Dear Flora

Dear Flora

This is the first time I’ve written about you since you were born, 11 months ago.  I don’t have a record of your early days like I do for your brother.  I don’t have pages after pages of journal scribbles and regular blog posts to record all the milestones.   You haven’t had hours of my undivided attention or long leisurely feeds as often as Isaac did.  Life is different with two children, as everyone said it would be.  Time, which became a precious commodity after your brother was born, has been rationed further and is now like gold dust.  I am still, almost a year on, adjusting to life as a mother of two.  Today you cried loudly when I walked into the room on a tea break from work.  Isaac immediately ran over to me and said, ‘I think Flora wants you, mummy.  I want you too’, whilst curling his limbs around my leg like a limpet crab.  That sums it all for me; it is a constant juggling act to give you both what you need whilst also working and trying to find a few crumbs of time for myself.  Dear Flora, know that I am doing my best.  You may not have had these things that Isaac had but you have had an older brother to watch and from whom you learn so much; you have had me with you every night and you have been immersed in love since the day you were born.

It is fascinating to me how your place in the family is shaping your character.  As a second child you are quite content, used to being carted around in nursery drop offs and pick ups.  You are used to Isaac giving you a shove now and then and you were quite unfazed when a little boy kicked sand in your face at the beach, simply blinking it out of your eyes and looking at me in surprise.  It is making you resilient.  From your first scans and midwife checks they said you were a feisty one and I see that you will be strong. It makes me think of that Shakespeare quote: ‘And though she be but little, she is fierce‘.

You are 11 months.  You have no teeth and the most beautiful gummy smile.  You bum shuffle at lightning speed, waving goodbye to me as you shuffle out the door.  You can move from your front to all fours onto your bum and shuffle off again at high speed now.  You have started to ‘play’ with Isaac, handing him bricks and jigsaw pieces.  You can clap and wave and sign a little.  You understand ‘no’ and grin when I say it.  You are always exploring, on the move, discovering more every day and pushing the boundaries of your little world further and further.

You, bless your tiny cotton socks, are not a good sleeper.  I never knew tiredness like this.  Originally we thought it was to do with colic/reflux but I slowly came to realise, and accept, that you are just going to sleep through when you are ready.  I have stopped wondering, ‘Will it be tonight?’ as I close my eyes.  You seem to just want reassurance, comfort, to know that I am there.  You wake panicked, you seem terrified by the world at night.  We discovered about a month ago that you will settle sometimes if I hold both of your hands in mine.  We have co-slept for most of your life (I quickly realised it’s the only way we all get any sleep) and we have gradually pushed daddy out of the bed (don’t feel too sorry for him, he gets a full nights’ sleep).  But I don’t mind, I know that it won’t last forever and one day, my little one, you will sleep for longer periods of time and eventually you will sleep through, and this will become a blurry, sleep-deprived haze.

For now, I am just trying to enjoy these oh-so-precious baby days, soak up the very babyness of you, before you turn one next month.  One thing about being the mother of two is that I have learnt a lot.  And I know just how quickly this all passes.

I may not have blog posts or journal entries to show you when you’re older, Flora, but it has all been written for you in every embrace and in every kiss.  Every single day.

xx

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6 Replies to “Dear Flora”

  1. Very sweet emma. I was sorting out some stuff ftom when the boys were wee the other day (felt like the other day that they were wee!)
    I noted ,with some guilt , that Dylans box was organised. .pictures dated..first boot, first pair of levis(*extravagant friend)..you get the idea…jake had a few bits thrown in . Hap hazard. .a tooth…and a ragged piece of cloth…that piece of cloth he slept with from the start. ..gripped while he grinned at his big brother playing…comforted himself with when he fell over trying to keep up with his big Bro. .when the dog knocked him over..as he was dragged from his afternoon sleep. .disrupted agsin to rush and get his brother too and ftom his next activity..
    I came to the conclusion that I may not have been able to indulge the same time with him..it was a very different start to his life..it was chaotic and stressful at times..but always loved. Life is not a glossy magazine of perfect Ness. ..thank goodness! !
    Enjoy. X

    1. Thank you so much for commenting, Sheila. It’s so true, it is definitely more chaotic but the important things are there. I’ve stopped feeling guilty for the things I haven’t done this time round, I guess that’s why I wrote this. The second child may not have this or that but how wonderful to have an older sibling to learn from. 🙂 Xx

  2. Ah this is so lovely Emma. She sounds very much like Jasmin at night! I agree, they sleep all night when they’re read and until then, these days/nights/hours are so precious xx

    1. Thank you, Kiran. It is hard but I’m trying to remember that the sleepless nights will pass soon enough and then it will feel like a distant memory! They just grow up too fast don’t they? Xxx

  3. Oh bless her, she has the most amazing eyes. And my second child is so similar in personality, she’s so calm and content but when she goes for it she’s really feisty, nobody dares to mess with her. I also have a journal each for my girls. My eldest has so much in hers from her baby days but I’ve only written in the youngest’s journal once. But as you say, they have so much more, having an older sibling means so much. We also had the problem with sleep with our second child that we’d never had with the first. I found that the solution for us was to put white noise on at night – I used the ‘simply noise rain’ website and from the first night I used it, she slept through every night. We used it for a year until she could finally sleep through without it. I hope you are able to get some sleep soon, it is such a tough time when you’re going without enough sleep isn’t it?
    Natalie.x

    1. Thank you so much for your comment, Natalie, and for the white noise tip – I’ll definitely try that. They do sound very similar – I find it so interesting how your place in the family helps to shape your personality. Yes, I’m running mostly on caffeine now – some nights are better than others but I think my body is getting used to functioning on a handful of hours! Will let you know if the white noise helps, thanks so much again x

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