Dear Madeleine

Dear Madeleine, When I kiss the top of your head you smell like milk duds, white chocolate, only infinitely sweeter and better.

Every morning when I wake up, I stretch out with my arms and hands above my head and my toes pointing to the ceiling. Then I pick you up and put you on your change mat and before you even open your eyes, you stretch out with your arms and hands above your head and your toes pointing to the ceiling.

Lately you have been crying quite a bit, and all you seem to want through the day is to cuddle in my arms, which makes it difficult to get anything done. But it is oh so special. This is a precious, precious time for you and me. So I sit and we snuggle and all my jobs go undone and my deadlines go unmet and my love swells and swells.

For some strange reason, your new favourite time is when I change your nappies. You always smile and laugh at me then.

Speaking of your smile, it is like a sunburst. A gummy sunburst of joy. I have tears in my eyes as I type this, even thinking of your smile.

And your laugh: oh boy! You don’t giggle or even chuckle, you Ho Ho just like Santa (I’ll tell you about Santa later). When you laugh, you say “a-HOO” and throw back your chin for comedic emphasis. Oh lord, it’d break your heart if you could see your adorable self.

We read together every day. Sometimes we read your books, board books with bright pictures and just one or two words in them. When you’re feeling attentive, you like to look at the pictures. Other times I read out loud to you from whatever I’m reading. Right now that’s Eucalyptus by Murray Bail. You seem to like this a lot and it’s often a good one to read you to sleep. Perhaps because the rhythm of the words is kind of musical and water-like.

You love having a bath, which is your Daddy’s job. You have been known to splash him with gusto, something you both seem to enjoy.

You think Oliver the dog is very funny, and give him an “a-HOO” whenever he walks into your line of vision.

When you were born your eyes were darkest slate blue. Like a storm. Now they are a deep, deep, romantic blue, fringed with eyelashes so long they sweep your eyebrows.

You are losing some of the hair you had when you were born, but you carry off a receding hairline exceedingly well. Indeed you are divinely beautiful.

Oh and Madeleine, your chubby knees and elbows! I die!

Seven weeks and two days, Madeleine. That’s how long you have been in my world. But I think you were in my heart at the beginning of time.

Love, Mama