I can’t quite believe it, but my maternity leave has reached an end, and tomorrow morning I’m back to the world of digital media and communications at Imperial College London. My sandwiches are made and my workbag is packed – and Alex’s food is prepared and his nappy bag ready – it’s going to be quite a challenge to get us both out of the house, fed and dressed, by 8am in the morning!
The past seven months have flown by (although sometimes it feels like I’ve been doing this forever!). Maternity leave certainly hasn’t been what I expected. I had visions of lovely days cuddling up with Alex whilst he fed, lengthy walks with him on bright, winter days and plenty of time to myself whilst he napped to bake, cook, read and enjoy all the box sets I purchased in preparation for the months off!
In reality, it’s been exhausting, incredibly hard work and often quite boring. Alex likes to do things super quickly – so he’s always eaten his fill in 10 minutes and napped for no longer than 30 minutes at a time! Not much time to myself (especially since he refused a bottle for so long!). And the weather has been so rubbish this winter, that we’ve ended up tucked up in the warm house a lot of the time.
I haven’t loved it all – and I admit, I’ve missed my independence and freedom, but so many things make me realise how lucky I am to have such a happy, healthy little man – my friend losing one of her beautiful twins, Matt seeing a 12 year old girl killed by a bus and knowing people struggling to conceive. I can’t wait to see Alex grow up and become an individual. He’s already nearly seven months old and changing so quickly. I really should be jotting down where he’s at in his development so I don’t forget. So here are a few things to remember what he’s like today:
- He’s sitting up by himself and able to balance pretty well, leaning all around to pick up different toys and reach for things
- He’s rolling like a pro – he can turn 360 degrees as he rolls and make his way right across his big playmat. He’s not figured out crawling yet, but he’s getting close. We’re starting to look around the house and spot all the things we’re going to have to tidy away pretty soon!
- He loves standing up – I spend a lot of my time holding him upright! Thank goodness for the door bouncer to save my arms.
- His repertoire of noises is growing by the day – his current favourites include a high pitched excited scream, a pterodactyl like screach and a long, low shout (like he’s having a conversation)
- He giggles at the strangest things – today’s most amusing thing was me whistling. He also likes monkey noises, tickling and blowing raspberries on his tummy.
- He’s getting better at eating solids. He LOVES pears, apples and mango, and like his mum, doesn’t seem to like banana. He still prefers bought food to my cooking!
- He loves bath time – now he can sit up, he can play with toys and splash more
- He’s increasingly interested in his surroundings – he enjoys running his hands through plants and bushes, smiling at his reflection in the mirror, stroking different textures and playing on swings
- He still loves lights – we have our Christmas tree lights in a vase for him to look at!
- Thankfully he likes singing – we go to weekly music class with lots of songs, and I sing a lot to him. He particularly likes The Wheels on the Bus, Row Your Boat, Grand Old Duke of York – and anything from Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and Jungle Book!