And so – suddenly – it’s September and the little guy is five months old.
It’s hard to believe that what was once a mewling little bundle is now a bright and inquisitive little boy with a frequent, cheeky smile and an aversion to sleep in all its forms.
Yep, the summer has flown by, and already the autumnal creep has started. In the space of the last ten days we’ve gone from blissful picnics in blazing sunshine to chill, grey days, cold winds and rain … and back again. Winter is on its way. Ugh.
Still, the summer was a good one with lots of fun, sun and (somewhat sedate) adventures, making new mummy mates and catching up with old friends. And the little man proved his mettle as a traveller, clocking up four plane rides to two different countries before his three month birthday.
His first trip saw him discover the joy of lazing in a hammock: being dandled in the dappled sunshine became his favourite way to spend the afternoon. He wasn’t too keen on sandy beaches or the chilly sea, but the hammock became his bosom buddy for the duration of the trip.
For me, though, it was all a bit of a disappointment.
As lovely as it was to see The Semi-suitable Man, and as grateful as I was that he’d made provisions to include the little fella, it soon became apparent that he wasn’t really aware of what it means to holiday with a ten-week-old baby.
Which is fair enough – why would he? – but the little guy and I spent far more time alone than I’d anticipated, mainly because little babies can’t go to the beach at 2pm and mummies who have to get up several times in the night can’t stay up til 5am. Hey ho.
Anyway, Bub seemed to take travelling in his stride, charming his fellow passengers and snoozling gently for the greater part of each flight.
His only faux pas came as the hostess announced our imminent take-off after 25 long minutes refuelling. Lulled into a false sense of security by his patience throughout the delay, I was unprepared for his ill-timed nappy bomb, which sent me scurrying swiftly to the rest room.
Fortunately, his heart-meltingly gummy grin had the unsuspecting passengers oohing and aahing as I cantered up the corridor, battering them with my changing bag.
The ‘Meet the Grandparents’ trip to Spain was altogether more successful. The Baby Daddy was kind and attentive throughout, and although I was a bit alarmed when Bub was snatched from me and paraded round the neighbourhood by a super-keen abuela, I know it was all done with love and enthusiasm.
The little guy coped remarkably well with both the attention and the heat and the Baby Daddy and I got through the whole week with nary a cross word. Yessir, we did. We saved that for ten minutes after landing on home turf, the goodwill bubble disappearing along with the holiday spirit. Hey, and indeed, ho.
And so, with lots of fond memories under its wing, the summer comes to a close. But for us, big changes are afoot: we’re leaving town.
Yep, we’re on the move. Forced into new adventures by the impossible cost of childcare in this city, we’re upping sticks and moving on to pastures new. But far from feeling sad, I’m actually looking forward to the changes coming our way.
I’ve been in this city for over a decade, on and off, and our love affair is well and truly over. I’ve met some fabulous people – as well as a few nutters ; shared good times and bad with an ever-changing crowd from countless different countries; had my heart broken once or twice; and – best of all – gained myself a son.
But if I’m honest, I never really bonded with the city; I always knew I’d be moving on. And, now that I have the little man, that day has arrived.
So, what’s next? Well, first we’re off to Spain for some sunshine and after that … well, we’ll go wherever the tide takes us.
It would have been nice to have a companion by my side, but it seems that single is my destiny and I’d better get used to it. Of the very few men who’ve graced my life in recent times, the only flame still flickering is that of He Who Shall Remain Nameless. And even that’s on the verge of sputtering out.
So it’s time to bundle up all the warm thoughts I hold in his name and set them free on the wind because it’s time for a fresh start. It’s time to sweep away the cobwebs of life and loves past that have been cluttering up my heart.
And besides, I might not have a companion, but I’ve got my trusty little sidekick, and that’s good enough. With him by my side I can swim oceans, climb mountains – yep, even fight lions – because there’s nothing I won’t do to keep him happy and safe.
So I don’t know where we’re going or what we’re going to do, but whatever the future holds, with his sticky little hand in mine, it’s going to be good.