Weeks old: 33
I like: Humus, putting my fingers in mummy’s mouth, shouting, “ooooh” at everything, boobs
Mummy is learning: To sleep in ever weirder positions, to try and get me to pace myself when she’s been out all day
When I was expecting Little O I often wondered if I would feel the great rush of maternal love that is so often talked about. Half the conversations seem to be people talking about experiencing it intensely. The other half seem to be people talking about not experiencing it at all. It seems those are the only two extremes available. I was really rather scared of falling into the second camp.
My actual experience has been somewhat different. I definitely felt a strong connection to Little O when he was born. I felt compelled to care for and protect him. I have always hated to see him distressed or hear him cry while I have always enjoyed the feeling of holding him close in my arms and known that I loved him and that I was wholly responsible for him. I don’t think I did feel the tidal wave rush of immediate love that people talk about in books and movies though. Well not immediately anyway.
What has happened for me has been a gradual increase in my connection with Little O to the point where I realised a couple of weeks ago that I had fallen completely and utterly in love with him. Rather than it being compelled by a biological urge due to him coming out of my body, it’s because of the little person he has become and the relationship that has developed between us.
Over recent weeks Little O seems to have suddenly properly come to understand that I am his mummy and that he really enjoys my company. That probably sounds silly but up until quite recently his connection to me has seemed very much based on necessity rather than actual affection. Now he calls out for me in his odd little babbling language and cuddles into me as we sit on the sofa together. He laughs his head off if I perform for him and he often reaches out his little hand to pat my face or even to check that I am still sitting behind him if we are playing on his mat together. His favourite game involves me kissing his nose and then nibbling his sides and belly, while he shrieks with joy.
I am starting to love watching him experience the world and be delighted by elements of it. He now says, “ooh” whenever he encounters something he enjoys – whether it’s Tellytubbies, a sausage, the remote control we have given up on and agreed to just let him chew or his wooden wiggly worm. It’s utterly adorable. I guess every mother says this about their child but I am somewhat enraptured by everything he does. I am even finding myself secretly a little bit happy when he wakes up in the night and won’t go back to sleep until I bring him to bed to curl up with me… because I miss him.
I suppose it’s ironic that this is all happening a month before I have to go back to work and wonder each day what I am missing out on.