A letter to my daughter on her first birthday

Me and the newborn Popple

Dear Popple,

A few weeks ago, I held your 5-week-old cousin James in my arms while I watched you run around, swinging a plastic piggy bank over your head. And I thought to myself – is it possible that this energetic almost-toddler was ever as small, floppy and vulnerable as James?

But of course, you were.

Those early days went by in a bit of a blur. I don’t remember much, but here’s what I do remember:

Your father and I passing you back and forth all night, taking turns holding you so the other one could get some sleep.

Wishing I could tear off my boobs because they were so full and achy and leaky.

Obsessing over the colour and frequency of your poos. (I needn’t have worried – you’ve become quite the master pooper.)

Feeling overwhelmed. Feeling more tired than I’d ever felt in my entire life. Feeling a love that was so all-consuming that I would sing you cheesy Elton John songs at 3am and bawl like…well, a baby.

You have grown up so much since then. We both have.

I’ve been so proud of every new thing that you’ve learned. When you first smiled at four weeks, I thought it was the best smile I’d ever seen. When you rolled over at 12 weeks, I shouted and applauded so loudly that I basically shared the sh*t out of you. When you learned how to feed yourself at six months, I bragged to everyone about how much you loved strong flavours like curry and baba ganoush. When you skipped crawling entirely and went straight to walking at nine months, I couldn’t believe how determined you were.

I can barely keep up with you now. People don’t believe that you never sit down, but it’s true. Unless you’re strapped into your high chair, stroller or car seat, you’re on your feet. Running. Pointing. Picking things up. You’d rather squat over a toy for 20 minutes than put your bum on the floor. Your legs are strong as hell. Your energy is incredible.

There have been many times in the past year when I’ve felt like a failure as a mother. When you stayed on the 2nd percentile for weight, despite my best efforts to fatten you up. When I resorted to turning on the TV to get you to stop screaming. When I forgot to brush your tiny baby teeth. When I opened up a packet of Ella’s Kitchen instead of making you a home-cooked meal.

But now I look at the amazing little person you’re becoming – smart, funny, inquisitive, a bit on the cheeky side – and I can’t help but think that I must have done something right.

Happy birthday, beba.

Love,

Mama

Me holding the Popple who has a piece of celery in her hand

15 Comment

  1. Ahh just plain lovely. Happy Birthday Popple xxx

  2. Just gorgeous! You are a fantastic mother! She sounds like a champ !! Happy birthday Popple! 😙💛😍😚❤️ Xxx

  3. reimerandruby says: Reply

    What a lovely letter! They grow so fast pretty quick, aren’t they? Happy birthday Popple! Hope you had a memorable one… #bigpinklink

  4. Katie you made me cry! So gorgeous. You’ve got such a wonderful little girl, you’re clearly an amazing parent. I can so picture the Elton John thing, I am always doing soppy stuff like that. We have a new baby niece and I can’t cope with the size difference, my baby suddenly doesn’t seem like a little bubba he seems huge. It’s funny how quickly the time goes but how you feel like you’ve been a mother forever, isn’t it? #triballove #fartglitter

  5. Gorgeous letter hun so heartfelt. Happy birthday little one! #triballove #bigpinklink

  6. Beautiful! Happy first birthday to your beautiful girl, it’s scary how fast the time goes…my eldest is twelve!!! #bigpinklink

  7. Aw such a lovely and personal letter to your little lady which I am sure she will grow to treasure. The milestones in the first year are just mind-blowing aren’t they? Happy birthday little Popple and congratulations Mummy Popple! xx
    Thanks for sharing with #fartglitter

  8. Aww what a lovely idea and letter. Happy birthday Popple.x

  9. Returning from #puddinglove xxx

  10. beccaweatherall says: Reply

    A lovely letter! Happy birthday little one! Walking at 9 months – amazing!! They do grow up way too quickly. My little boy is 21 months and I’ve no idea where that’s gone?! X #puddinglove

  11. very sweet. I often tell people with newborns that its impossible to describe how fast it all goes by. They roll their eyes, but will soon understand #puddinglove

  12. What a lovely post. Sounds like she’s doing great, walking at 9 months!!! The first year flies by in a blur. Happy first birthday x #puddinglove

  13. agentspitback says: Reply

    Gorgeous letter…Happy Birthday Popple! Walking at 9 months, wow! They do grow up so quickly and many times you don’t realise how much until you see a much younger child. Why can’t they stay little for just a little while more? Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink

  14. Awww, this is lovely. I remember this like it was five minutes ago but next birthday will be 6 for my baby girl. I just don’t know how that happened. Happy birthday little Popple.xx

  15. This is absolutely lovely! Happy First Birthday to Popple 🙂 It is hard to imagine them being so small when they are that age and running around everywhere and getting into everything. Time certainly does fly by. Your words were beautiful! #puddinglove #TribalLove

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