It's almost a year to the day since we found out that you were on your way, and that I'd be spending the festive season fooling no-one with my lame excuses for sobriety. Your frantic arrival in July, three weeks earlier and a pound lighter than expected, turned our world upside down and shook it vigorously like a vibrant, sparkling snowglobe. We're counting down to Christmas this year far worse off in terms of money, free time and sleep (I even need to schedule in time to cut my own toenails these days), but the giddy excitement that we're sharing it with the newest, cutest addition to our little family more than makes up for this.
In the first few weeks after welcoming you into the world, we quickly realised we had a little diva on our hands, with a fussy outlook, insatiable demands and a powerful, neighbour-bothering pair of lungs. We decided that our little handful had small baby syndrome, and quite frankly, though you've almost tripled in weight since birth, you still do. But I marvel every day at the speed at which you're learning and growing, the complex little personality emerging, how beautiful you're becoming.
There have been dark moments, of course. The three threatened miscarriages which dominated the first half of my second trimester of pregnancy, each heavier and with a bleaker prognosis than the previous one. Watching my tiny daughter trying to fight off an infection which laid her low at only two weeks old. My own early episodes of weakness when I agonised over whether I knew what I was doing, if I would ever get a decent sleep again, when you would ever give us a sign that you felt we were up to the job and making you happy.
I needn't have worried on the last point. Since you started rewarding our hamfisted but well-meant parenting efforts with gorgeous gurgles and smiles, I've realised that we're getting it right at least some of the time, and that despite being tiny, you can match the infinite amount of love we have for you. I've seen snippets of a glorious, goofy sense of humour emerging, and even if you're the only person out there who finds mummy funny and appreciates my singing, amen to that.
This Christmas, I won't be stumbling up a snowy drive and fumbling for house keys at 4am after a long, boozy tour of High Wycombe's watering holes, and I won't be struggling to keep my Christmas lunch down as a result. I probably will be up at 4am, for completely different reasons, and I'll be hoping you keep your lunch down so that it doesn't decorate that gorgeous but utterly impractical tartan frock I'm planning to dress you in. You'll be too young to fully appreciate it, but we want to fill your Christmas with cuddles, sparkles and special moments, whilst probably palming you off on your extended family for an hour or two so that mummy can get a mulled wine and festive nap in.
This post may be an unashamed slice of soppiness, but it's nearly Christmas and, well, you're wonderful. Thank you for enriching our lives, little miss, all our love, and happy Christmas.