Romilly Hero At One | Happy Birthday Baby

Tuesday 6 August 2019

All the cliches about time flying are true.

It feels like I’ve gone from shuffling into the induction ward at the hospital at two weeks overdue to have my daughter to celebrating her first birthday in the blink of an eye. Ever since the arrival of both my children, life seems to have been stuck on fast forward. Our days are crazy busy, but so full of joy.

The fact is, I never really longed to be a mother. I never felt broody. I never wanted to hold babies when they were brought into the office by colleagues who had become new mothers. And yet, having my son Theo and his much-wished for younger sister Romilly has been the best experience of my life.

And so we celebrate together - for Romilly hitting her milestone first birthday, but also for us as a family, finding our new shape and our strength together.

Romilly at one is starting to blossom into her own person. When I named her, I wanted something that fitted with my idea of a ‘warrior princess’ - a strong but graceful little girl who would go out into the world and make her mark. And although it's a little too early to tell what she may choose to do with her life, already we can see that her spirit is quite forceful!

She’s generally a happy and placid little soul, but when she gets frustrated because she can’t do something, or something happens that she doesn’t like, she certainly makes it known! I used to think my son Theo was quite determined, but already Romilly can get the best of him when she wants to. She isn’t a reactive personality like him though - she’ll take something in and process it first before deciding what she thinks about it all.

When I first named her, I pictured calling her Milly for short, but that hasn’t happened once. She tends to get called ‘Romy’ or ‘Pom Pom’ as a nickname around the house. In terms of milestones, she’s crawling all over the place, and although she hasn’t yet taken her first steps, she is pulling herself up on everything she can get her little sticky hands on, so it's not far away. My guess is that she may find her feet just in time for our family holiday to Italy at the end of August!

She started crawling seriously about a month ago, and she’s at the stage now where you can’t take your eyes off her for a second, because she is into absolutely everything - which is definitely quite tiring for us!

The most magical thing about having Romy has been seeing her bond with her big brother develop. From the moment she was a visible bump in my tummy, the two of them have had a remarkable amount of love. Theo is deeply patient and caring with her. He always wants to help put her to bed and to be the first one to see her when she wakes up in the morning. She’s the only person he’ll give some of his ice cream too.

And in turn, she just adores him. Her whole face lights up when she sees him and she’ll often call out ‘Tuh?!’, which we’ve discovered is what she calls him at the moment. Equally, she has an enormous amount of empathy for him. If he ever starts crying, she’ll usually tear up and join in wailing herself - she can’t bear it when Theo is upset.

She’s very conversational and likes to weigh into the family conversation babbling loudly and having her say. She has a few words now - ‘Mama’ ‘Dada’ ‘Cat’ and ‘Pop’ have all made an appearance so far.

Romy is a very good eater - she’s always eaten large amounts and eats most foods without any protest. Of course this may well change as she hits the fussy toddler stage, but for the moment she is happy to eat anything up to a mild Thai curry and I love it!

Weaning her has been such a smooth process, she took to it straight away. Her favourites are pasta, sausages and she goes loopy for banana - in fact, the only thing she really doesn’t like is avocado, which is weird as I ate so many when I was pregnant (or maybe that’s why?). She took to meat straight away whereas it took her brother ages - he came out of the womb a vegetarian!

In terms of favourite toys, she likes to play with anything her brother is into and so Duplo is a hot favourite right now - mainly knocking down things that Theo has carefully built! Just like her brother she is obsessed with Bing, which can always be relied on in our house to secure fifteen minutes of peace.

Romy is starting to grow hair now - a lot slower than her brother, and it's coming in dark. She also has huge bright blue eyes with thick dark lashes which are her most striking feature -  everyone we meet comments on them. In this way she’s just like her dad - neither of my children look like me!

She looks very similar to her brother at the same age  - if we look at photos of him then, it's very much like looking at her, only his eyes are green instead.

We had an amazing almost-year of maternity leave together, doing coffee mornings, swimming lessons, sensory classes and day-trips, but equally she has settled well at nursery since I returned to work in June.

At one, she’s a happy, settled, calm and confident little girl who has added so much to our family dynamic in such a short term.

Happy birthday, little one. We love you to the moon and back.

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