The Baby has this look. It is a look that says a lot of things, but ultimately it says ‘I Really Don’t Care What You Say’. It is a look of complete and utter defiance. Never before have I seen such resolution and stubbornness in one look. And in a baby.
When she does The Look, it is quite difficult to believe that this time last year I was sitting in the consultant’s office, totally fed up as today was meant to be the day we met The Baby, and I hadn’t had so much as a twinge for about five days (prior to this, Braxton Hicks’ had been firing off all over the place for weeks). This time last year, I was still a pregnant woman, not yet a mother. We didn’t even know if The Baby would be a girl or a boy. We certainly had absolutely no clue as to what lay in store for us. How much change can one teeny tiny (actually she was a GIANT) baby cause, really? They don’t even do much do they? Sleep, eat, poo, sleep, sleep, poo, sleep, eat…. how difficult is that, honestly? Life can’t really change all that much just because of a baby, I mean, they don’t take up much space, and apart from the pub at night, there’s really nowhere you can’t take them, and anyway, I’m not going to be one of those mums who completely changes her life just because she has a baby, I’m still me you know.
So fast forward almost a year (The Baby decided that on 13th July 2010 she was just not big enough and needed another 12 days of gorging, despite the fact that I fell flat on my face every time I stood up as there was nothing to counter balance this enormous protrusion projecting from my middle, thus ensuring no amount of pushing – two and a half hours, to be precise – would see her into the world) and all the life-changing, person-changing, nappy-changing stuff that has happened, this (not so) little thing is rapidly becoming less and less baby-like. How on earth did this happen? I mean, The Baby was never very baby-like. Not that she was like a dog or something, but she never had that floppy, tiny, helpless baby thing about her. She always had amazing head control, has learned to do things very quickly, and from the very first day she has had an amazing amount of personality. And an unbelievable set of lungs. Did I ever tell you about my first morning at the hospital? When it took me nearly 45 minutes to go to the loo and I actually considered peeing on the floor next to the bed because it just seemed like the easier option? Another time.
In some ways she is so obviously a baby – her lack of hair, her inability to walk unaided, the indecipherable babbling and screaming, her need for a bottle to help her on her way to sleep (who was it who recently noted that babies are very much like tramps? They made a good point), yet in some ways she is already a little girl. She knows what she wants, she knows how to communicate what she wants without the use of intelligible language, she giggles and laughs and claps and waves and runs (with help), and she picks her own outfits out.
And she does The Look. It is like looking thirteen years into the future, looking into her eyes during The Look; seeing that message of defiance and ‘You can’t tell me what to do, and even if you do, I’ll do it anyway’. But in reality I know that this time next year, the message behind The Look will be vocalised, and I’ll be again left wondering what happened to the last twelve months.