I've mentioned before, Niblet's infancy was sort of brutal. Other words come to mind. Colic. PPD. Helplessness.
She didn't sleep through the night until she was completely weaned, at 12 months.
But she was the loveliest baby in the world. The kind of baby that made people stop us in the street and ask me "Is that YOUR baby?" (because she looked so much like her father, and I guess being much darker than her that I looked like, I don't know, her nanny? Jesus.).
And I remember having a good friend over when she was maybe one year old, and she actually cruised over to a stack of books and picked one out for him to read to her. And we looked at each other like, seriously? because we knew that she knew this was her favorite book and there was something so ridiculously cool about a baby with reading preferences.
I think I was present, well, as present as a full-time-working mom outside the home can be. I tried to look at our midnight and 2 am nursing sessions as bonding. I tried finding a new job immediately after she was born because we struggled with my 3 hour commute. It took me two years to land a job in my own town. My home life was consumed with her, but I missed a whole fucking lot.
I had no idea those first one or two years of her life that she would be the only baby I ever mother. The thought never occurred to me. In fact, the only thing I used to think was, "next time I will be home more. Next time I will be sitting in a new job, 15 minutes from my house. Next time I won't be hustling her to daycare for the longest days."
But there won't be a next time. And my one regret is not imagining that possibility, while I held her.