Dear Emma, Approaching Two

On the day you were born, the anaesthetist held you up and told your Dad and I we have a daughter. I remember looking at the clock on the wall and it was 10:50am. I felt so overwhelmed with happiness, beaming with pride and sheer relief that you had arrived safely. Those first few hours when I could lift you with one hand, even though the midwife kept telling me to call her when I need to pick you up…those moments seem like a lifetime away now. Those newborn days felt like an eternity to me, filled with ups and downs. I couldn’t see any light and I never even contemplated that the teething would pass and we would still be battling with sleep deprivation (my old friend) but you would be turning two years old.

I can’t even bear writing those three words…two.years.old. I know I should be elated at reaching our second year of parenting, of winging it without doing something really stupid – but I’m a little sad. At the one year mark, you were still a baby but now you’re most definitely a toddler. You’re walking and chatting away every waking second of the day – I try to work out which words mean what but we both know that just today I thought you said ‘poo poo’ when you actually said ‘football’.

It’s been almost a year since we threw you a big first birthday party, and life has been on fast forward ever since. Every week, your brother will come to stay and mention that you have grown a lot since the past few days he saw you. You keep going from strength to strength, but I almost want to pause life just for a second so I can enjoy the cuddles, the impromptu kisses on the lips, the imaginary cuppateas, the moments where we wrap your cuddly toys in blankets. It’s those precious moments, that’s what it’s all about.

I’m sorry that I find it so challenging at times. I sometimes have to step outside the room as I don’t want you to see my tears, because I know it makes you sad too. I see you pushing the boundaries every day; what is okay for you to do and what is a definite no-no? Does Daddy have a different stance on things – always best to explore that avenue first. Sometimes with the tiredness, I forget that it’s a good thing you are wanting to know where those boundaries are; it means you are developing and growing into a little girl.

One of the things I love about you is that you do things your way. You develop a new skill, but refuse to perform it again on cue. Your assertiveness is brilliant and something I want you to hold onto always. I want you to know how proud we are of you, and how the boys and I watch everyday in fascination as you discover the world. That independence is amazing to see, even if it makes me miss the days when you wanted to cuddle with Mummy in front of CBeebies. Nowadays if those moments do crop up, I know there is a sick bug or teething round the corner!

So as we approach your second birthday, know that the sadness I feel is because we cannot freeze time, we cannot cling to those baby memories, when your cheeks were chubby and your legs as squishy as can be. As time goes on and you learn more and more each day; our lives will be full of new memories with our little toddler and I can’t wait to see what’s in store. Happy (almost) birthday my beautiful girl.

How did you feel approaching your child’s second birthday?

 

77 Comments

  1. March 13, 2017 / 9:18 am

    Oh beautiful! I still struggle at every birthday and mine are teens. I’m in denial that Georgia will turn 18 this summer. Not handling it at all. I think as parents it’s a bittersweet time – of course we want them to grow and flourish but we still want to hold on to them being young. Beautiful post lovely with such gorgeous photos! #BigPinkLink
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  2. March 13, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Gorgeous words to match gorgeous photos of a beatiful almost 2 year old. My babies are coming up 13 and then I will have 6 teenagers. Goodness the time goes too fast, keep sharing and saving every stage. #BigPinkLink

  3. March 13, 2017 / 9:28 pm

    Awww, my daughter is 2 in April and I can’t quite believe it, she’s not a baby anymore but a proper mini person, wahhh!! Popping over from #marvmondays

  4. March 13, 2017 / 10:39 pm

    So much love for this post and the emotions you’re feeling – it’s all very happysad isn’t it! Think of how many wonderful memories you’ll get to make this year though…and I promise the impromptu kisses carry on for a long time too xxx

  5. March 14, 2017 / 6:46 am

    Aww, I felt exactly the same when my youngest turned two, especially as we know we won’t be having any more and I’ll never get to experience all those baby cuddles again. She’ll be three in August and my old is 8 next month, it scares the life out of me how fast they are growing up, I wish I could slow things down x
    #Bigpinklink
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  6. March 14, 2017 / 7:16 am

    So beautiful. No you can’t freeze time. But, as they age, they become more and more fun to talk to. #dreamteam

  7. March 14, 2017 / 7:16 am

    Aw its so hard i wish we could freeze time too! My son turns 3 next week then the week after my baby will b 1! Stop! #DreamTeam

  8. March 14, 2017 / 7:38 am

    This is lovely, my daughter will be 3 next week and I’ll be writing something similar (with tears in my eyes)! It really does go so quickly, it feels like yesterday that I was planning her first birthday! And I struggle to remember her as a baby now. I love looking back at all the old photos to remind me. Emma is beautiful by the way, and I hope she enjoys her 2nd birthday

  9. March 14, 2017 / 8:17 am

    So lovely 🙂 My son just turned 3 and I had similar feelings – how could something that was so small and helpless suddenly be such a little person?! It’s hard to remember the hell that was teething and sleep regressions when they’re running around talking at lightning speed and playing imaginary games! #dreamteam
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  10. Nige
    March 14, 2017 / 8:18 am

    A beautiful post written with so much love I’m sure her second birthday will be fab great read thanks for hosting #dreamteam

  11. March 14, 2017 / 8:18 am

    This is so lovely, I adore reading about Emma. She is such a wonderful character and I love her independent, determined spirit which you capture so vividly in your writing! ❤ it’s funny, TM is 15 months and definitely doesn’t seem like a baby most of the time, it’s so strange how quickly it goes! #DreamTeam
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  12. March 14, 2017 / 8:41 am

    This is such a lovely post that I’m sure your daughter will adore when she’s older. I feel a bit guilty when I read posts like this though, because mine would more than likely read “Yes! You’re two! No more wailing baby tears or green poo!” (Yeah right!) I’m not a baby person, can you tell?!
    Yours is a truly beautiful post, I love it x #DreamTeam

  13. March 14, 2017 / 9:55 am

    Honestly, elated. With both of them. My eldest turned 2 when my youngest was 2 weeks old. She’s always been in a hurry that one and sadly I struggle to remember her baby years now, and now she’s nearly six, which I can’t believe. When my youngest turned two it was the day I came home from a hip replacement surgery and all I was focused on was not missing her whole birthday.
    Happy Birthday baby girl. x
    #dreamteam

  14. March 14, 2017 / 10:14 am

    Beautiful! My daughter is just under 6 months and it’s already going far too quickly. I dread to think how sad you must feel at 2, although it’s wonderful that she’s growing and turning into a proper little person as well. #DreamTeam

  15. March 14, 2017 / 10:37 am

    My youngest is approaching his first birthday and I cannot believe it. Sometimes the last year seems a lifetime but sometimes it feels like a flash 🙁 It is wonderful watching children become themselves as they develop and age but sad as they slowly need you less and less #DreamTeam

  16. March 14, 2017 / 11:21 am

    This is a beautiful post. Really well written and so heartfelt. Happy birthday to your little girl! I had some similar feelings of sadness when my little boy turned one in December! #dreamteam

  17. March 14, 2017 / 12:01 pm

    My eldest will be two in May and I just don’t know where the time has gone. In the early days I remember wishing time to pass so that things weren’t so difficult. Now I look back on those days fondly and can’t believe they passed by so quickly! #DreamTeam
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  18. March 14, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Aaah, this just melted my heart… it’s so touching, and beautifully honest. I feel sorry for my children that I find everything a struggle a lot of the time too. It’s lovely to have a record of the toddler she is, and what you have loved about this stage! She is also a total cutie!!!!! My eldest has just turned four-that was really hard! It felt like he was a proper boy, nothing of baby/toddler left. And the fact that it signalled that he was going to be starting school in September, made it really tough. To top it off, the ‘baby’ turns 3 this weekend… and as he’s as big and grown up as the eldest, it feels like I’ve definitely lost my babies, all in one go *sobs*!!
    #bigpinklink
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  19. March 14, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    Aw this is so beautiful. My little man was 2 in September and I know exactly what you mean about the change from a baby to toddler that seems to happen overnight at this age. It makes me ache a little too when I think that the baby years are behind us, but then it just seems to get more and more fun as they become their own little people. Thanks having me with you to host #DreamTeam lovely. xx
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  20. March 14, 2017 / 2:28 pm

    This is such a touching post. It is so hard watching them grow. Mine is 9 years old now. I found that two to four was the hardest for me but I was super young. I hope with my next child that I can find more joy in the hard years. Thank you so much for sharing your love! #dreamteam

  21. March 14, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Oh this is lovely (and your photos are gorgeous!) and really tugged at my heartstrings. My youngest is 2.5 yrs. It can be so hard to feel time slipping through your fingers.

    But the toddler stage is fun – you get to see them develop their own personality and have proper conversations with them, and they sing to you and draw funny stickman pictures of you 🙂

    I hope Emma has a lovely birthday #DreamTeam
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  22. March 14, 2017 / 3:11 pm

    Lovely post which I can relate to a lot. People keep asking me if I want another but all I want is to be able to rewind the past year and live it all over again. It’s been challenging at time but so so wonderful! What a gorgeous girl you have ☺️ #DreamTeam
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  23. March 14, 2017 / 3:28 pm

    Oh my goodness, this just gave me all the feels!! You’ve reminded me it’s not long until Alfie’s 2nd birthday, even though it only feels like yesterday I was leaving work to go on maternity leave. What a gorgeous girl you have there, and sounds like she is growing up to be a strong independent young lady, very much like her mama! #DreamTeam
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  24. March 14, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    my daughter turns 2 in a couple of months. It’s exciting, but I’m also sad, as we’ve decided not to have anymore, and so I will be out of the baby phase for ever. It’s about prepping myself for the next season. That said, in my experience with my almost 5 year old son, it all goes quickly, each stage even more exciting. So i’d rather not spend it missing the old and just enjoy the now.

    Enjoy the celebrations!

    Yvadney x #DreamTeam

  25. March 14, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Such a lovely post, my eldest had just turned four and youngest 2.4. Two seems like such a milestone because they’re crookedly no longer babies anymore but full on personalities! I must admit I’m not too nostalgic for the baby years, I much prefer to be able to communicate and it just gets better! #Dreamteam
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  26. March 14, 2017 / 4:05 pm

    Such a lovely post, my eldest had just turned four and youngest 2.4. Two seems like such a milestone because they’re crookedly no longer babies anymore but full on personalities! I must admit I’m not too nostalgic for the baby years, I much prefer to be able to communicate and it just gets better! #Dreamteam
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  27. March 14, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    This is so lovely. Our little boy is approaching 3 and it’s so hard. They seem to jump from year to year so quickly and become so grown up all of a sudden!
    xxx
    #dreamteam
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  28. March 14, 2017 / 5:04 pm

    What a sweet post. Precious pictures.
    #dreamteam

  29. March 14, 2017 / 6:19 pm

    Awwww beautiful post. She is such a beauty. I remember feeling like you because I still kind of feel that way now. Little Man is 4 now. 4. I don’t know how it’s even possible. He’s a proper little boy now. Not even a toddler anymore so we are a few stages ahead and it’s still hard to accept that they grow up. I know this year will end with him finishing his first term at Primary School and the very thought, if I’m entirely honest, makes me feel sick. I’m not ready. He may well be when the time comes but I’m not. I want my ‘baby’ to stay my baby for as long as possible. If only we could freeze time. Keep them small and innocent forever. Gorgeous post Hun and Happy (early) birthday to beautiful Emma. #DreamTeam
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  30. March 14, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I don’t think there is a birthday that’s passed for either of my teo girls where I haven’t felt increasingly emotional about them growing up! The positive is though, that it just keeps getting better and better (and dare I say it, a bit easier too).
    Happy Birthday beautiful Emma xx
    #DreamTeam
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  31. March 14, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    she is so sweet:) the time is going too fast my little one will be 1 in April. I feel like I delivered him 1 week ago:D
    #DreamTeam
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  32. March 14, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    What a beautiful post, sadly times goes by so quickly. I love the part about developing her own personality and doing things her way and not on cue, Chloe #dreamteam

  33. March 14, 2017 / 10:19 pm

    This is so lovely, she sounds like such an amazing little girl. I was really emotional about my youngest turning two, it no longer felt like a baby in the same way that one did. Now he is approaching three and I feel even more emotional, why does the time go so fast? #dreamteam
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  34. March 15, 2017 / 4:58 am

    I really want to do something big and boisterous for Doll’s second birthday because her new sibling will be around 2.5mo and I’m betting she would benefit from having a big fuss made over her 🙂 I was just watching her get stuff out of drawers and climb on chairs today and I found myself stunned by how much she has grown! She didn’t used to be able to reach into that drawer, or climb on that chair! I’m home and paying attention and she is still growing more than I can keep up with!
    #DreamTeam
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  35. March 15, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    My son is turning 2 in May so I have been thinking about this too. He is my second and last baby so this time all the firsts are also lasts :-(.
    We shouldn’t really look at it like that of course, there are so many stages to come that are wonderful to watch & experience with them. But I do admit that I am feeling sad about not cradling my own tiny baby in my arms again. I need to find some new mums and offer to give them a break for a bit! 🙂 ha ha. x #DreamTeam

  36. March 15, 2017 / 5:50 pm

    This was beautiful, I felt exactly the same when my daughter turned 2 and now I’m feeling it again as my son approaches his second birthday. I thought they may have invented something to pause time by now! #DreamTeam
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  37. March 15, 2017 / 7:57 pm

    So lovely.
    I felt excited, nervous and shocked that we were at the 2-year stage, which made me a bit emotional. I am sure I will be the same again when Mabel turns 3 and the same when Martha turns 2.

    🙂
    x
    #DreamTeam

  38. March 15, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    My eldest turned two early February and I agree with you it was clear that I had a little girl in front of me rather than a baby. They certainly grow up quickly! #DreamTeam
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  39. March 16, 2017 / 2:36 am

    Peachy is 15 months old and I’m right there with you. It all just goes too fast. She is currently wobbling around the living room on her unsteady feet. She just overcame her fears and started walking without having to hold my hand a few days ago. I feel so proud of her and at the same time I have a sense of panic, dread, and overwhelming sadness. My baby is growing up right before my eyes. I’M NOT READY!!! #DreamTeam

  40. March 16, 2017 / 8:15 am

    Aww the bit about the imaginary cuppateas and wrapping teddies in blankets brought a lump to my throat as we are in exactly the same stage at 21 months. I can’t believe our babies are nearly two!! #DreamTeam
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  41. March 16, 2017 / 12:38 pm

    You take such beautiful photography…

    I can totally relate to the feeling of almost sadness that they are another year older…time does pass so quickly. My daughter turns 5 in a few days but she still feels like my new baby! Lovely post xx #dreamteam

  42. March 16, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    Thank you for this – sometimes I’m so impatient for Miss O to reach the next milestone, for certain testing stages to be over, that sometimes I forget to savour the gorgeous age she is right now at 18 months!

  43. March 16, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    This is lovely. Cherish those moments as they are gone all too soon. My son turns 13 in a few months and I don’t know where the time has gone. My daughter is 6 and she is supposed to be my baby, but she’s definitely no baby anymore. Enjoy every second! #DreamTeam
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  44. March 16, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    Awww beautiful!!! Happy 2nd Birthday Emma! What a strong independent little lady you have!! #DreamTeam x
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  45. March 17, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    Awww this made me cry. My baby boy is fast approaching two and i’m not ready just yet. Little Emma is just beautiful and you’re an amazing mother #dreamteam

  46. March 17, 2017 / 10:26 pm

    This is such a beautiful post. Your daughter will be so touched to read it when she is older. I definitely find my children getting older is bittersweet. Little Miss H will be starting school this year and Little Mister H is now 8 months old. We are probably going to have to put him in his own room soon. And it makes me very teary eyed. Thank you for writing this. Hugs Lucy xxxx #MarvMondays
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  47. March 18, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    Lovely post and a lovely girl. All I know is that I blinked my eyes, and my big, she turned 9. Yes! Pierced ears and sleepover time. Savor every moment, even the hard ones. xoxo #dreamteam

  48. March 18, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    What a lovely letter for Emma, and gorgeous photos too. I completely get where you are coming from as time keeps whizzing past. You sort of want them to not grow up, but of course at the same time you really do!?! I think turning 2 is a big one as you wave goodbye to the baby years. Sighs* lol. Thanks for being a brilliant co host on the #DreamTeam xx
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  49. March 20, 2017 / 8:15 am

    I like reading these reflective posts. I hope the birthday celebrations so well #dreamteam

  50. March 22, 2017 / 9:33 pm

    aaah what a lovely post. I get emotional when I write about my kids and your post is so beautifully written, really good.

    Mainy

    #TriumphantTales
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  51. March 22, 2017 / 10:13 pm

    Ah Bridie and Emma by the sea! I remember feeling very similar – my colleagues were saying don’t be silly, 2 is still SO small! But to me it felt like he was getting so big. Weird now when I feel the same and he’s nearly 4, so 2 really does sound small!
    Enjoy the little moments, always x #TriumphantTales

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