There is sunshine in our house. Every day, as soon as a pair of eyes open and a smile rushes over her face, making the start of the day, even after a long sleepless night, so much easier to bear. Nothing beats those baby hugs, mostly accompanied by a pat on my shoulders which tells me that I must be patting her when I give her a hug, something I never realised myself. There are noses to poke, pigs to be found (oh how she loves pigs!) and everything her big sister does rocks. Which sometimes, just sometimes, may upset said sister because she really wants to play with her cardboard dolls house or her magnetic fairy dress up kit which don't really mix with baby hands, as dexterous at they may be.
There's lots of head shaking, often with a cheeky grin, as she once again refuses to let a spoon come anywhere near her face or denies any offer of food. And then takes it after all because, you know, babies are allowed to change their mind or say "no" when they actually mean "yes". She now knows pretty much where to find mummy if she's left the room and will make her way across the house, determined to get a cuddle or be picked up. Which can be ever so slightly difficult if it's dinner making time... She's a big girl now, too big for her sling - well, not too big, but she's not too keen to be confined to it because there's so much to explore. There are balloons, balls, all the things in the house, everything is deposited on the ground. There are plant pots full of yummy soil which strangely is so much more attractive for putting into your mouth than breakfast cereal. Oh and the stones in the garden, what could be better than those stones! Every one is different even though they may look the same to the untrained eye. Each one has to be picked up, touched, chewed on and the shape determined before it is put back.
There are things that totally annoy her, like all those silly nappy changes, that stuff that comes out of you so much more often when you eat food. She so wants to be part of everything that's going on and doesn't understand why mummy doesn't let her stir the pot of food that's cooking or let her open the oven when it's hot. Oh and that wretched buggy that she gets put in, the most boring thing in the world. Not that she is constantly on the move but at least she wants to be sure of being able to move should she decide to do so. Oh and spoons, and most foods in general, c'mon mummy, aren't they just daft? Let there be cake because really, this girl does not care much for food unless it's round and can be picked up.
A year. Has it been a year really? We spent the eve of her birthday watching her big sister's first birthday videos. And there the big sister saw herself as the little sister, confusing herself with her sister, and truth be told, I don't blame her. Yes, big sis was chubbier (she loved her food, no question) and faster on all fours or cruising, but then again, she's always been very active. Little sister enjoys exploring just sitting on the ground much more, and is thus not quite so agile. yet. And also, as we remembered correctly, big sis was already a loudmouth at her first birthday, not to be mistaken for rather calm and quiet little sis. The ying and yang, two sisters who love one another to bits and yet are so different in personality. I can't wait to see them, their friendship and their sisterhood grow but at the same time, it's all happening so very fast. Where is my baby gone, this last babyhood for us to admire, adore, dote upon and experience. If only I could stop time for a little while and stare in those beautiful four eyes a little bit longer.
In the morning, I know that big sister will be the proudest girl in Scotland, when she will enter the nursery and announce that her little sister is one. And I'm so happy for her to be able to wear this pride so openly, as only children can. Because really, aren't we just as proud?