Barely even able to believe it. Eighteen months have flown since that first moment we held that tiny little scrap of a baby in our arms. Since she was plucked form the warmth and brought into the world. Since she made her mark in the family. And what a mark it has been! Elsie Rose is everything that we dared to imagine. Feisty. strong willed, funny and energetic. And though she has only been here for 18 months, we truly feel she has been here forever.
I want to bottle now. Now, in all it’s imperfect glory. All the tantrums, early mornings and night wakings. All the hospital appointments, mealtime battles and hair wash sagas. All the arm grabbing, toy snatching and leg pulling reflux. These are the not so great moments in life with Elsie Rose. But they are the reality, and only such a small part of who she is. I want to bottle it all, because it is all so precious. And it will all be over so soon, leaving a space that no other baby will fill.
She is the last.
And I want to remember it all. The way she says “shoos shoos” for both juice and shoes. The way she crinkles her face and mimics the actions to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. The way she she climbs absolutely everything. She is nothing like her siblings, in any way. And that is just what we wanted. For our youngest child to make her mark as her, as the others have done before her.
She loves books.
She loves counting.
She LOVES singing.
She loves to hold your hands in the kitchen and stamp her little feet to music. Music has really claimed her soul. Music makes her happy.
She loves bath time.
She loves swimming.
She loves to explore, investigate and find out about everything around her.
She is your average toddler, but so much more. And during all those months of sickness and fear, when we wondered whether this time we might not actually bring a baby home from the hospital, we never dared to dream she would be this wonderful.
We’ve had our stresses. Elsie has been prescribed a steroid inhaler but her strength of will and determination has prevented us from getting her to take it. Oh, she’ll play. She’ll always play. But she won’t inhale. And so we were prescribed other medicine, to sprinkle onto her food. Much mum guilt followed after she suffered nightmares (a common side effect, sadly) so we’re back on the inhaler battles. But she is coping. She is fine. She is on top. If we are on top of medications and the little things that make managing her condition that little bit easier, we are all on top.
So Elsie Rose is 18 months old. She is a walking, semi-talking machine of destruction. She is cheeky, charming and full of wit. How very lucky we are. And while I complain about the fact she still wakes in the night, deep down I know that these are the days I will remember forever. The weight of her little body as she leans her head against my shoulder. The little rise and fall of her chest as she sighs, and settles in to me. The warmth of her arm across my chest- claiming me, needing me. Those are the little moments that I will look back on and smile. For she is the last. She was so very nearly not here. She is our brave and courageous Elsie Bobbers and gosh we are so so very lucky.