Noelie turned 6 months last month and I am amazed at the amount of progress she has made in the past few weeks.
I am quite ashamed to say that I don't remember much of Marie at that age. I vaguely remember the milestones (first tooth, first steps and then again I was quite lucky both came together) but I'm sure if you were to probe me further I would turn a bright shade of red and either lie through my teeth or bow my head in shame and admit: I don't remember.
-I don't remember feeding Marie being such a conundrum (no gluten, no salt, no this, no that). When, now, I read the all the labels before I even buy things. My future parents in law look at me funny sometimes when I say I wouldn't give her this or that just yet.
- I don't remember when she started to take her bottle by herself which Noelie started to master recently. Well master is a big word, she's getting better at it with every bottle. But it does mean that I have an extra 15 minutes to get other things done while I keep an eye on her. But at least ( and I suppose at last) my hands are free.
- I don't remember when Marie started reaching for things, anything at all, within reach or not. Noelie started this lately too. She reaches for the phone when you're on it, she reaches for my hair when I change her, she reaches for the remote control, she reaches for her bottle, she reaches for absolutely anything in sight. And if she gets a hold of it, it goes straight into the mouth!
- I don't remember when Marie first started to sit by herself. Noelie is nearly there, until she gets distracted by something and reaches for it (please refer to point above).
- I don't remember when Marie first rolled on her stomach. I think she enjoyed lying on her tummy more than Noelie does.
- I don't remember when Marie started feeding herself, when she stopped using nappies, when she first started sitting in a high chair (maybe because she didn't have one, she had one of those table chairs, which by the way I would really recommend to anybody, they're great!!).
- I don't remember when I first put her in the seat of a trolley (which we did last week with Noelie, it really went well until she tried to eat the metal bars in front of her).
- I don't remember when Marie started saying ba ba ba ba. Noelie started this week (so much so that she now even says it in her sleep).
- I don't remember when I first gave Marie finger food.
I am ashamed of myself. If that's any excuse, maternity leave in those days was only 4 months so I would have been back in work then. Marie would have been in a creche, which she loved. I am ashamed to say, when Marie was 6 months, I let somebody else do the hard work for me. I let somebody else enjoy all those first things, so much so that now I am ashamed to say I don't remember.
I was always guilt ridden by the fact that I was working full time (even though I wanted to do so). I remember talking to one of my supervisors once, a year or so after being back in work, and welling up because of that guilt (maybe it was just tiredness, who knows). I felt guilty for not being there for Marie, and I felt guilty for not being able to work 'as hard' as my colleagues, having to leave in the middle of the day because Marie got sick, or having to leave at 6 on the dot to make it to the creche on time when others were staying behind.
Now don't get me wrong, I am not trying to guilt trip any working mother out there. All I am saying is that I now realize that it wasn't really for me. I did it for 6 years and I am proud of having been able to handle it as well as I did. I am just wondering how I would do it, now, with the 2 of them. Some people have to work for financial reasons, for personal reasons, for sanity reasons or because they enjoy it. And there is nothing wrong with that. I am just fortunate enough to be able to stay at home for a while now and shed that guilt. However I realize now how much I have missed and, once again, I feel guilty. Because I don't remember...