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The countdown has started in earnest now. If I go into labour from this point it will be a normal delivery at home, unless he’s extremely late.

It’s a warm, mostly rainy summer in London with Olympic events happening all around. People are striving for perfection, breaking though all sorts of pain barriers and I have my little task to perform.

A friend gave me a hypnobirth CD and I have been listening to it, but only ever get as far as breathing in the golden light and visualising a beach and then I fall asleep.

It’s a completely different experience being pregnant with a growing toddler on your hands from before, when there was time and space to focus on what’s happening to your body to the point of obsession. I like the less obsessed route. And I’m smug in the knowledge that this is it; I don’t have to be pregnant ever again.

Pose for the camera with your big fat Mummy

No, I’m off.

A visit to Kew Gardens on my birthday.

 

One of the nice things about this time round is that people don’t react in horror and disbelief when I tell them I’m hoping to have the baby at home. All I have to do is say the magic words, ‘Like we did with our first child’, and all is well, deep concern and possible lecture avoided.

Other differences are much less heartburn so no going to sleep on fifteen pillows, but oh God, it must have been luxury to sleep undisturbed through the early hours. BB is an early bird. By now we’ve come to accept this. Dad does everything he can to let me have extra rest, even when he looks completely shattered, but she’s a non-stop bird. We’re both done in.

The miracle of first evers continue to come thick fast to BB. Its magical to experience them with her. My favourites include –

the first time she saw the moon.

She kept looking for it and saying, ‘ba!’ (her word for ball) and was trying to find it the next day when I took her to the park.

First steps

For a long while we were getting her to walk from one person to another but still her favourite mode of transport was her knees. After a while I could ask her to walk to something in the room rather than another person with arms outstretched. I remember the first time she waddled away from me like this, I felt the tiniest pang of grief at her independence which shocked me, but was really intriguing at the same time. I felt the same sort of thing – absolutely miliscule but there – when BB first wheeled away from me on her car by herself. Something we had been trying to teach her for months.

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One of the last times BB bravely set forth on poor, sore knees.

First time on the slide on her own

I marvelled at what little time it took to teach her the whole process – how soon she was sitting herslf down and launching herself off with abandon while I sat and watched with a big proud grin.

And – joy of joys! – the other evening. First real dancing!

We took BB to a friend’s 40th birthday party – a couple of real old rockers. Eventually the music went on and there was a little dancing. After a while, BB started jigging about, wiggling her bottom, arms outstretched and bobbing from side to side like a drunken aeroplane. Having got the appropriate reaction, she danced more and more, revelling in the adoration she received.

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A long time has gone by. How do mothers keep blogs? Maybe the blog is their only project after their offspring. They’re not also trying to publish piano duets, sing in choirs or attempting to save the world through the medium of song. Maybe they’ve discovered the ability to stop time at will. I’d like to keep some sort of record of how it was in these fleeting early years. Even if they don’t feel fleeting at the time.

BB is one year and a half. She is a blooming bouncing beautiful bossy girl. Perhaps I should call her BBBB. It’s great to see her face appearing out of the babyness. So many complex expressions flitting across her perfect face. She sometimes calls me Mummy. Sometimes Mammma sounding very Italian, lingering on the mmm and swooping up and down in tone. She just started walking, just figuring out that it’s easier to use your feet to transport yourself across a room than waddle along on your poor, sore knees.

We did sort out her sleep patterns, simple really – stop breastfeeding her in the morning. The trouble is I’ve heard that ending breastfeeding can make you extra fertile. It certainly worked for us. Ooh lordy, there’s a second one on the way.