Dear Juniper – 2 Months
You are now, right this minute, two months old. I actually think that you believe yourself to be two years old. Or perhaps even twenty. You are feisty and determined, and clearly have things to do and places to be. I had to laugh when I was reading what to expect at three months, that you may be able to hold some of your weight when held on your feet. Well you, my love, clearly haven’t read the books. I hold you on your feet and you push up, your big round thighs holding you steady. You grin and wave your arms; you’re happiest on your feet, and I think this is because you are quite sure you’re not a baby. I almost feel like if I let you go you’d go trotting down the hallway, out the door, and off to university.
You do not like to be confined or wrapped at all. You’ve refused to be swaddled since you were two weeks old, and you hate being in your car seat. I can only wear you when you’re asleep, because when you wake you kick your legs, throw your head back, and demand to be free. It’s almost like you’re telling me that you spent months cooped up within me, and now you’re making up for lost time. I hope that in the coming weeks you enjoy being worn again, because I love to feel you so close, knowing you’re safe and secure.
I always feel a bit odd watching people hold you, they cradle you carefully, making sure your neck won’t drop. You’ve been taking care of that since you were two weeks old, when you could hold your head steady and stare at the bookcase for minutes at a time. I hope this love of books doesn’t fade, that your interest in the shapes and colours of the book spines translates to a love of words and pictures.
You first smiled at five weeks, and with those first grins and smirks my attitude changed. Once you were engaging with me nothing felt like a chore – you were not just a helpless slug needing attention but a person, telling me what you needed, grinning at the sight of my nipple, demanding your nappy be changed. It’s perhaps no coincidence that this was when we finally worked out how to breastfeed. You’re talking now, more and more every day. Nothing makes me happier than waking up with next to me, grinning and cooing, ready to tell me all about your plans for the day. I talk back and your eyes open wide with amazement at the range of sounds I can make. ‘Ba-ba-ba’ is your favourite today, you practically burst with glee as you intently watch my lips, trying to determine just how I’m producing the sounds.
You will always be my everything, but one thing you will never be is my ‘princess.’ Because what is a princess? Someone born into not-much-power? Or married into it. Someone needing to be rescued, waiting for her prince. Someone mild, delicate, and passive. But oh no, my dear, not you. You are already solid, strong, active and determined. You will be the one climbing down the tower, you will wake yourself from the slumber, and you will keep your voice, the most precious gift you have, and stay happily in the ocean.
As much as I delight in all that you can already do, I wouldn’t be so sad if you decided to slow down a little. You’re my baby after all, and there really is no rush. You have a lifetime to conquer the world, but for only so long will you need me like you do now.
I hope that you will always have such a fearless and adventurous spirit, but know that I will always be your safe haven.