I want to tell you how proud I am of you. You’ve taken to being a big sister so well – better than I ever could have hoped for. From the moment you walked into our bedroom that morning to find our newest member of the family laying on the bed, you have been obsessed with her. Several times a day you will ask me to let you hold Elowen. You sit on the sofa, hold your arms out together expectantly and say “I hold baby!” I place her in your arms and you tilt your head to look at her. “Hello Eh’wen! Hello sweetie. You’re sooo cute!” You say in a high-pitched ‘baby talk’ voice that I thought only adults were capable of.
You are so proud of your baby sister and you love to show her off to just about anyone. Not a day goes by where you haven’t gotten the attention of a stranger to say “Look – my baby!” Every time I pick you up from nursery, when you spot me standing in the doorway with Elowen, you run over to us and it’s her you are most pleased to see. “Baby, my baby!” you shout. “Look, it’s my sister!” you announce to the nursery staff, as if they had never seen her before. My heart bursts.
I know it hasn’t been easy for you, adjusting to sharing me. Trust me, it’s been hard for me too. I miss that we don’t get any one-on-one time anymore but this won’t be forever. It’s just that Elowen is so dependent on me right now (I’m exclusively breastfeeding) and I know it must be so frustrating for you that I’m always saying “In a minute, Jasmine” or “Not right now, I’m feeding baby.”
Despite all of this, you have never taken your frustrations out on Elowen. Yes, you get upset. Yes, you start to act like a baby yourself at times. And of course, you have tantrums (you are still only two-years old, after all). But you have showed nothing but kindness to your sister and I don’t think it’s ever occurred to you to be anything but gentle to her. (We’ll see how long that lasts when she starts stealing your toys!)
You often get quite upset if Elowen is crying. “Oh no poor Eh’wen. She’s shying!” You’ll tell me, as if I hadn’t noticed the wailing. “You need to calm baby up, Mummy” (I love this turn of phrase of yours). You are so incredibly caring. Elowen is lucky to have you as a big sister.
You have become so chatty over the last few months. I love the utter randomness that you come out with. There’s never a dull moment when you’re around. You like to pretend you’re a superhero and will charge around the house shouting “I’M SUPER SPEEDY!” Which, is pretty accurate to be honest.
Last weekend I took you the cinema for the second time to watch Storks. The last time I took you to see a film I was still pregnant and I remember feeling sad that we wouldn’t be able to have these mummy/daughter dates anymore once the baby arrived. I realise now that I was being silly. OK, so it’s not quite the same now that it’s the three of us but it doesn’t mean our mummy/daughter dates are any less special. I held Elowen on my lap whilst we watched the film (she slept through the whole thing) and every now and again you would turn to us, lean over and kiss her on the head. Clearly you are less bothered about sharing me than I sometimes think you are.
Every day I marvel at how cool, funny and beautiful you are. Although I’m not allowed to say any of those things out loud because you do not take compliments well! The other day you corrected me after calling you ‘cute’. “No mummy, I’m not cute. I’m spiderman.” I think that sums you up perfectly.
I love you, Spiderman.
Or should I say Smooshy? As that is what I’ve nicknamed you – sorry about that!
You are such a mummy’s girl. I don’t know if it’s because I’m breastfeeding or it’s just the way you are – but you are one clingy baby. You cannot bear to be more than a couple of metres away from me. Poor Daddy gets frustrated that he cannot ‘calm you up’ like mummy can. And when you first started smiling – they were reserved only for me. That’s changed now though, I’ve caught you giving huge gummy smiles to strangers on the bus stop! Although, we all know you give your biggest smiles out to your sister.
Although I have started putting you in your co-sleeper cot when we go to bed at night, every morning I wake up with you in my arms. We’re both happier with that arrangement. You will spend most of your life sleeping in your own bed so I’m going to soak up those sleepy snuggles for as long as I can. (I guess this whole ‘clingy’ thing is mutual, huh?)
You will, almost certainly, be my last baby. Because of that I’m finding the speed at which you are growing a little unbearable at times. I’ve a bin bag full of outgrown baby clothes that I keep meaning to donate to charity… and yet, can’t quite bring myself to do it. The thought of it makes me feel physically sick. It’s silly really, keeping a load of too-small-for-you baby grows doesn’t achieve anything. But I’m not ready to let them go.
I don’t like comparing you to your sister because you are two separate people. But it’s funny how differently I’m parenting this time around. At this stage with Jasmine, I’d already started implementing a bedtime routine which involved a bath every night. I can count on one hand the amount of times we’ve given you a bath since you were born. Rest assured, you smell devine. Well, most of the time anyway! ;)
But seriously, routine schmootine. This time I’m just rollin’ with it…
You have recently started to coo when you smile and it sounds like you are on the cusp of producing a giggle. You are such a happy, little soul.
As I write this letter, you are asleep on my lap. I’m listening to you snore and I cannot imagine life without you. Daddy often asks why his snoring doesn’t have the same effect on me!
Elowen, you are the baby that I had been waiting for. You have brought so much joy to our family.
Thank you for making Jasmine a big sister.
Thank you for giving me and your daddy another reason to look at each other say ‘Aren’t we lucky?’.
Thank you for making me the happy, content and confident mama that has always been lurking within me. You’ve brought her to the surface.
Buckle up my girl, because our adventures have only just begun…