My dear beautiful darling Aviya
I feel utterly guilty when I think of how long I’ve left it between writing letters to you. There’s been so much change and development in you these last few months that I’m so sorry, but I’ll probably not encapsulate it all here. I have pictures of you though, my girl. I’ve not neglected keeping a record of your development.
The main thing I want you to know about you, today, your seven month – birthday and the last few months is the joy I have been given in you. It’s been an incredibly difficult period on my life, and yet not a day has passed where I haven’t smiled, giggled and sometimes outright laughed at and with you. You are such a joyful child. That’s the first thing I think when I see you.
You wake in the morning with smiles, and wonder. You’ll stare at your hand, at my hair, at last night’s coffee cup on the bed side table. You’ll make your ‘huh’ sounds as you set off after the coffee cup, leopard crawling your way around the bed. In the last two months we’ve had to stop leaving you on the bed because you fall off really soon after. I’m sorry to say you’ve hit the floor a few times. You’re too fast for me!
You love your reflection in the mirror. Nothing can bring smiles and actual laughter to your face faster than seeing your reflection. You’re so joyful, you even make you smile.
You’ve started pulling yourself up on things. It’s amazing. You kind of skipped right past crawling to lifting yourself up against the sofa or the bed, or any other semi-stationary object. A few days ago I watched you step one foot in front of the other as you pushed your activity cube a few centimetres across the playmat, before you became frustrated and flopped down.
You regularly pull yourself up, then you get frustrated and often just let go, falling backwards. That’s less impressive! 😉
Your slowly starting to make communication sounds – dadadada, and huuuuuh and very occasionally, you’ll chatter. One of my favourite things you do is to take my face in your hands and put your open mouth over my mouth or my chin or my nose. It always makes me laugh, and I smother you in kisses, which makes you laugh.
Another favourite thing is how you nuzzle into my neck, almost like you’re rooting for milk, but you’re not – you’re just nuzzling in and resting your head on your Mama. It melts me every time. I feel like you know how much you are loved. I feel like you feel it.
You’re not really interested in solids at all yet. I’ve tried giving you some food, but you just want to squish it in your fingers and you’re not at all interested in eating it yet. That’s totally fine – I’m in no rush either. We’ll stay on milk till you’re ready. I have no doubt you’ll let us know when that is.
Ameli is your best friend and your biggest danger at this stage of your life. Her favourite thing to do is sit on you or go ‘huuuuuhhhh’ right in your face. You either love or hate it. Sometimes she makes you squeal with laughter, other times I have to intervene really quickly. She’s been amazing with you, although in the last few weeks she’s been very clearly aware of our budding relationship. She adores you though. The first thing every morning she wants to cuddle you and since you don’t wake for a while after her, it’s a bit of a fight every morning to get her to not wake you.
Your relationship with daddy has really blossomed in the last few weeks. You’ve actually started to notice and acknowledge him. Just yesterday you were sitting with me and he walked into the room and you actually grinned, then stretched your arms out to him. He was busy and didn’t pick you up immediately – you were on my lap anyway – and you became quite distressed. You wanted your daddy, and you wanted him immediately. It really made my heart happy to know that you knew who he was.
You’re still a fantastic little sleeper and you only wake two or three times during the night for a little feed, then you go back to sleep. You normally sleep pretty much through from about 1am to 7am when Ameli comes in and normally wakes you. I’m really grateful that you’re better at sleeping than Ameli. I’m not sure I could have done with the additional sleep deprivation!
You’re a pretty big girl. You’re nearing the end of most of your 6-9 month clothes and you have so much hair everyone’s always surprised to find out you’re not even a year old yet!
You’re lying half asleep on my lap at the moment and I wonder to myself how I could have ever feared that there might not be enough love in my heart for two children. I feel like I was never childless, never the mother of one child. I am, I have always been, Mama to two children. I just didn’t know you yet. I just didn’t hold you in my arms yet. But this, who I am, who we are, together, this was always meant to be.
I don’t think I would have believed that my horizons could further expand, six months ago, but here I am, further expanded, and so incredibly grateful for everything I’m learning still, every day.
I love you to the end of all things,