Level Baby: Complete
I'm not really one for getting caught up with milestones.
Because amazing stuff happens all the time, doesn't it? All around us, every day. Crap stuff happens all around us too. So sentimentality at first teeth and unaided rolling over and such like has never really been my thing.
But this week the looming First Year milestone has been dancing around the periphery of my brain (alongside the mental reminder to book a smear test and buy some Olive Oil, the latter of which I've forgotten the last three times I've been to Tesco.)
My baby is one in a couple of weeks and all of a sudden it just feels so milestoney. Much to my surprise I feel like I want to sniff his hair and drink in his babyness before he starts lobbing lightsabers at my head and asking me to pull his finger.
There are two explanations for this. I'm either broody, and should start making extra babies right away (having never felt broody before I think this is unlikely, no need to rush home husband). Or, and I'm fairly confident this is the reality, it has dawned on me that I've nearly completed the baby bit. For good. Like a level in a video game. Level Baby: Complete.
Okay I know he's still a baby. But at eleven-and-a-half months he's walking and babbling and has 6 teeth and just isn't a baby baby. And once they turn one well that's it, isn't it? People start referring to their age in years, (‘He's one, right?’) and I'll probably find myself replying, ‘Well he's 14 months/17 months/22 months, actually.’ I mean how long can that go on for? ‘Yes he's 216 months old and living in Halls at University. Yes he's well thanks, still on the 50th percentile in the red book weighing 168 lbs.’
The truth is, I've never much rated the baby bit.
Some people love babies and feel the urge to give them a squish. I'm just not a baby squisher. I'm actually far more at ease with a child who lobs lightsabers at my head and demands I pull his finger. This is probably just as well, because before long I will have two such children and no babies.
I won't miss the pasta-encrusted highchair and the reflux and the 5pm-7pm incessant whinging which makes me want to bash my skull in with the Leap Pad. I won't miss the need to cart around backpacks filled with baby paraphernalia.
But a milestone it is nevertheless.
He'll always be my baby, of course. As will his brother, who is three-and-a-half. They will still be my babies when they are in their mid-forties with receded hairlines and mortgages. But they won't need me then. Not like a baby needs his Mummy.
So I'm going to sniff his hair and sigh a few more times in the run up to his birthday. And then celebrate with a G&T in a tin (forever classy) and try to reassure my startled husband that I'm not angling for another one ...