As I write this, my son is asleep having spent the afternoon crawling non-stop, walking around the house while holding onto chairs, cupboards and sofas to support himself, and giggling on the swing in the garden. I cannot believe my tiny little baby boy will no longer be 11 months old but ONE.
I wanted to write a post – addressed to Tom – to celebrate the occasion and mark where he is now as he reaches his first birthday.
From the moment you came into the world, you changed our lives forever, in ways we could never have imagined. In fact it’s hard to even remember life beforehand, it’s like you’ve always been here, our little mate, sharing memories and experiences with me and Daddy.
28th July was your due date but oh no, just like your impatient mother, you didn’t want to miss out any longer and decided you were ready 5 weeks early. Let me tell you, going into labour that Thursday afternoon was the biggest, most surreal shock of my life – but looking back, I’m so glad it happened like that as I had no time to think what was happening or get freaked out – by Friday morning there you were, safely in our arms, so tiny and delicate.
The first two weeks of your life were spent in hospital as you had jaundice, which was hard for all of us – but fast forward 11 months and you’re so energetic, robust and hyperactive no-one would guess you were a premature baby!
You’ve always been such a happy, sociable person who loves to observe and be part of what’s going on. From when you were tiny you’ve been used to being in the company of lots of different people and have been out and about every day with me – on our long walks, accompanying me when I do restaurant reviews, meeting friends for coffee. Now when you’re in your pram, you have to be facing forward so you can watch the world go by! You also absolutely love seeing little people and babies so I make sure we have regular playdates with friends or take you to a local playgroup so you can meet new faces.
At 5 months you seemed so interested when we were eating that I started to wean you slightly early and my gosh, don’t you love your food! You are so active you build up a good appetite and now when it comes to meal times, you love feeding yourself – which is great but means Mummy ends up cleaning up after you all day 😉 You get a great mixture of healthy things and plenty of variety, while Daddy likes to give you treats sometimes and it brings him so much joy when he shares his food with you.
I knew when you started crawling at 7 months that you were going to be active just as we both are – you don’t sit still now and want to explore all the time, sneak into places where you shouldn’t and love causing chaos wherever your path takes you! But we don’t mind, as you’re curious about your surroundings and love being both indoors and outdoors as long as you can move. God help us when you start walking – we’re going to be running around after you even more! You took two little steps recently which was insane – nearly there little man.
Teething hasn’t been the best, you started when you were about 4 months and it’s been on and off relentlessly since. Daddy and I hate seeing you in pain but we try to distract you with games, taking you out or popping CBeebies. Right now you have 8 teeth and more are starting to show, before we know it you’ll have a full set of teeth! But other than that you’ve not really struggled with anything else which we are so grateful for.
When you’re not struggling with teething, you are one of the happiest souls I know. Your giggle when Daddy throws you upside down or puts you on his shoulders, or when I chase you on the floor makes my heart burst with pride and happiness, I want to bottle it up forever. Hearing you babble away saying words like “baba”, “mama”, “gaga” and making your crazy sounds is so rewarding and makes us think you’re going to be a proper chatterbox once you start talking! We love how you’re content being independent and playing with your toys when we’re near you, while other times you just want us to be there next to you. That feeling of being wanted and needed is something I’ll always cherish (until you hit an age where you don’t always want Mummy and Daddy there – can’t even imagine that happening!).
You’ve travelled quite a lot already; Daddy and I have taken you to Yorkshire to see your grandparents and Uncle Andy, been on a plane to Majorca with Mummy’s family for your first holiday and spent a weekend at Center Parcs in the Lake District with Daddy’s crew. We even brought you along to your first rave when Annie Mac played a set at Oxfam in the Northern Quarter and joined in the conga with her, an experience we’ll never forget! We can’t wait to introduce you to so many new things and places, that’s one of the most exciting things about having you in our life.
Thomas Oliver, Daddy and I could not be prouder of the happy, socialable, cheeky chappy you are becoming, and couldn’t love you any more than we do. You’re our absolute world, thank you for bringing us so much joy – let’s see what turning one has to bring! 🙂