Today my Darling Daughter you are 693 days old.
Last Saturday (6th June) you were 686 days old. For 681 of those days you were breastfed to some degree or other. The routine varied slightly, but for the last year certainly you had Mummy’s milk as you went to sleep, through the nights if you woke and as you awoke in the morning.
Granny was always amazed at how lovely you woke up. For the most part you still do wake up lovely – its just that I’m not there with you now in that very moment you wake. By the time you have stomped down the landing you’re already full awake.
When I think about it like that, this last week has been really difficult for me. A week ago tonight we shared our last “conversation”, our last breastfeed before you went to sleep at Granny’s. It was brief, very much a quick comfort (for both of us) and off to sleep you went quicker than a flash.
For you though my Dearest, all your life you have had Mummy’s milk and a cuddle. Even if to me it seemed you just wanted the milk and weren’t so bothered about the cuddle. 681 days/nights – a lifetime. And now its all stopped.
Through everyday as your character grows, one thing that stands out to me is your determindness. If that’s a word. Strong willed and determined. Am I surprised then that a week of exchanges like “Mulk?” “No Milk darling” feels like we’re getting nowhere apart from more frustrated.
This isn’t true. If I look carefully I see how that at night if you wake I can hand you your cup of water and you’ll take a drink and go back to sleep.
In a morning when you wake and come to find me, it means I have to get up now (I hate 5 am…) and can’t sneak you into bed for a quick cuddle/feed and maybe half an hour extra sleep whilst I wake up a bit more.
Those 681 nights are so precious to me. Each and every one. How you could be so grumpy and cross in one minute and then a little “conversation” with mummy and daughter and 10 minutes later you’re all smiles and giggles again.
I remember every angle of your face, looking at you, your cheeks, your hair, your eyelashes. Your eyes if you were awake. Your mouth, the way you’d stop and give a milky grin to anyone nearby. The peaches and cream colouring you inherited from me (sorry – you will need shares in suncream…) How your hand would search to hold mine, how you would grumble at me if I moved position when you were comfortable. The warmth of your body against mine. Curling around you to sleep and how I’d wake a moment before you searched for a drink.
I’ll never tire of looking at you. You are amazing.
So many times this week I have had the wavering thought of “Go on, one last feed won’t matter”. But it will. It will really and truly upset the apple cart. So I won’t. I keep telling myself its for both of our benefits. That you will learn to go to sleep without needing to be attached to my boob, and that I will maybe one day get something that resembles a nights rest. (Who am I kidding?!)
I had so many years of never believing I’d be lucky enough to be a Mum. And I just don’t think I’m ready for this particular part of Mum-dom to end. I know there are a whole load of other things just around the corner that we will begin to share together, but I’m missing our conversations.
We have shared though this past week some lovely cuddles where you haven’t asked for Mulk. The times that you’ll curl up against me on the sofa when you’re tired but fighting a sleep. The times that we’ll read Green Eggs and Ham (Again again) and the only seat that will do for you is my lap. I love how you get your head onto my arm and trap both my arms (and my leg) in a move worthy of a black belt in jiu jitsu.
I’ll look forward to the cuddles my Darling.