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My BB is almost one. Although I have two days where I escape several times to teach piano, and the evenings are mostly BB-free, I think I can call her my constant companion. Looking after a baby is relentless, but I miss her when she’s gone to bed. I was driving to choir last night and took care not to swerve for the sake of BB in the back. I was sad to realise she wasn’t with me. It feels fantastic to leave BB with Dad and stretch my legs, cycle in the fresh air to my lessons, meet with the big wide world as one person, like I used to be. But there’s usually a point when I’m on the way back, lost in thought when I remember she’ll be waiting for me and I pedal just that bit more because I can’t wait to see her.

Communication is much easier now. We really know each other and share jokes. And she is comical! She likes playing the kazoo, making funny noises into cups, putting things on her head, cuddling the floor and splashing like a mad thing in the bath. She’ll pick up a book or magazine and laugh at the pictures of people. But when I’m dressing her, changing her nappy and cuddling her, I am often struck by the enormity of it all. BB is a funny roly-poly baby now, but I see in her a running child, a teenager, a young woman, a middle aged woman, an old lady. A lover, a mother, a grandmother. I guess in the same way that you have to respect old people for all that they have been, one must respect babies for all that they will be.

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