Freya was quite a late walker, she took her first steps at sixteen-and-a-half months. So she has been running around our house for only a few months now but it already feels like a distant memory that once upon a time she wasn’t everywhere at once. We must have been so well rested then… Ha!

She’s wonderfully sweet, but she’s also a cheeky little monkey who loves trouble.

When she’s verrryyy quiet, that’s when something is going down! She might be head-first into rooting through the kitchen bin, or attempting to deconstruct one of my orchids, or trying to poke the cat awake, or stripping off her nappy, or stealing knives off the kitchen counter and then running around with them while giggling madly like a happy ninja about to take out your kneecaps.

She loves her shoes. Her rainsuit. Tea, cheese, beans, and BANANAS.

She will take our hand, and gently, encouragingly, guide us towards the toilet while motioning to sit down, then hand us toilet paper and try to flush. She’s like the world’s tiniest and most thoughtful toilet attendant. Unless you close the door in search of some precious privacy of course, in which case she will screech in outrage that she’s been denied entrance.

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It’s hard trying to tell a story when you’re in the middle of it.

We are still in lockdown. Still at home. Still taking care of a baby through a pandemic. Nothing ever changes, or that’s what it feels like anyway, every day unfolds at the same pace, every task is a familiar one, every minute is taken up by something that we’ve already done a hundred times before.

Sometimes the sheer thought of walking to the park to go see the ducks AGAIN makes me want to scream. But I hold it back, because Freya loves the ducks, because we are fortunate enough to live close to a park, and because feeling sorry for myself won’t change anything anyway.

Really, the truth is that we have it so good.  We live in a beautiful flat, with a wonderful child who we adore. Jo and I support each other, love each other, and we still genuinely look forward to spending time together even though we’ve already been stuck here together for well over a year.

Still, I can’t wait to get the vaccine. For our lives to get moving again.

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And just like that, we have a one-year-old!

I would have loved to throw her a proper birthday party. From before I was pregnant I had imagined it: the cake, the presents, the friends around the table… It wasn’t meant to be. Like so many of our firsts, this one was sacrificed to Corona and the lockdown as well. But we still decorated our flat, Jo blew up endless balloons, I cooked and baked, and we took lots of pictures so at least there will be something to remember in all of this.

It is such a milestone. One turn around the sun. It’s a cliché, but our first year as mothers really has flown by. It’s been exhausting and at times difficult, but mostly it feels like pure bliss to have her here. We adore this little creature!

It’s hard to capture her at this exact moment in time, it always is because she changes and grows so quickly, but I feel like I should try.

Freya is…

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On the run-up to Freya’s first birthday, I’ve been nostalgic, thinking back to where we were a year ago.

Mid-November 2019 I was heavily pregnant. I was eating a ridiculous amount of pineapple every day, in the hopes that it would make my labour start. (Spoiler: it didn’t) I was trying every known method and a good deal of the unknown ones to induce labour, but really I was also enjoying pregnancy still and I didn’t want it to end.

Those last two weeks where I was ‘overdue’ were intense. It was luxurious in the sense that I was paying so much attention to my body, to feeling the baby, I was treasuring every second. It was stressful as well, because something had to happen, and relatives and doctors were not giving me an easy time about that. I felt immensely emotional for a lot of it.

But in all, I have gorgeous memories of those last weeks. 

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Today, Freya has been earthside for as long as she was ever growing inside of me.

It already feels like a distant past that she was this heavy, warm and slippery thing I pulled to lay on top of my chest and we were suddenly catapulted into the deep terror of sleep deprived parenthood.

Now most of this feels easy and comfortable, but she definitely isn’t a tiny baby anymore. In the last two weeks alone our little miss Sunshine has acquired two teeth, learned to crawl, and now pulls herself up and ‘cruises’. It won’t be too long anymore before she can walk!

It’s odd, but that sudden transition into independent movement – she’s everywhere now, attempting to grab a fistful of cat food, eagerly plucking the flowers off my orchids, or trying to stick her wet little fingers into power outlets – has cemented the idea that she’s her own person. We don’t have a baby anymore, this is a little human, a toddler, a child. One that loudly voices her opinions, who’s impatient and at times rather violent, but also kind and good-humoured.

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