One Year Old

And just like that my second - and, sadly but definitely, last - baby is one year old.

It doesn't feel like a year ago that I gave birth, here, at home, in what is now the children's bedroom; it feels like much longer than a year ago that this toddling, chattering, communicating child was a tiny little newborn. That's what I can't get my head around - how much she's learned in such a short space of time (how much most babies learn in such a short space of time). How can it be that only twelve months ago she was tiny and fragile and purple and helpless, and now there's only one chair in this whole flat that she can't climb onto by herself?

And this time, second time, around, I'm aware of how fast she's going to change over the next twelve months. I have photographic proof of her big sister using spoons with competence and climbing frames and baking bread and I know that we were having conversations well beyond her current vocabulary of "hello", "bye bye", "Mummy", "Daddy", her sister's name, "here you go" and (rather tellingly) "tickle tickle tickle". She feels like a complete little person to me now and yet we're really only just getting to know her.

Anyway, yes, one year old. A one year old who loves sitting with books, pretending to read them to herself. Who loves banging and rattling and plinking-plonking on toy pianos. Who will run to get a coat when I say we're leaving the house (poor winter-born second child - she's stuck indoors so much more than her sister ever was). Who has learned the fingers-and-thumb rub which summons cats to grown ups (but, much to her frustration, not to babies) and uses it instead of pointing whenever she wants to look at something.

There's so much I could say about parenting two children - and I probably will, at some point, when the twelve month sleep regression is over and I've both finished and actually started the book I'm supposed to have read for my book group - but, for now: it's (mostly) wonderful. When my kids play together, when they beam at each other and cackle through shared, impenetrable jokes, when they chase each other around the flat and twirl in circles in the middle of the room, it makes me happier than I ever realised it could.

I want to keep them these ages forever, and I want to see who they grow into. I'm so looking forward to my littlest at age one.