I can scarcely believe the time has gone so quickly, but our little B is two!
It has been the best two years of my life. (And his! Haha.)
We have had good times, fun, love and joy. My life feels infinitely more wonderful, even though it was pretty wonderful to start off with and I’m very lucky.
It’s hard to believe that the dark days of infertility consumed so many years. I definitely feel like so much of me has healed.
Two years of us being parents. (Who knew we could actually be grown ups?!) We are still the same people and yet we are completely different. Two adoptees who now have a genetic relative. It’s been pretty huge. And a blast.
Every mother probably thinks her kid is the best in the world. B is, to me. I mean, there are some cool kids about, but he’s my one.
If I had to summarise him at two I would say he’s active, mischievous, funny, musical, loving, and definitely not a morning person!
This year his favourite things have changed from Dog and Teletubbies to Dog and Blippi. If you don’t know who Blippi is, he’s a YouTube star who makes educational videos for kids. I actually feel quite blessed as they are a whole lot more entertaining than Teletubbies (or – horror of horrors – In The Night Garden). He has a quite… idiosyncratic way of dressing (see below) – apparently he decided on blue for trustworthiness and orange for creativity!
This year I was marginally more organised so I made B a birthday cake. I did make one last year too but it was far less planned and a bit of a disaster, so I was determined to up my game this year. I spent about 60 quid in Hobbycraft on ridiculous amounts of icing and tools. I’ve never done fondant before because I’m a buttercream cake maker really. But I didn’t think what I had in mind would work in buttercream. It turns out I do not like working with fondant!
Behold my first attempt at fondant cake decorating!
It was tricky, but I was pleased with how it turned out. Mainly because our little Blippi was super pleased with it. I also cobbled together a Blippi outfit for him that was just super cute. We had managed to find the Blippi official trainers (sneakers!) that he absolutely loved. It was so cute… He said, “Bippi! Me!”
On the day of his birthday we took the day off work and took him on a trip to a soft play centre and the Natural History Museum. It was great, mainly because most people were at work so it wasn’t so busy. And two is such a fun age where they can walk and talk (a bit, mainly babbling) and really enjoy stuff.
B’s birthday also marked two years of breastfeeding! Which really isn’t something I ever planned to do. I was going to aim for six months, and then six months became a year and a year became two. And it seems unlikely to stop at two. We decided to go for natural term weaning – although if he ends up being seven and breastfeeding then there might be some weaning involved!
I don’t think I’m a militant breastfeeder or anything. I don’t aim to be, anyway. It works for us, but I was prepared for it not to. I kind of thought that we’d end up formula feeding and I wasn’t too worried about it. I was formula fed and I turned okay (although did have some serious health problems as a baby, probably as a result of being separated from my mother at such a young age). I thought I’d give it a go but expected that like most other baby related stuff (conception, birth!) it wouldn’t work well for me.
But work it did – B never really had much of an issue and it turns out if there’s one thing my body can do naturally, it’s breastfeeding. But it hasn’t all been plain sailing. I had to go back to work at four months because I didn’t get maternity pay. And that sucked. I had to pump so that B could continue to be EBF. He has always been a bit of a milk monster so that was a lot of pumping. I realised I’d been pumping for 1 and 2/3 years! I had committed to pumping until he turned two.
After the Christmas break I decided that enough was enough. Pumping is difficult and not fun. I totally didn’t do it for the love of it. The love of B, sure. But pumping was quite frankly a bitch. And there didn’t seem much point in B rejoining nursery/daycare after two weeks off and me re-starting pumping just to stop it again a few weeks later when he turned two. He was down to one milk a day after his midday nap, and I thought now he’s older he could probably forego it without any issues. (He still has milk at home.)
So just like that, my pumping days are over. Although not quite. I’ve been pumping a few times just to make a freezer stash. It’s actually been really liberating not to have to pump in the work bathrooms or rush home early to pump. I just have done it since new year if it was convenient and if I felt like it.
I won’t miss the hanging out in the disabled loos, carrying an extra large bag to fit pump parts, wearing bf/pumping clothes to work, and constantly having to figure out how to make the time to pump.
I will miss that feeling of doing something for my child, because he’s the only child I’ll have, and that part of his babyhood is now over.
I don’t yearn for babyhood again because he’s awesome now. I enjoyed it at the time but I feel immensely privileged I get to go on this journey and nurture my own child and watch him grow.
So… the end of an era. But just the beginning of the rest of his life.