My baby took his first real steps today. He took seven, real life, one foot in front of the other, steps. My heart filled with pride as I watched him proudly walk towards me as if he had been doing it for weeks. I cheered and congratulated him as he tottled closer with each wobbly step. Then, almost as hard as his bottom hit the ground, a stark realisation hit me, my baby is no longer, I have a toddler, and I must admit I was a little bit sad.
Leo has reached each milestone extremely quickly; no, I am not boasting or exaggerating, simply speaking the truth. Tummy time was a cinch, rolling followed soon after that. By five months he was commando crawling and by six there was no stopping him. Seven months and he was pulling himself up, cruising on the furniture. By eight months we had a climber, up the stairs and the furniture. And now nine months in we have our first steps, by ten months I will have a walker and I don’t know if I am ready.
I thought the baby phase would last longer. I had hoped it would last longer.
How many times as a new parent do you hear the phrase, “enjoy it, they grow up too fast”? And as a new parent, like many others, I thought in my sleep deprived, physically exhausted state that this phase would never end. I could never imagine a day where my baby would no longer use me as his resting place or lay calmly while I changed his nappy. I knew he would grow but I imagined I would have a little baby for a little while longer than I did.
Each milestone has been embraced and celebrated. Documented on our phones and cameras, something I am sure we will not have time to do for subsequent children. With each milestone the reality of time passing is obvious, as much as we love each stage and want to stay in that moment there is no stopping the inevitable. The baby phase has an expiry date and our baby is very quickly approaching it. Clothes are becoming more and more boy-like and less and less baby-like, teeth have replaced a gummy smile and first steps are being taken.
So I’ll dress him in jumpsuits for as long as they fit and embrace every nap he decides he wants to take on me. I’ll continue to celebrate each milestone, even the ones I am not ready for and I will be ready to record every single one of them.
Every new parent has a lifetime of firsts ahead of them. Although the baby days can be some of the toughest and most testing, just know that one day you will look back and miss your little tiny baby and the moments they gave you. The sad truth is, we are all only a few short years from having kisses wiped off, temper tantrums and being the cause of much eye rolling.