It has been almost 9 years since I've had just one baby in my care. When I was in hospital with my first, I had a visit from an older and wiser friend whose 3 children were all grown up. "Just enjoy it", she said. "Enjoy just having the one baby before you have all the others". I took what she said on board but didn't really understand what she was saying as I sincerely hoped I would enjoy any and all future offspring. What I now think she was trying to say was that you don't really realise how fast the time goes with your first. And this is a shame because it may be the one baby you have that you can devote 100% of your attention to. All the babies that came after my firstborn had a toddler as part of the equation. Having children close together certainly has its advantages but the baby and toddler combination is a real challenge. A lot of people comment on how busy things must be for me with 5 children but I'm quick to say that right now is the easiest time I've had in my parenting journey. I'm sure things will be interesting with 5 teenagers in the home but right now, having 5 children with 2 at full-time school, 2 in part-time Kinder and a baby (without a toddler) is a lot easier than the extreme parenting experience I had with 4 children under 4 years with them all at home full time.
So I have been dreaming about these days of having just one baby at home for a long time. It is no coincidence that I waited till the Boys started Kinder to have another. And since the Boys started Kinder 3 weeks ago, there are now 2 days a week (and 3 days every second week) where I have a block of 6 hours with Flynn - just me and my baby boy. And today I had the most wonderful day. After dropping the kids off at school, I decided to get serious about incorporating some fitness into these days so started off with a long walk on the bike track which hugs the edge of the Derwent River. I came across a path which led up to the Bridge so decided to walk over it, something I've never done before, because of the whole baby/toddler thing - too dangerous.
The view was amazing. The Bridge is actually a lot higher than it looks and it was windy there too, so I made it to the top and then quickly snapped this shot before promptly heading back.
It seems strange to have a sign warning you not to walk on the bridge if a large ship is approaching. Define large?
However, this is due to the 1975 disaster when a large tanker hit the bridge and the central portion of the bridge collapsed sending 5 people to their deaths and killing 7 of the tanker's crew. The people in these cars teetering on the edge were incredibly lucky.
We then walked to the Botanical Gardens and had a lovely time strolling around.
There were some interesting art installations in readiness for the 10 Days On The Island Festival coming up. This one was appropriately named "Gardens Under Siege".
I smelt some Roses, the "Pierre De Ronsard" were to die for.
And with no cries of starvation coming from any of the children or backtracking required for toilet stops, Flynn and I lay under a big old tree for 2 hours. It was absolute bliss.
I admired his newly formed mohawk. His lush crop of dark hair has receded on the sides like an old man and in it's place grows some lovely blonde fuzz.
I admired his chubby little arms and legs and 'elastic-band' wrists. As my Father-in-Law says, he's on good pasture.
I watched him try and co-ordinate his hand to reach his mouth. It took him 20 minutes and lots of attempts.
He was pretty chuffed with himself when he nailed it.
Just before we left, an old couple who had been sitting nearby came over and we had a nice little chat. "Enjoy it, My Dear, you just enjoy it" were her final words. Those words again. Except this time I understood so much more of what that meant. I have a new appreciation of just how fleeting these baby days are. I am loving and enjoying every minute with this little guy. It all goes way too fast.