I find it strange now, on the odd occasion that somebody refers to Iris as a baby. Despite the chubby thighs and lack of hair (it is growing though!) she’s very much a toddler now. She’s been walking for three whole months and is very stable now. She runs too, at a speed I can’t quite match at 28 weeks pregnant. She’s less and less keen on being carried or strapped into anything, and desperately wants to use her feet at all times. To kill an hour we regularly go to the park, where I plonk her down among the trees and fallen leaves and just follow her. One end of the park to the other can take up a whole afternoon, as Iris charges around and picks up every single interesting object she comes across. I love autumn, and she seems to love it too.
Sleep is an issue at the moment. More an issue for me, than her. I have such terrible insomnia and she’s having some kind of sleep regression. Some nights I’m only managing 2 or 3 hours sleep, and we’ve slipped back into sleeping in late which means we miss the playgroups I rely on for adult human interaction. Hopefully we’ll be back on track soon, because I’m exhausted. Watching Peppa Pig at 3am is not my favourite thing. Co sleeping is what keeps us going. At least when she wakes and needs cuddling back to sleep she’s right there. I just don’t have the energy to get up and walk back and forth to the nursery so many times a night.
She still loves food. A lot of her buddies seem to be going through a fussy eating phase and I’ve been told they all do. I’m hoping they’re wrong, as she’s the easiest kid ever to feed. She’s eats very nearly everything. She’s not keen on baked beans, but I think that’s about it. She prefers me not to cut her food up and absolutely will not be spoon fed, and even manages to eat messy stuff like cereal completely independently.
We have a proper routine now. It’s totally baby-led still, and I’ve not pushed anything onto her at all. We often sleep til 8 these days, thanks to the sleepless nights, meaning it’s a mad rush to get out for playgroup. I make sure our bag is packed with nappies and spare clothes the night before, and a packed lunch if needed. There’s no time for that in the morning. The only way I can get a shower is to take her into the bathroom with me, and to save time she eats her breakfast in there too. For the first time I’m glad our bathroom is downstairs! I set the iPad up and she eats cereal and watches cartoons while I get a decent shower. She’s down to one nap most days, which usually happens 3 or 4 hours after she gets up. This is around lunchtime, so I either make sure she’s had lunch or give her a snack to get her through until afterwards. With no afternoon nap, we have a bit more freedom. While it’s still warm enough, I’m trying to make sure we get outside for some fresh air every afternoon. Some times we walk the dog, and other times we head to the park. It does both of us so much good. Dinner is at 6 or 7, followed by a bath, some stories and then bed. Most nights Iris goes to sleep easily and quickly, with either me or Trev lying on the bed for cuddles. We never leave her awake. She wouldn’t sleep, she’d just cry. I can’t see the sense in turning bedtime into a battle. At the moment it’s pleasant and she’s happy.
I swear she learns at least one new word a day. They’re never the words you expect to hear next. Sometimes I’m not even sure where they came from. She can let me know she wants ‘snack’ or ‘juice’. She actually rarely has juice, but uses juice to mean water or milk too. She knows so many animal noises, as well as noises of other things. She says ‘car brrrm’ and ‘bus’ and calls the dog ‘Sebby’. The other day she saw me naked and shouted ‘bum!’.
One of her favourite things to do is to visit the library and choose some books to take home. She loves books. We have to read several in the evening, and she can often be found sitting on th floor by her bookcase reading to herself. She babbles and points and laughs, it’s so very sweet.
Every stage is more amazing than the last one, and I’ve loved every bit of being her mum. However, I adore this toddler stage! Partly because she’s so affectionate. She’ll come over for a cuddle, and squeeze me tight. She plants big kisses on my face, pats my back and holds my hand. It’s wonderful. She’s noticed my growing belly too, and often kisses and touches it. She says ‘baba’ to it but I don’t think she really understands. I love each new word, and watching her learn. It’s visible, the little cogs turning in her brain. I can see her absorbing and taking in every detail and processing it. It’s such a privilege to watch.
I’m nervous about the new baby. I feel guilty already for having to share my attention between two babies. I’m hoping Iris is confident and attached enough to not take it so badly. I hope she never feels like she’s lost her place or that I love her less.
Her smiles and laughs floor me every single time. She’s made me the happiest I’ve ever been. She is everything. There is no point in anything else. Thanks kiddo, for 487 wonderful days. I love you.