So, we made it. Benjamin has now spent as long outside in the world as he did 'on the inside'. These past nine months feel so much quicker and also so much slower than the previous ones. It's been a steep learning curve, that's for sure.
This past month has been especially testing, with starting back at work and at nursery, our first trip to A&E and Ben's first proper bout of illness. Although I know that Ben is going to love nursery, and he's already had the opportunity to do so many exciting things, like playing in the sandpit and getting messy with jelly, he's also finding it tricky to settle. He's going through some separation anxiety and doesn't even like me to hand him over to friends whilst I'm in the room, which is a new thing for him. We'll get there, of course, but it's been tough to leave him so upset.
On the flip side, he's had so many moments recently where he's just been an absolute dream boat. He is learning constantly, and I'm pretty sure he's a genius baby because he can put all the rings back onto his rainbow stacker. He's learnt how to give 'kisses', in the loosest sense of the word so he's often slobbering all over my chin. He laughs a lot, especially when you undo a roll of sellotape (there goes my genius baby theory...) and he's particularly in love with Paul (his 'fun' parent) and gets so excited when he gets home.
Despite all the above, it's also so much easier to parent him now. It might not always be this way, but it feels like every month things get a little bit simpler. We don't need to cart as much stuff around with us all the time, and he can sit up on his own so I can put him down more easily wherever we are. He's getting better at independent play, and he's started taking longer naps in his cot (!!!), which I thought would never happen and make the days go more quickly. He's my real little pal now, and because I'm at work for three days every week, I look forward to our time together more than ever. I've also started to plan his first birthday party, too... where does the time go?!