Baby Hayley has been keeping me company while her siblings are off at school and I’m having the best time.
This baby at this age is perfection.
We go to the library, run around at rooftop water play areas, go swimming, shop for groceries, share sandwiches, do workout videos together, take long bus rides and even longer walks. And the whole time, she gives me a hilarious running commentary of the experience, like “Look at me, I’m doing exercise, mom, ooofff this is so hard I think I need an ice cream…” or “WAIT FOR ME MOMMYYYY DON’T LEAVE ME BEHIND I’M JUST LOOKING AT ORANGES!!”
I’m telling you this is a baby who knows how to have a good time.
Maybe it’s a last baby situation where I know this is the last time I’m ever going to enjoy this or it could be a fifth baby thing where everything is less stressful or maybe it’s a bit of both but wow, these days have been the greatest.
Sometimes I do wish that I enjoyed the process with the bigger kids a bit more. I remember being so overwhelmed with Truett and Kirsten as babies and just wishing the days would go by faster. Every day was a desperate crawl towards bedtime where I could take a breather from being a mom for just a moment. We’d go to the park and I’d be flat out exhausted the moment we got there. People would be telling me to enjoy the moment and I would try but deep down inside, I’d be like “I’m drowning here and it’s hard to enjoy this feeling of not being able to breathe.”
If I could do it all over again, I don’t know, I really would have tried to soak in the moments a little bit more. I miss Tru’s baby giggles and Kirsten’s legendary cheeks and Finn’s heart melting smile and Theo’s cuddles and now they’re off doing their big kid growing up things.
Baby Hayley right now is ridiculously adorable and she knows exactly how to make this momma swoon.
Out of the blue, she will walk up to me and say “Mom!! I love you!” and smile sweetly like the thought just occured to her and she needed to share the sentiment with me immediately.
And her sad bambi eyes? My heart can’t take it.
Baby Hayley is the master of turning on the charm with a “Please mom, pretty please??? Just a tiny bit? Please??”
She has skills like I’ve never seen. The other day, she managed to talk me into getting her a surprise egg during a supermarket run and for some context, this mom doesn’t do surprise eggs for any of the kids ever. We were at the checkout counter and she saw a kinder surprise egg and said “Please mommy, can I get one?” And of course I said no because what?? no, I’ll get you a fruit instead. Hayley was all “Please mom?? Just a tiny one??” and I’m like “There’s no such thing as a tiny egg. They’re all the same size and oh, how about these cherry tomatoes?” Finally she said “Can I just hold it for a while? I’ll put it back.” And she did. She said bye to her egg and stacked it back on the shelf cheerfully when we were about to leave.
Okay yes, that was the point I wavered. I glanced at the shelf and it so happened that the egg was priced at $1 instead of the usual $2.10 and I looked at her face and I said “Would you really like to get it? Just today ok? This is a one time thing that probably won’t happen again…” and her eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning. “You mean this is for me? I can bring this home and eat it??? Yeahhhh thanks mommy!!!”
So that’s the story of how baby Hayley got herself a surprise egg and enjoyed it tremendously.
These days, bedtime with this baby is a 3-hour affair that would have driven me mad 8 years ago but not now because these are 3 hours where I still get to have a baby to cuddle every night. We play supermarket check out where she sells me things for 2 pounds each. She orders me to hold her like a baby on my chest. She tells me about her favourite snacks and I tell her stories of a baby char siew bao who loved snacks and adventures.
“Tell me a story!!” she would say over and over again and I’d be like “I need time to think of these stories, and this is the fifth one tonight. I’m all out of char siew bao stories.”
“Please, please mom? Just one more.”
“Okay, so this one time, the baby char siew bao met a siew mai…”