The 11 Month Turning Point

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Lately, I can’t seem to resist the urge to repeatedly hug and kiss my baby. He is 11 months’ old and will soon make the intense transition from baby to toddler. After seeing my first child become a toddler, which despite its fantastic moments, is also a time when he can make up his own mind, be stubborn when he wants, resist hugs and kisses and climb out of my tight grasp, I am a little apprehensive of this change.

My younger son is, for now, still my baby. I absolutely love his babyness and am doing my best to try and savour every moment of it. I can’t get enough of his little coos like a bird, not yet able to talk, but still making beautiful sounds. I love watching his ability to keep himself entertained, by commando crawling around the entire room, exploring all the sights for the tenth time in the day without getting bored, pausing only when he catches my eye and returning it with the sweetest giggle ever.

I want to continue enjoying his special baby kisses, the ones where he has his mouth open and bounces it back and forth against my cheek saying “aahhh aahh aaahhh”, unable to close the kiss.

I love that he is small enough for me to pick up and cuddle any time, and he enjoys it every time. His whole life revolves around me, his “Mama”, his source of love, food, sanitation and entertainment. Everything he needs to be happy in his little world.

All this changes when he is no longer a baby. And I will miss it so desperately.

A part of me hopes that if I kiss him hundreds of times, maybe I can stock up on those kisses and they will get me through the years he doesn’t want them. If I hold him in my arms and cuddle him for twice as long, maybe three times longer, perhaps my arms will still feel full in a few months’ and years’ time.

As a mother I want my baby to grow and develop into a boy, a teenager, a man, but already I fear missing those cuddles. As he eventually fights for more and more independence, a part of me will miss my little baby. I tell myself I just have to try and focus on the joys he will bring through the different ages as he grows up.

Each developmental stage has its own beauty and, of course, I want us to experience these, but there is something indescribably special and unique about the baby stage that makes me mourn it’s passing. Is it because each moment is so preciously short, but when I am living it, deep in the trenches of motherhood and duty, the time can seem like eternity? The responsibility of caring for every little need of such a tiny, vulnerable being, who is 100% dependent on me, while averaging 3 hours sleep a night, can be so overwhelming, that I forget to enjoy the moment, until there is only 1 month left of it?

Today I tell myself he will not be a baby for much longer now. Today I will keep kissing and cuddling him and truly live the delightful moments that will not be here tomorrow.

Originally written in March 2015

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