Yesterday, Elphie was three months old. The difference between her now and at birth is incredible, I can barely remember her being as small as some of the babies at the Health Visitor clinic but she must have been. The grub is now looking around herself, actively interacting with stuff, smiling and chortling and in a few weeks she will have doubled in size from her birth weight. The rolls of fat are gathering on her arms and her thighs. She can sit against something and not immediately topple over. And she is showing signs of the little girl she will become – just glimmers, but occasionally I can almost imagine what she might grow up to look like.
As for me, that’s a different story.
I still feel like she’s a newborn, that my entire day is spent caring for her with no space for anything else. The to do list grows more than it shrinks and the flat acquires more baby paraphernalia without the necessary clear out of adult stuff to make space for it. I need more time than is allowed by the couple of hours that her nap provides when we are both in the flat. That time is needed for regular chores like washing or washing up, not mass sort outs. I really need to tackle it little by little – perhaps moving her activity gym with me and letting her play on that while I try and declutter. With the first task being to create enough space for the cot to be assembled in our room!
I can’t believe I am a quarter of the way through my maternity leave – it feels like it is going so quickly. Weeks seem to be getting fuller rather than more empty as we embark on a brave new world of parent-baby activities so we can get out of the house if it’s wet. I feel no more like I know what I am doing than at the beginning; the idea of pushing the buggy out still feels like an adventure, and I am dreading the trip next week into central London to have lunch with my old work team. But I guess I must know what I am doing now, just need to do so with more confidence!
They say that babies change very quickly. Whenever Grandmama sees Elphie after a few weeks she always remarks on the changes: the better head control, greater focussing, more interaction with the world around her. Being with her 24/7, it is easy to miss the differences and just see it as the norm even though it wasn’t something she could do the week before. It’s easy to still see her as a feeding, sleeping and pooping machine, all things she is still good at, but as the months go by, she is also so much more.