Looking at it now, I wonder if it’s a bit cheesy. My 10 week old son, asleep in the arms of a stuffed orang-utan. But five and a half years ago, I thought it was the cutest thing ever. It’s hard to believe that baby is the same child who now plays football and Angry Birds, eats two bowls of cereal every day for breakfast and speaks two languages (by default, not genius.) Though he still has a bed full of soft toys.
When J was born we captured every single moment on camera – first breath, first tooth, first time he gagged on broccoli, first time he rode – and fell off – his bike, and everything in between. When D came along three years later, we recorded all the milestones, but some of the inbetween stuff got left behind.
I hate clichés, but that photograph reminds me just how quickly they grow up. More than that, it reminds me of the need to stop. To be present and simply watch. In just 10 weeks’ time I’ll have another baby – my third. Most nights I go to bed wondering how I’ll cope. How will I find the time to love another baby, in between school and nursery runs, spelling practice and tripping over the washing?
There are no grandparents to muck in, no outside help. Just us. And I’m a little scared. Already, I’m planning how to fill naptimes – catching up on all the stuff I can barely manage with two children, replying to emails, cooking – not faffing around with stuffed primates and a camera.
But looking at that photograph, I realise all that can wait. I will turn off the computer, put the phone on silent, ignore the heap of washing. When my baby is born, I hope I can find the time, once again, to just sit and gaze. To be mesmerized by the fleeting newness of life. To be captivated and to capture. And to take cheesy photographs.
This blog post has been written as an entry into the Tots100 competition in association with Boots Mother and Baby