Five things I record about my children every year

 

It’s been two years since I launched Birthday Letters to my Baby (which incidentally mean that Arthur is about to turn two!) The book has such personal significance for me and it has be such a joy to send these books out to my wonderful customers. I’ve never really shared how I use the book myself, so on the two year anniversary, I thought I’d share five things I record about my children in Birthday Letters to my Baby, every year.

The main reason I created Birthday Letters to my Baby was to have a place to capture every year of my babies childhood’s in a way that I could look back on, and that they could share in when they grow up. We think we will remember every tiny detail, but in the reality of daily life and motherhood, we forget so much, even in the space of a year. There are things I never wanted to forget and so I write them down here for safekeeping.

NL-SS-WEB-2116.jpg

Funny phrases and words they used

The perfect example of something I never want to forget, is that between the age of 2 and 3 Sophia called dandelions ‘baby lions’. I’m not sure where it came from but it is so darn cute I wanted to remember it forever. I’m sure that because I wrote it down it became a more permanent part of my long term memory, but when I do inevitably forget it’ll be there for me to remember when she is 16 years old and will feel like such a gift.

The thing they learned

I like to note down significant things they learned that year. You think you’ll remember when they learned to put their own shoes on but 18 years is a long time. One day the difference between 2 and 4 will feel like nothing, but when you are in those years the difference is like day and night.

The personality I see emerging

The part of motherhood I probably find most exciting is how much they are each unique individuals. Whilst I do see personality traits from Dan and me, there are so many things about our kids that are completely innate, and each year I see a new aspect of their individuality emerge. Arthur, for example, is cheeky by nature and absolutely loves to wind people up and push boundaries and to have a good chuckle about it, whereas Sophia is such an independent spirit but much more of a rule follower at the same time (oldest child trait??)

NL-SS-WEB-2012.jpg

My most memorable moments with them

There are moments in ordinary days when your children just completely floor you. Last year, not long after Sophia had turned three, she came into the kitchen to find me sitting on the floor having a little cry. You know those days when it’s all got a bit on top of you. Sophia came over to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said "Don’t worry Ems, it’ll be alright'“ My tears stopped dead, not only because of how sweet she was but because of my total shock at her grown up demeanour. We had a hug and I thanked her. I think it was the fact that she used my nickname, as Dan or my friends would, that made her seem extra grown up, but that was one of those moment when I admired my tiny three year old more than anyone else in the world. One day I want her to know what an amazing person she is and has always been.

How we celebrated their birthday

Whether it’s a big party, a small family gathering, or a trip to the zoo for Arthur’s first birthday (when Arthur and I were both so poorly) I want to be able to look back at each of those milestones and recall the picture of us back then.

I would love to hear the things you record about your children. Please share your stories, cute phrases and funny toddler behaviour.

Images by Natasa Leoni

Emily Rollings