in day out because you go into a frenzy around him like you simply can’t get enough. “Very careful”, you then say. “Very gentle”.
Right now, these are the things you love:
- Shoes. Sweet Lord, do you love shoes.
- The playground. It’s a daily occurrence, our playground trek.
- Oma’s jewelry. Stealing it. Wearing it. Never giving it back. Etc.
- Olives. By far, your favourite food. You could eat jars of them in one sitting if I let you.
- Finny, Joshy and Tracy – our next-door neighbours. You’d probably move in with them if you thought you could get away with it.
- Ruby Red Shoes. It’s pretty much the only book we read.
- Any nursery rhyme. Sung with hand movements, preferably. Incy-wincy. Humpty-Dumpty. Some crocodile song Joel sings to you about a lady that got eaten by a crocodile.
- Running up our hallway and landing into Joel’s outstretched arms as he flings you into the air. We have to sing the Ella song though as you do it which is like the commentary at a horse race: And she’s…coming up on the inside and the outside and the inside and the outside and the….arghhhh! (as you get flung in the air). You squeal, like you always do and we smile as wide as watermelons, like we always do.
- Jumping. Off couches, mostly.
- Hot chippies.
- Peppa Pig.
- Make-up. “Lips on, Mummy?”
Your cute little sentences are what I’m loving about right now. These are the things you say often:
- What doing? Mummy, what doing?
- Baby Billy sweet boy. Ella love him.
- Ooooo, Ella LOVE this song/this cake/this dress.
- What’s that? (to everything)
- Enough. No mummy, enough. (In response to my kissing rampages.)
- Ooooo, yes ple-ase! (As in, Ella, do you want some hot chippies?)
You are a delight of a thing. Sometimes, when you do something that grips at my heart, like cup my face in one of your hands as you ask in your sweet little voice, “Mummy alright?” if I accidentally hurt myself, I want to freeze time forever, and keep you small like this, at home with me for all of my days. I want to keep you this angelic, this pure, this adoring forever. But, truth is, the older you get, the more I learn of you, and the more I learn of you, the deeper I plummet. And I want to know all of you, sweet girl. Because you are the brightest star in the sky. Truly.