On Your First Birthday…

“It’s so hard to believe that at exactly this time many moons ago, I was lying in exactly the same position…..”

It all began one Saturday night, just as Mum and Dad were going to bed, I felt a little “pop” and all of a sudden…GUSH! My water broke! (It was disgusting and almost like Mum peed her pants. Give it a year and you will know all about it…) We waited until the morning to go to the hospital, got checked out and decided to come home until this had moved a little further along. At lunchtime our wonderful midwife Emma checked Mum out and we all decided it was time to go to the hospital. Little did we know it would be a looooong 28 hours until you came into the world. Mum (and Dad too I guess…) went through 26 hours of natural labour before the doctors told us it was time for an emergency c-section. You were stuck and wouldn’t budge!! Off we went and two hours later at 2:17 am you were brought into this world.
After waiting  awhile in post-op, Mum was able to come up to the NICU and see you for the first time. Never in all my years on this planet have I ever felt so much love. You were perfect. You had Mum’s big eyes and long finger toes, Daddy’s butt chin and cute little nose and even with the wires all over the place, you were so happy.  We spend 5 days in the hospital but eventually we came home and our life as a family of three began.

The first three months were a blur. We exclusively breastfed, which meant that Mum’s life revolved around a three hour schedule. Feed, change, sleep, repeat. A change was needed as you were still a bit small, and after a few months of formula you bulked up like a champ! We had an amazing summer, walking with Daddy and Chloe, visits to New York with Grandma and Grandpa, bbq’s and picnics in the park. Throughout the fall we walked through the changing leaves, had our first waterbabies class and learned songs and rhymes at Mother Goose. You got your first teeth at 6 months and started eating real food, said your first word at 7 months (“Dada” of course) and started crawling at 9.5 months. You love to look at pictures of yourself and look in the mirror, make faces at Mum and Dad, getting kisses from Chloe, watching Family Feud with Dad at lunchtime and sitting in your special reading chair. We are so proud of everything you have learned and are in awe of the things you do every day.

There are things you need to know, and I know you can’t understand now, but when you read this you will be old enough to understand.

  1. I am your parent first and friend second. I will be here to listen to your stories, hold your hand when you are scared and help you with whatever you need. I will also be here to help you make wise decisions, discipline you when you make mistakes and help you learn from them so you don’t make them again.
  2. I was a teenage girl too – I understand what you’re feeling. I can remember the times when one of my sisters or I yelled at my mom “You don’t understand, you don’t get it”, usually followed by stomping and a door slam. Well let me share the Mom secret – we all understand. We’ve all been there. You can talk to me, tell me what is going on and I can help you work through it.
  3. Boys suck. This is the number one girl rule, and it will always be true. There will always be boys who make fun of you for something, whether it is because you are smart, or short, or big, or have funny hair. Boys do not understand how much words hurt and they will always suck. Some boys can also be nice and friendly though, and eventually (I’d say give it a good 18 years) most will start to suck less.
  4. Girls are mean. Some say mean things because they know it hurts you. Some feel like they need to put others down so that they feel good on the inside. Mum and Dad will always be there to help you deal with girls like this. They are called Bullies and Mum has a lot of experience with them. I pledge to instill in you self worth, to help you build self esteem so that when these mean girls say things to hurt you their words do not mean anything and can not break you. You are and will be a very strong girl.
  5. You are allowed to ask questions. Even if sometimes you have to question Mum or Dad, that is ok – as long as the questions are asked with respect. We will encourage you question the world and everyone in it, as long as your questions are approached with respect. I vow to answer your questions with more than “Because I said so”, and if I don’t know the answer we will find it together.
  6. Finally – always add salt to coffee before you brew it, it is ok to eat Nutella straight from the jar (one spoonful at a time), always use room temperature ingredients when baking and laying a wooden spoon across the top of a pot of boiling water will stop it from overflowing.

We love you Miss Thing, more than anything in the whole entire crazy world. In the past 12 months you have taught me to be a better person, a more patient person, a happier person. You make me laugh every day, you surprise me with something new every day and I can’t believe in the blink of an eye you have grown into an amazingly happy, chatty little toddler and I can’t not wait to help you through life and all of the amazing things you will do.

I love you to the moon and back, no matter what.

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