she has fallen and now she is awake
Letter to Bunbun, on the occasion of her two hundred and sixty-third day of life
March 4, 2010Posted by on
So. Today marks the day that you have been outside of me as long as you were inside. Give or take a few days at the beginning of course. We didn’t have a great day though – you’re tired and teething which means I’m tired and sore. So we had a pretty bad morning all round. I’m sorry that there are bad days now and days when I’m not as nice or fun as I wish I could be. I know that will always be the case though, so I just try to get through it.
Apart from teething, you’re also commando crawling with serious intent. You are demanding and active and determined to do what you want. I see other parents holding their children safe and sound and still – that’s not you. You lunge and grab and try to experience everything you possibly can. You drag yourself from one end of the loungeroom to the next, getting faster each time. You are fascinated by everything, particularly food and musical instruments. So far you have managed to injure yourself twice attempting to get somewhere or grab something far beyond your reach or your skill.
I selfishly hope that you retain that fearlessness. It’s a skill so many women have lost through years of being told ‘no’ and ‘you can’t’ and ‘you shouldn’t’.
So your father and I sit by, fending your grabs for our glasses and rescuing you from the precipices of true danger, but we try to let you fall (sometimes) and we try to let you go as far as you want to go. We will remain here, waiting for you.
You’re beginning to learn that – you are becoming more anxious when I leave the room or move away from you. One morning in a different place you began to cry each time I got up. Times like those even your father cannot soothe you. It’s simultaneously gratifying and annoying – there are times I really need to get something finished or done (or simply want to) but your need for my affection over-rides. So I work with you attached to me and we play peekaboo and there are times that you are soothed by your father’s presence. Mostly you are entertained and overwhelmed and incredibly joyful during those rare hours that you can spend with your father. Your smile is magnificent when he walks in after work. Your laughter is enormous and ecstatic when you play together. I get the feeling that you’ll enjoy the adrenaline rushes that he prefers as well – last night your favourite game was when he startled you into jumping each time he spun around and played fingerguns with you. In which case I will stand patiently by as you ride the rollercoasters and the pirate ships.
You are insatiably curious – what’s inside that thing? What’s behind the glasses? What’s under that? You immediately bash things together to hear the sounds they make. You gleefully say ‘mamamamamama’ when you need to be picked up, or soothed, or changed. Or simply want me to look at what you’re doing. You love to be read to but find it so exciting that we’ve given up on bedtime stories. Same with baths – you splash and puddle and dip your face into the water with unrestrained delight. Even when you choke and splutter you still laugh. You will twist this way and that to catch a glimpse of whatever has caught your eye – more than once you have nearly tipped yourself out of the sling or the pram or the car seat or the trolley in your eagerness to see what that was.
You remember people surprisingly well and adjust amazingly so. I am so grateful for your solidity and your splendid laugh. I am amazed by your joy in the simplest of things. I am exhausted by you but each day is a renewal.
I love you Bunbun.