Tadhg was nine months old yesterday. So that marks nine months as a mama for me. Though really it feels like longer, that whole limbo period while you are pregnant but not yet a parent is odd and confusing and so very full of anticipation.
I always like looking at those pinterest-y type ‘nine months in, nine months out’ photo comparisons but I don’t have any to share here. There is exactly one photo of me from my pregnancy where you can actually tell that I am knocked up and I doubt it needs to be published here or anywhere.
When I look down at my child now it is hard to fathom how my body ever housed his. He is all fat limbs and squidgy joints, calves that cannot be contained. He can grab and clamour and scratch and climb. He crawls and stands and thrusts his body with such force that he can move his highchair back from the table inch by inch. When he was born my aunt likened him to a velveteen puppy – a more accurate simile does not exist. He’s like an awkward teenage dog now, full of energy and excitement with very little sense, always bumping into tables and knocking over cups.
Tadhg likes to laugh, fake cough and he says dadadadada and go go go and gagaga as if he is making fun of baby talk. He is a powerhouse, determined, strong and focussed. He gets into everything and seems attracted to danger – Tadhg’s favourite things to play with include, but are not limited to: radiator knobs, the dog’s water dish, plugs, sockets, wires, cutlery, the fireplace and the dishwasher. I try to teeter the line between hovering over him and giving him freedom to explore. It does mean that he falls sometimes, or crawls through a puddle of water, or half eats a Christmas decoration.
It’s been nine months of wrestling tiny buns into cotton nappies, breastfeeding, crying (him and me), and a deep and intense love, unlike anything I’ve ever known. That right there is the recipe for figuring out how to be somebody’s mum. Redefining my relationship with Rich was an unexpected part of this whole mamahood gig. I won’t lie, it has been challenging at times. Learning to be parents and co-captains of our family takes its toll on us both in different ways – especially when its three in the morning and nobody wants to bounce the baby back to sleep. Thankfully, for the most part, when one of us is at our most frustrated the other is feeling a little more zen.
The pendulum has swung consistently back and forth between challenge and triumph since Tadhg arrived. It’s pretty much just normal life, intensified.