Family, Kids, Love, Motherhood

My baby is 3

My baby, the last one I intend on having, just turned 3. She is a “big girl” now, although still devastated she has to ride in the car in a booster seat, can’t go to school or play netball yet, and isn’t allowed to swear (well, technically she gave swearing a bit of a lash last week, but was told she’s not allowed to use that word until she is a Mum, and even then she’s not allowed to say it in front of anyone).

She was struck speechless by her birthday present, a new “jumpoline” – so speechless in fact she almost lost her ability to jump. Once she got going though she loved it, invited the other 5 up to join her (“come on guys!”) and has been on there every morning by 7am since. Well except for today, and tomorrow because she’s not here (I’ll get to this bit).

There were so many moments I wished she was bigger – imagining how much I would get my life back when I could sleep a whole night through, and wasn’t covered in breast milk, being able to leave her with someone for a few hours without feeling guilty or worried, all the time before toilet training, that kind of stuff. But now she’s bigger I wonder where my baby went, and dream of smelling her head when she was new – I call that smell baby magic. She smells like food now, and nit shampoo, and the way kids smell, sometimes good and often a tinge of funky. It’s been the same with all three before her, but each time there was another coming on, and I got to have those moments again. I’m not planning on having those moments again this time.

The thing I’m finding the hardest about her growing up, is how much she loves her Dad and wants to spend time with him when her sisters are there (no doubt this is also a tribute to her sisters). It’s not how much she loves him, that is precious, but in her desire to be with him, she’s not with me. And the truth is, she’s “big enough” to know what she’s OK with, and who she loves and if spending more time with her Dad is the next step, I’m trying to be OK with that too. I slowly made it OK when her sisters started going week about – I found things to do with the time without them, even enjoyed the peace at times, and slowly we all got used to the boom and bust of a houseful and then just a few. But she was always here, and the kid free nights were few and far between.

Tonight is the second kid-free night this week and I must admit I’m a little lost. But then I felt a little lost when the middle two went week about. And I felt a little lost when my biggest girl moved away. So I think a little lost is normal, and motherly and what to expect. I don’t recall reading this in What to expect when you’re expecting but then there are lots of things I didn’t expect. Like her. And what a lovely little big girl she is.

Goodnight my little, love you to the moon and back xo

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