Saffron hauls herself onto my lap while I’m breastfeeding Pearl. She grabs each side of my face and forces me to look at her while I’m ushering lots of “careful, careful, careful of the baby.” She looks at the baby. “I love your baby, she’s beautiful. ” (“luff”, “boo-full”) she says. She thinks momentarily. “Now your baby has come out, there’s room for me in your tummy again.”
This has been a common thread of late, Saffron commenting on the appearance of the baby, and the vacant accommodations she has left behind. And how she would dearly like to climb back into said vacant block. Please.
I look at this enormous creature perched precariously on my knee, her gigantic deep brown eyes staring at me, eagerly awaiting a response. I’m confused. Only three weeks ago this huge being was my baby. I would pick her up like a tiny doll and balance her on top of my rounded stomach. I would play with her soft curls and wipe vegemite from her stained baby lips. Now she appears in front of me like a monstrous Japanese cartoon; all eyes and head and face. She reaches out a finger and pokes the side of Pearl’s face. “Can I kiss your baby?” (“tan”, “tiss”) She asks, sick of waiting for a response to her request to climb back inside me.
She kisses the baby then pulls my hand away from where it is rested, cradling Pearl’s back. She holds my hand and makes sure I can’t touch the baby with it.
We are all adjusting to this new way of life, this new being who is suddenly in our family and in our space after an eternity of pregnancy. Adjusting to my constant “shhhhh’s” and “careful’s!!”. Adjusting to the crying, to the constant commands of this tiny person.
And then I see my eldest two daughters playing and hugging and kissing each other. I see them holding hands tonight while we walked to get fish and chips. I see them giggling together and whispering rude secrets (namely about poo). And I remember when Saffron was this tiny thing in my arms and Nell was the giant child poking and prodding. And I know everything and everyone will be just fine.