While getting through the madness of end of year, saying goodbye to students and staff, moving classrooms and generally managing to reach the finish line, I had nearly forgotten about Christmas.
Then the eternal kid in me was unleashed as I’ve watched my daughter discover this brilliant time of year around her. Celebrating Christmas with a fifteen month old is incredible, especially when comparing it to celebrating it with a three month old. This got me thinking, how have things changed over the last year?
Seeya Blob Time!
Yes, babies are cute. And cuddly. And lovely. Don’t get me wrong, they are bloody great…but let’s be honest, at three months of age the “Blob Factor” is still very much active. Smiles are awesome to see, but there isn’t much more going on.
Cue 2017, what do we have here?! Walking AND talking? This is INSANE! She not only knows what I am saying, but can actually talk back. Yes, I’ve been warned that there is no going back from the talking back, but hearing my legendary (100% biased) daughter say “Hello!”, “Ta“, “Up” or “Bye Daddy” is the bloody best.
I actually think I now have a new smile that breaks out when I hear these things, what I’m calling “Ridiculously Proud Dad for Mundane Things Smile”.
Bring on the mundane!
Getting to know your kid is pretty great. Looking back at those first few months I remember most of my time was spent trying to work out what tiny little looks, cries or wriggles meant…which then led to running through the list of possibilities: Food, Nappy, Pain or Sleep (none of the above? Repeat as it may have changed now!).
Now though it’s amazing discovering the things that make her giggle, seeing what draws her interest, watching her watch branches blow in the breeze, grabbing any crayon to draw or trying not to laugh as she defiantly pushes my hand away so she can feed herself.
She knows what she wants, is driven by curiosity and seems to be learning and mimicking a huge amount of skills and information an incredible rate.
Just the other week she sat down, directed me to join her and started rocking backwards and forwards while saying “Row, Row, Row…”. Somehow she’s been getting down to the nearest rowing sheds and practising her sculling techniques…or daycare have been singing some traditional lullabies. Either way, we’ve all shown remarkable improvement in our rowing fitness over the last two weeks.
I know many a person has said it before me, but she’s becoming a real little person now.
The Parental Team: Relaxed and Confident
Last Christmas is a bit of a blur. I remember having got through the last few weeks of term on broken sleep and trying to enjoy some different points of the season. I genuinely don’t remember much of Christmas Eve, besides finding an incredibly comfortable piece of carpet at my parents’ place and falling asleep. I remember both Amazing Wife and I being so relieved and grateful to have others around us to give us a bit of a break and share delicious food with our nearest and dearest.
It’s no wonder new parents are exhausted and need a break. There is so, so, SO much to learn and experience in those first months (which I’m sure is always the case throughout our parenting lives!).
Last Christmas, with a three month old, we were still adjusting to shifting our whole life and priorities, reducing our income and navigating the new world of nappies, bath routines, bottles versus breast debates, sleep deprivation and pressure to be an Instagram worthy awesome parent…which led to us second guessing ourselves or one another at different times.
And now? Now, we are so much more confident in what is worth worrying about…Instagram isn’t up there. We trust ourselves and our abilities to not only raise this little legend, but in each other as parents. We both fully trust what the other can do, and does, for the family. I’ll happily say it, we’re a bloody force to be reckoned with…as far as being more confident in our own parenting style and willingness to learn goes. (That’s another thing we discovered, we listen to others ideas or advice, but always walk away and talk about it before trying anything out).
This has led to this Christmas being so much more fun, easier and memorable. Now I can’t wait to see what my daughter will get up to this Christmas. I’m predicting her using her new found motor skills for trampling on some unwitting present, thoroughly enjoying ripping other’s presents open, wrestling with her uncles and aunties, and babbling away in excitement at all the different colours, sights, sounds and smells.
Which now leads me to wonder, does it just keep getting better and better each year?
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