This time twelve months ago I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of another overdue daughter – not that we knew it she was a girl at the time, I was fairly convinced I was having a boy. In fact we only settled on a girl’s name twenty four hours before she arrived. The pregnancy had been a slow one for me, I was uncomfortable and in considerable pain from very early on thanks to a body that just doesn’t take well to carrying another human being and a very busy toddler. I was certain I would go early second time around, so when my due date came and went I was disheartened and frustrated, thankfully I only had to wait an extra three days rather than the nearly two weeks I had to endure the first time around. The labour I barely recall, it was so fast and furious I really only have snippets of memories here and there. I do remember the car ride into the hospital – which let’s face it was the vast majority of my labour – and thinking that I really didn’t want to give birth on the side of the road surrounded by university students coming out of class, something that was a real possibility at that point. Thank goodness for green lights and a cool, calm and collected driver (Mr Good) is all I can say! We were home surrounded by family the next day and it felt like just the right place to be.
Baby Good was content and happy right from the start, easy to feed, sleeping well and just calm – this was quite a contrast to Miss Three as a new born. From the very first day at home a connection of surprising intensity developed between Baby Good and Miss Three. First smiles and first giggles were both rewarded to Miss Three and she is still the one that can induce hysterical laughter from her baby sister at the drop of the hat. Bath time with the two of the them is a giggle-fest from start to finish, usually resulting in water being splashed all over me (or Mr Good) and the bathroom floor as they egg each other on. We now, very occasionally, get some angst between these two loving sisters, if Miss Three happens to take something from Baby Good (usually something Baby Good probably shouldn’t have anyway) or if Baby Good decides she wants to play with Miss Three at something a bit beyond her (puzzles, dolls house etc). I guess this is only natural, but thankfully it doesn’t happen often and Miss Three is very gentle even if she is annoyed by her sister.
Miss Three has all sorts of names for her baby sister: gorgeous girl, schweetie, darling and anything of the sort, which always makes me smile. She is a right little mother to Baby Good, saying things like “it’s all right, Miss Three is here” to calm her if I’m temporarily busy. She sings to her if she’s upset (or if she’s not) and is constantly telling me what Baby Good is thinking or wanting or needing. I’ve been waiting and watching for jealousy to rear it’s ugly head, but it just hasn’t happened. I think Miss Three has really benefited from having a sibling in many ways and so far the two year age gap has worked beautifully for us.
At nearly six months of age, however, Baby Good changed from a quiet contented little baby to one that was much more unsettled and with poor sleeping habits. I assumed this would be short lived and was linked to that big developmental leap babies of that age go through, however it continues to this day. We don’t know what caused the change, but I’m now resigned to a life – in the short term at least – of disrupted sleep. It took me a long time to realise that there was nothing I could really do to change things, any attempt we made to encourage better sleeping patterns had either no success or very short lived success before she reverted back to her regular wakings. Now I just try to enjoy those snugly night feeds while they last and not think too much about the warm bed I’ve left. Once I recognised this and accepted it I was much more able to just go with it, but look out when I do get back to full nights of sleep, there will be no stopping me I reckon.
The last few months have been most exciting as we watch Baby Good change and learn new things day by day. She is a crawling machine – she has to be if she wants to keep up with her big sister – says a few basic words, mum/ma, dad/da, nan, can pull herself up and take a few steps holding onto furniture. Her favourite activity involves pulling stuff out of bags or boxes, this keeps her entertained for ages but creates an awful mess. It’s also problematic when it’s my handbag she’s pulling stuff out of and I then can’t locate the car keys. Her favourite toys seem to be balls and cars or trucks (anything with wheels really). She hates toys that make loud, sudden noises (unlike Miss Three who loved these ones) and I’ve had to put these ones away as she was so upset by them. Also unlike Miss Three at the same age, she adores animals of all kinds, but especially our cat and dog, both which are very gentle and good with (our) kids – Miss Three was terrified of the dog until she was about two. She sits at the glass sliding door with Trixi on the other side entertaining each other, and if the door happens to be opened at some point she is out in a flash. She is really going to love the garden once she’s walking – it’s not well designed for crawlers.
So far Baby Good has promising signs of being a devoted foodie like her Mum and is a pleasure to cook for because she eats everything happily. She’s never been interested in baby food or purees and that suits me fine. She eats what we eat and has done so since six months of age when she moved on from a breast milk only diet. I think most kids this age are easy to feed – that’s my memory of Miss Three also and we all know what happened there! I hope Baby Good stays like this and doesn’t become a frustrating toddler who refuses to eat just about everything, but I have a feeling that is just another stage we must all endure.
And that’s my beautiful girl in a nut shell, the good and the not so good, but we adore her. I’m not sure if she has completed our family or if there will be one more child in the future sometime. I used to be convinced that I wanted three children, but I’m loving my little family of four, there is a real closeness and intimacy between us all, which makes me think maybe two is enough. I’m not sure, perhaps that will become clearer in another few years.