My smallest child is always with me. From day one. I used to carry her everywhere, at first, she was so tiny I could just scoop her up on one hand and bring her with me wherever I had to be. Then into buggies and slings or on my hip or her small hand in my hand. Things were slightly different in her first years than with her siblings. I haven’t been back to work since she was born and even though she is a fourth child and life is busy, her early years have been full of living slowly.
We spent so many mornings when her siblings went to school just doing nothing. Pottering. Hours would disappear with nothing really to show for it. I didn’t question anything about her development or whether she should be doing this or that by a certain stage. I have mentioned before, it took me to my fourth child to be wholly confident in every decision I made or didn’t make. I second guessed nothing with this one, we sauntered through the first three years.
Last week she started preschool. Her baby steps into her life without me beside her every minute. She is loving it. She is happy and content and confident. She waves us off in the morning and she is full of chat afterwards, already she is singing songs I didn’t teach her and telling me news that I am hearing from the first time. It is delightful, she is delightful. Every day when I collect her she runs across the room and jumps into my arms, she is happy in school and happy to see me. She is just happy.
That’s the end of the baby years. I thought I was doing a lot of the last three years for her but really it was as just as much for me. Now, she sleeps all night in her own bed. She self weaned a few months ago. She goes outside to play with her sisters and brother and I don’t have to watch over her every single second. I don’t have to go down the baby aisle in the supermarket anymore or change nappies. Done. Door closed. Onto the next stage with no regrets or what if’s, its a lovely fortunate position to be in.
Now I just have to figure out what do I do next.