This week the Baby has started walking. Those first few wobbly steps with his arms in the air. Looking round at all of us to start clapping as he wobbles from couch to table and back again. We comply, of course we comply. The Big One often leading the applause, the Big One wanting to take his hands and help him walk in his own style.
A step out of babyhood and into toddlerhood.
A chunky rolled thigh wobble into childhood. My last baby, heading away from babyhood. Those milestones that are to be celebrated, applauded and photographed down to the last tiny detail are my lasts. His firsts. My lasts.
Strapping that tiny baby into the car seat, ready to begin his first car ride, his journey to his first home, leaving the hospital for the first time and ready to enter the big bad world with all it entails. Not really realizing at the time that the husband really meant it when he said no more babies, that he couldn’t go through another high risk pregnancy, another dramatic death defying birth, that this would be the last time I carried a newborn babe to start our journey together. That the first time I strapped him in the car to bring him home would be the last time I’d be taking a newborn home from the hospital. His first baby milestone. His firsts are MY lasts.
Starting our breastfeeding journey again, milky sleepy cuddles. Rooting for reassurances. Safely nestled in the crook of my arm growing, slowly but surely day by day. An ounce here an ounce there until suddenly the tiny baby that sat in the crook of my arm is no longer the little newborn he once was. Breastfeeds are no longer minute after minute, hour after hour. But they are still there, the time that is just me and him. This time, knowing that his firsts are my lasts, and that his last breastfeed will be the end of my breastfeeding journey forever, we are still going. We have gone longer than I ever did with the Big One, in part because it’s been easier and in part because I know that once it’s gone. It’s gone forever. The very last breastfeed.
Settling into our lives together, establishing his position as a little brother. Working on our family dynamic, working out our routines as a family of four. Milestones coming, milestones going. His firsts are MY lasts.
Windy smiles, turning into gummy smiles, to big toothy grins. Tiny baby giggles turning into full belly laughs. His little face breaking into a heart melting smile for me, for Daddy, for his brother.
Learning to roll, to get around, rolling and rolling across the room, graduating to commando crawling. That adorable, lizard like shuffle across the floor. Legs and arms working with the belly sliding across the floor. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of tshirts and vests that were ruined from sliding across the floor. Then suddenly, the lizard sliding stopped, hands and knees were found and he was off “proper” crawling. My last little lizard crawler growing up. Reaching another baby milestone. His firsts are MY lasts.
First foods, first tastes. Baby led weaning with tastes of pear, rapidly graduating to tastes of chocolate and other first child forbidden substances. From looking bemused to eagerly grabbing. From being none plussed to those little chubby legs working their way towards you when you enter a room with food. Little mouth opening and closing like a bird. First tastes, first foods. His firsts are MY lasts.
And I know I have many more of his firsts to come, first time he sleeps through the night (yep, don’t worry you are not alone nearly 14 months in and I’m not able to throw that milestone around yet), first real words, first day at nursery, first time in the snow, first haircut, first real tantrum, first “I love you”, along with the firsts that we’re yet to experience with the Big One, the first day at school, the first bike ride, the first time he writes his own name, the first card I get which has been written by him. All those lovely firsts to look forward too.
All those lovely firsts with the excitement of watching my Baby become his own person, the look of pride on his face as we all clap him excitedly. The flushed look of joy when his determination pays off and he can do it. Yet all those firsts being bittersweet because while they are firsts they are lasts. They are my lasts, to commit to memory. To remember a time when his chubby hand reached up to touch my face as I feed him slowly to sleep. To remember the look of shock on his face as he took 2 steps and tumbled into my arms.
There will be lasts, and until they come I am holding onto each precious moment. I am photographing, I am blogging, I am remembering each moment. Each first. Each middle. And each end.
Each milestone to be celebrated. Each milestone to be commemorated. Each milestone, his first, my last. Each milestone to be marvelled at, wondered at and the moment drank in to relive time and again.
My last baby. His firsts are MY lasts.
Oh Baby Boy I’m loving you reaching these milestones. I’m loving watch you develop. But please – slow down a little, your firsts are MY lasts and sometimes I’m just not ready for that.
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