I remember so vividly when I found out I was pregnant with you. Of course, I knew I was going to love you unconditionally, but I couldn't quite honestly imagine loving someone as much as I did your sister. I couldn't imagine you fitting into our lives- we had our own little family of three and I couldn't picture what it would be like. What you would be like. But when I held you for that first time on the 11th February 2013, when Daddy put you on my chest while the Doctors were stitching me up- I just knew. I knew all my worries were for nothing. I knew from that very instant that there was a space that fitted you just perfectly.
And now it's the 11th February 2015 and my littlest girl is two years old. In many ways it feels like you should be bigger- there is no way in the world I can now imagine life without you in it, yet at the same time two seems so big. When did you stop being a baby? Why did time go so fast? It feels like we blinked and missed it somehow. I can't quite pinpoint when you went from being a baby to a toddler, but now when I look at you, in photos especially, I see a little girl. You have become so tall, you've lost your baby features, and you've turned into a little person.
But in many ways, you are still a baby. Of course, you are my baby, and I probably mollycoddle you more than I do your big sister. But you haven't been in as much of a hurry to grow up. It took you a little longer to walk, a little more time to become independent, and even now you are still not talking much. A lot of it is no doubt 'second child syndrome'- you have a big sister to do the talking for you. You are saying a few things- 'Mummy', 'Daddy', 'Juice', 'Hello', 'Buzz', and 'Biscuit' for example. You have just started saying a couple of words together, mainly 'Hello Peppa' or 'Oh it's Peppa', but compared to Mads who was talking in sentences by your age, you still have a way to go. We don't mind though, because while you don't communicate with words, you communicate with affection and love.
You are one of the most affectionate little people I know- in fact both my girls are. You both love to cuddle non stop, kiss and generally just be near me, Daddy and Mads. In the evenings we have a little game where we all cuddle in bed and we ask you to give us kisses. It's the cutest thing ever, you pucker up your little lips and in turn kiss me, Daddy and your big sister over and over again. You love to snuggle up to Mummy, you lie on my chest and I stroke your hair, but every so often you look up at me and give me a beaming smile. I want to soak in those moments and store them in some small part of my mind to make sure I never forget them. We have such a bond you and me, while Mads adores her Mummy, she is a Daddy's girl. You are mine though. I look in your eyes and I can tell how much you love me. You cuddle into me and say 'Mummmmy' quietly under your breath and you follow me around everywhere. It's hard to explain, because while I love you both exactly the same, in a way, it's in different ways, and even I can't pinpoint exactly what I mean. But my love for you is that of my baby, and I am fiercely proud and protective of you.
You aren't all sweetness and cuddles though, you have a fiery and explosive temper and you most certainly know your own mind. The last couple of weeks have seen the arrival of tantrums- you will lie on the floor and screech if you don't get your own way, and your face contorts into a scary looking sight. I would say you are more stroppy than your sister was, although she had her fair share of tantrums too. You are very strong willed and feisty when you want to be and at the moment you aren't particularly good at sharing. Mads is very patient with you and often shares her toys with you, taking in turns to let you play with things, but you aren't quite so willing to reciprocate the favour! You have your moments, moments where you are ever so good at sharing, but you are definitely going through a cheeky phase when it comes to that sort of thing.
Speaking of your big sister, the relationship that the two of you have together is without a doubt the best thing about being a Mummy. I look at two of you together and I think that my heart might burst with pride. Ever since that first day she came to visit you in the hospital, her little feet running down the corridor shouting 'Baby', Mads has been such a great big sister to you. And you know that, I can tell you do. You look at her with such love in your eyes and such awe. I can tell that in a weird way, she is your hero, and you want to be like her- you follow her everywhere, giggle at her constantly, and always want to hold her hand and cuddle her. Now you are a little bigger, you play together really nicely and I often hear you playing funny games together. Your favourite thing to do at the moment is have 'sleepovers'- you go into Mads room and shut the door and I can hear you both chattering away and giggling together as you snuggle under the covers. Of course you fight like cat and dog, especially when it comes to sharing, but 90% of the time you are just so sweet together. It's the little things that I love to witness, the moments that come so naturally that if you blink you might miss them. Things like the way that if you are at a party or soft play and you look a bit unsure, Mads will put her arm round you and guide you, or the way you cuddle on the bed in the evening together. I am so proud of you both.
Today is your birthday and we have a quiet day planned- nothing out of the ordinary or particularly special, but we will spoil you with love and affection. You haven't many presents to open, you have a big Bullseye horse coming from us because you love to play Toy Story with your sister, and a couple of ridiculously cheap, tacky Peppa Pig bits because I know that it will make you smile more than anything of any value or sentiment. And at the end of the day it's all about the smiles and seeing the pure unconditional happiness. You are Peppa Pig mad and we still aren't quite sure why as we never really used to watch it with you. Our morning will be spent at your new dance class- you are going to Baby Ballet for the first time, and then we are meeting Grandma for lunch. Then in the evening it's back over to Grandma's for a little family party. We will blow out your candles on your Peppa Pig cake and no doubt Mummy will get ridiculously emotional as she always does- firstly for the fact I can't quite fathom how you are now two and secondly for the fact that I am just so ridiculously proud of you.
Happy Birthday my beautiful baby girl.
Mummy couldn't love you anymore if I tried. Thank you for being mine.
(Check out the rest of my 'Letters to My Littles' posts here.)