Things I need to tell you before I forget*

It might have taken 4 feeds, 2 hours of rocking and seventeen verses of ‘Sally the Camel’ to get you to sleep; but every evening at around 10pm, without fail, your Daddy says ‘I miss her. Can we wake her up?’
You love Katy Perry. You ‘roar’ along to her song, the predictably named ‘Roar’, and you clap like one of those cymbal-crashing monkey toys when the video plays on the TV. I must try harder to film it, but I’m always too busy singing and dancing like  a loon.
You can fit 8 grapes in your mouth. I wonder if it makes me a bad mother that I watched and counted rather than stopped you ramming them in, one after the other? I was powerless to stop you – your determination is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever known.
The first time you stood up by yourself, you laughed so loudly that you jumped and promptly landed on your bum. You pulled yourself straight back up again. You’ve got your daddy’s tenacity and none of my hesitation.
I think you’ve got my generosity. If offering anyone and everyone a bite of your half-chewed rice cake can be construed as generous. I choose to believe it can.
You slept in our bed, snuggled under the duvet and curled into my chest, until you were 7 months old. You’re not yet 9 months and it’s fair to say that the last 6 weeks have been incredibly tough, sleeping-wise. But it’s important that you know that we wouldn’t have changed those 7 months for the world. Even if we could go back and move you into your cot sooner, even if some magical baby whisperer promised us that you’d be sleeping 13 hours through the night by now, we wouldn’t do it. I learnt more about you, about myself, in those dim-lit, pillowy, juice and milk filled hours than I ever could have hoped to. I also learnt more about the world. Literally. All the interesting news is on from 2-4am.
We planned for me to breastfeed you. As much as you can plan these things. I don’t know who exactly it is I’m meant to offer thanks to – but Thank You, Breastfeeding World Leader Person. We’re so, so thankful that our feeding journey has been so smooth. It’s been filled with laughter (spraying milk all over your Dad/the TV/restaurant tables, the time you latched onto my arm in your sleep and gave me the mother of all lovebites) and precious, wonderful moments and we’re so lucky that we’ve had this experience. I’ve blocked out the memory of the mastitis – I’ll tell you all about that when you’re 15 and think I never do anything for you.
You make me laugh out loud innumerable times a day. You’re hilarious. You find your socks amusing, the cat’s tails are joy incarnate, there’s not a cushion in the house that hasn’t been shrieked at and dribbled over as you manically giggle at it’s zip. If laughter really does extend your life, I’ve gained years since you were born, baby girl.
You fell off the sofa when you were 4 months old. God, it physically hurts me to type that. I apologised more times that day than I have in my entire life. To you, to your Dad, to Granny and Grandpa… I’ve never felt terror like it, little one. You are beyond precious to us. You’re an essential part of our life, your presence is non-negotiable. As I nursed your tears away that morning, feeling more wretched than I would have thought was possible, I resolved to never, ever let anything happen to you again. And then I remembered Nemo. I had to satisfy myself with promising to never let you fall off the sofa again, until you’re old enough to wilfully launch yourself off it, at least.

Photo taken by the lovely Laura

I wonder if you’ll still be the spitting image of your Dad as a toddler? The set of your jaw, the way your brow furrows when you’re concentrating. Your hair! When I was pregnant I would tell anyone who listened that I hoped you didn’t end up with my unruly, dark, curly locks. And here you are with the straightest, finest, golden blonde hair. And I find that  I’m a *teeny* bit disappointed… You are an Alsopp, without a doubt. Your eyes, though, your eyes are like mine. Not in colour – where did that beautiful deep blue come from? – but their shape, the way you seem to speak with them. I see myself in your eyes.
*Not ‘FORGET’ forget, more ‘the memories will get fuzzy in my head because of all the awesome new stuff you do every.single.day’ forget.
Categories: Any Other Baby, Becoming a Mother
22 interesting thoughts on this

22 Comments

  1. Katielase
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    I love you, I love Stella. I love this.

    Made me smile on a very grumpy morning, she’s literally a ray of happy giggling bouncy sunshine, and I want another cuddle soon!

    KL x

  2. Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    LOVE, love, love. You are both quite awesome

  3. Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    This is so beautiful Aisling, and she is a truly beautiful little girl :) xx

  4. Alison
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    This is so lovely. She sounds like a wonderful little lady and I wish you well with the sleeping!

    I know exactly what you mean by the fuzzy memories. I never understood my friends who couldn’t remember exactly when things happened and changed with their babies but my wonderful nearly-eight-month-old son is doing so much every day that the memories of what he’s done in the past are definitely becoming fuzzier.

  5. Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    oh my days, just beautiful! beautiful, beautiful post xx

  6. deltafoxtrotcharlie
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    What a lovely love story, that’s properly cheered up my rainy Wednesday :)

    Oh, and don’t worry about the sofa thing, it happens a lot ;)

  7. Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Aww this made me quite emotional this morning (apart from snorting with laughter at the arm lovebite). I think because I’m going through all the same stages with H & C and it’s literally like someone is narrating my life when you write (which is handy, if I’m honest!).

    Stella you are a gorgeous little lady and A you’re an amazing mummy. I may not have met you but it just leaps off the page with your beautiful words. Massive hugs xx

  8. Katie
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I always love your writing Aisling, especially when it is about Stella. This post brought a massive smile to my face. Stella is a very lucky girl to have you and Phil as parents.

    I chuckled at Katy Perry Roar, as it’s Ava’s favourite song, along with Blurred Lines (totally inappropriate I know – parenting fail).

    xx

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      This reminded me of Rachel singing Baby Got Back to Emma in Friends!

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Hahaha Katie! That made me laugh out loud x

  9. Jessie
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I quite simply just want this!

  10. Peabody_Bites
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Such a lovely piece and such a sweet Stella – adorable picture of the two of you. I love her Daddy wanting to wake up her again to play late at night (my Dad used to want to do the same with me, so my mother bought him a hamster (nocturnal) to distract him!).

    If you felt comfortable doing so, I would love it if you would write a bit more about the decision to co-sleep and how it worked in practice as that was clearly a special time for you both and there aren’t that many positive narratives about it on the internets.

  11. Lucie
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful :-)

  12. Sharon
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    LOVE this post so so much, its making me wish away the next 10 weeks so I can meet my bubba xxxxxx

  13. Liz
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful!

    So much of this rings true for me – the feeding, the sleeping arrangements, right down to roaring – think Roar was T’s first official word!

    This was so lovely to read
    x

  14. Gemma N
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, I’m now tearful sitting alone in costa. it was the nemo line that got me.

    Just lovely. xx

  15. Posted October 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Lovely idea/title for a post, and it’s just PERFECT. Lucky Stella x

  16. Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    This is just beautiful – feeling quite emotional reading it.

  17. Merida / Hobo Mummy
    Posted October 23, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    This is so cute :-) and how she has grown….!!! Beautiful girl with a beautiful smile x

    I have a notebook somewhere in this house (probably under a pile of ironing, Lego or dog chews…maybe all three) which has little nuggets of my memory from those days….I knew I’d forget (I have) and that this very moment is precious (it was) and so a few words that I’d remember. I know it’s here somewhere, I’m not worried as I know one day I’ll stumbled upon it and cry my heart out!!

  18. Posted October 24, 2013 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Waah!
    Read this yesterday, decided to come back to it today, still can’t cope with the emotion and the cuteness and the beauty of these moments….

  19. Amanda M
    Posted October 24, 2013 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Beautiful.

  20. Posted October 27, 2013 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    This is so lovely! There is an Australian blog called Dear Olive which is a series of letters a mum is writing to her daughter, and it’s such a nice idea to note these memories down!

    It sounds like your family are having a great time together, and I only hope that if my husband and I are ever lucky enough to have a child, that we will take time to remember those moments too.

    Emma xx

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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