When I was huge and pregnant, the thing that got me through those long restless nights and sick-filled mornings was imagining what I would do with my baby when he or she was born.
At the time, I didn’t know Frog was a girl. And I didn’t know she’d take on squatter’s rights in my womb, so reluctant was she to enter the world. So I was still all rose-tinted spectacles about motherhood.
I imagined my year of maternity leave to include countryside walks, painting pictures and playing with play doh. I looked forward to Christmas with glee, under the illusion that I would find lots of time to bake with my baby and make homemade decorations.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Instead, my maternity leave consisted of rushing from baby group to baby group, with very little time at home and much time spent fretting about whether to return to my full-time job or not. When Frog was awake, I knew it was only a matter of time before the crying would start because she wanted to sleep again. No sooner had I trundled out some activity or another, inspired by Baby Sensory or Baby Swimming or Baby Music (or any of the other gazillion clubs we joined), then Frog was sobbing with over-stimulation and begging to go back to bed.
But then she turned one. And I went back to work (sort of).
It seems that both these events caused a big change in Frog. As if by magic she blossomed into a little person, no longer the helpless baby I was accustomed to. Now, at fifteen months she’s interested and lively and exhausting but very, VERY fun.
Suddenly, overnight, she wants to do stuff. Painting, crayoning, sticking. This is the stuff I looked forward to when I was pregnant.
Shame I didn’t realise it would turn my grass blue.