If you’re a parent and you’ve been watching TV over the weekend (in between building Lego towers, reading The Gruffalo again, or grappling with a squirming and determined toddler), you have probably found yourself with a considerable lump in your throat at the new Johnson’s Baby advert. Only someone with a heart of stone (or possibly no kids) could fail to be moved to tears by the touching little moments on screen, even if the whole thing is just an exercise in emotional blackmail to make you buy more bubble bath.
I, like many others with little ones who are too quickly becoming big ones, could have easily felt a bit sad that those days with my precious baby have passed (although I imagine the excessive broodiness it also caused will probably win out in the end). No more lazy afternoons on the sofa with Joe fast asleep on my chest; no more soft and gentle bathtimes, cradling his head above the water; no more gazing down into his little face while he contentedly fed. Those little pleasures are long gone.
But then, yesterday afternoon, after he fell asleep in the car on the way home, we were able to lift Joe out of his car seat and into the house as he slumbered away, and we laid him on the sofa. We took this picture:
As I stood and watched him blissfully sleeping, I realised how happy it made me. Even though he’s not a baby anymore, each day still brings its own little pleasures:
A cry of “mummyyyy!” and a beaming smile as he runs towards me at nursery pick-up time.
Watching Peppa Pig together as he snuggles in just a little bit closer and rests his hands on mine.
The pride as he meticulously scrawls J-o-e with a crayon and looks at me to check I’m watching.
Never failing to be surprised by the things he remembers and his growing knowledge of the world.
Sharing his chocolate buttons with mummy and daddy.
A simple ‘love you’ in his little voice, and an unexpected peck on the cheek.
Watching him sleep.
These are life’s little pleasures. Don’t pine for the past when the present is so wonderful.