Well, a little overdue, I'm sorry, my Darling Girl. One day when you're reading this you may understand. I hope so - I hope also that I am there to share the days with you when you are a Mama yourself.
My daughter. You are now ONE. I cannot quite believe. I see you, experience you totally differently than with Ari as a baby.
You are such a beautiful little creature - also, so cheeky! You giggle with your brother - I know that you two will play together so well, so happily. You both accomodate each other so much more than I had thought. You look up to him, smiling and laughing with him.
Little kisses from you are so precious. You have been giving us kisses for a short while now. Making a smoothy noise, and scrunching up your lips. At bed time, you love giving us all kisses goodnight before I take you into bed for your milk. At first you would only kiss us, your immediate family :: Dada, Ari + Mama. Now you give kisses to select others at your discretion.
You are talking so much. Making noises into a telephone - or any object you hold up to your ear. Chatting away. You sit and read books, stories to yourself. Perched up on a cushion, or curled up in the corner of Ari's bed. At night-time when Daddy reads to Ari, you bring your own story over and want to sit and read it altogether.
You love dancing and singing. When we sing songs, or have music to listen to, you stand - holding onto someone - and bounce your legs up and down, and nod your head. You have a big smile on your face.
So often you have a smile or laugh. You have a crazy grin you give - of pleasure, satisfaction, intent dedication to whatever you are trying to do - with your teeth showing through a scrunched up grin.
You are understanding so much, and watching, and copying so much. If Ari does a tumble on the carpet then you want to do it too. You do a lot of downdog, and yoga poses - I really love seeing you do this, makes me think over my own Mum all over again.
A lot of things about you make me think of Mum. The way you play with your hair, twirling it in your fingers. My Mum used to do that too. And I think you will look a lot like her when you are bigger.
So many things about you are so different to Ari. You are a very different baby. Yet, so many things that you do remind me of him as a baby. And remind me that it's all going so quickly. When you have your lips clenched around my breast for your milk, and you start to giggle at something - either someone sitting beside us, or you trying to tickle me face while you feed. Ari used to do this - with his lips still keeping grip onto me.
Today, while we were playing peek-a-boo (when we were mistakenly trying to have your nap), you said "there" when you peeked out of the blankets. "there" as in 'there you are'!
And while I was cooking dinner, you indicated that you wanted to help me stir the saucepan. Well, of course I let you (after all, that's how Ari first learnt to cook). You loved it, wouldn't let me put you down, you wanted to keep holding that wooden spoon and stir and stir and stir the dahl until it was ready. You had such a look in intense pride on your face. When Daddy got home, you wanted him to watch you cooking, to see what you were doing. You love doing big person things, not baby things. You don't eat baby food (you never did), you like sitting in a big chair, not a high-chair.
Some days it feels as if everything is moving so slowly and we never see any change, yet other times I can only watch things speed by me. Thank you for the moments, fast or slow, for letting me spend time with a beautiful, laughing, smiling, happy, inquisitive, intelligent little creature. Love you Baby.