Today I did something tiny. It was a miniscule act really.
But it felt huge.
I was buying shampoo for Rhys and Nerys and, for the first time, I put a bottle of kids stuff in my trolley instead of the usual bottle of baby shampoo.
Mainly because Steve had mentioned something about getting shampoo with a different smell, because with the baby shampoo Nerys’ hair still smelt of ‘hot’ even straight after a hairwash.
But there was something about that simple act of choosing a new shampoo that struck me.
It felt like a big step away from baby days. And it’s made me ask myself, are those baby days now behind us?
And it’s strange, because we’ve already done away with a lot of the big baby items, without giving it a second thought.
The cot bed got dismantled a few months ago, when it made more sense for Nerys to have a proper single bed that one of us could climb into if she needed our comfort in the night.
The buggy went to the big buggy-park in the sky about eight months ago, after one of the wheels broke off, and we never bothered replacing it.
The highchair got freecycled ages ago, in favour of space-saving booster seats.
You’d think those big items would have got to me, made me feel a bit misty-eyed at moving on to a new stage. But I really don’t remember thinking about it. It was just practical at the time, to make those decisions and pack things away.
But recently I’ve been more and more aware of the fact that we’re moving on to a new stage in our lives.
Every now and then Nerys will tell me she’s still a baby, and my response alternates between telling her, no, actually she’s my big girl and yes, yes she is still my baby!
And I feel as mixed-up and confused as my responses.
Some days I see my wonderful daughter and am so happy to be at this stage in her life. She is learning so much, and is just so much fun to be around.
But then other days I look at her and realise quite how big she’s got. And it hits me that we really are leaving the baby days behind us. And it’s bittersweet, it really is.
We’re not sure if we’ll try for a third baby or if our family is actually already complete. I go back and forth in my thoughts about it, sometimes dreaming about how lovely it would be to experience pregnancy one more time, to hold a brand new baby in my arms and smell that glorious newborn scent again.
Other times, I look at my son and my daughter and think how great their relationship is, and how much I actually love this family dynamic and I’m just not sure if bringing another baby into that is the best thing to do.
As it stands, we’re not making any firm decisions for another year, by which time I think we’ll both know in our hearts what we want.
But with that question hanging over me, I’m painfully aware of the fact that the end of Nerys’ baby days could well be the end of baby days full stop around here.
And it’s so hard to let go.
But that’s what that little pink bottle of kids’ shampoo is. It really is such a small thing, but my heart is bursting with the enormity of what it represents.
It’s me starting to let go.
It’s me realising that maybe the baby days really are nearly behind us. And I suppose embracing that; even if I’m doing so with a giant lump in my throat and tears in my eyes!