Today Master J had his 6th Birthday party. His first big party out of home. We went to the Roller Skating rink, the same one the kids have been practising at for a few weeks now. Needless to say it was a fantastic thrill for him to have his own little people 'get around him' to celebrate. Here is my favourite photo of the day:
|How did this happen??! (missing his first tooth here too)|
It really was lovely today to be able to simply sit back and watch him play with his friends and enjoy each others company. I remember when I couldn't even have a shower without worrying about him, or what he was doing or if he would need me (hello, that baby witching hour, I don't miss you!).
So tonight sitting down, I had some time to reflect on the blessing he has brought to us all. I'd say his nature is fun loving, fast paced, intelligent, funny & insightful. I struggle to keep up with him most days and some of the things he contemplates & questions really do come from left field (but make complete sense), whilst at other times I feel that I know what he is going to say before he even says it. Even when we have our differences, I feel our bond is solid.
Parenting is such a journey. You're learning about each other every single day, that for many of us, I don't think you get any good at it until you're a Grandparent or even a Great Grandparent. I do know a few exceptions IRL however... you know who you are.
Well in order to celebrate, let's cue the cute baby shots from way back when, shall we...
|Fathers Day 2006|
|Coo-ing and smiling at approx 6 weeks|
|Hangin' with Great Grandma on his first Christmas Day|
|Rolling over for the first time on Boxing Day|
|He had bad eczema until about 5 months combined with horrendous cradle cap, |
before it started to clear up and his skin became significantly clearer & gorgeous.
|On the move at 8-9 months|
He was such a cuddly baby. I couldn't put him down. I truly felt like this was how you were meant to feel having a baby. Enjoyed every moment, after what I now realise was a horrible birth experience with Miss K, no ill feeling towards her, just how things turned out for us all at the time. A positive birth & bonding experience is just so important. I am so grateful I got to experience that 2nd time around.
I did learn after having Master J how strong I felt about breastfeeding that time second time around. I had a struggle first time & was way too afraid to seek advice. After his birth he was placed straight on my chest and he was able to suckle for about 3/4 hour. I truly feel this made a world of difference. First time around I held my daughter for all of 5 minutes & then was unable to hold her due to her health reasons until she was 3 days old. Heartbreaking. With Master J, I was also able to get advice promptly & will be forever grateful to those who were able to help at the time. I'd never, ever, discriminate anyone for not feeding (we went for 4 & 13 months each time) but I do believe if you have the tools, advice & education at hand before you give birth, you just might be able to overcome hurdles you might be facing, depending on the situation -not always to be though.
So much focus is placed on simply the birth, no one ever tells you how hard feeding can be for -let's face it- MOST people. It hurts. It's exhausting. You're always hungry- you might feel like you're eating for Australia. (It's not meant to hurt, but until you find your rhythm it bloody does!!). In our case, Master J had tongue-tie. We had to source a surgeon and the difference it made was immediate. If that was my first born I wouldn't have been brave enough to continue on. That's my advice for new mums: don't be afraid to seek help when you might need it, even if you think you're going alright. And always accept help when it's offered. Having a birth plan is great but on it make sure you put 'be open to everything' because you can't plan everything in life. But you can try your best.
And that's what I've been trying to do for my kids lately, for example, they have been offered play dates and I've allowed myself to let go of control a little & accept other people's (generous) help. I've allowed them to visit other peoples places without me. This is a huge step for me in the trust, faith and 'letting go' department let me tell you- type A personality all the way!! But oh, it has been really great for them & just the shy-but-newly-self-confident smiles I've been receiving back from them both have been so rewarding. I look forward to them having some more friends over soon too in return so I can repay the faith.
Suddenly six, but so much older...