Nancy is six months old. She's no longer a little baby. She's now a baby who before long will be crawling, and not long after that, walking. Then talking. Then fast forward not that long to school. Picking out her own clothes to wear. Friends she confides in instead of me. Then boyfriends. Then a whole massive world of trouble with hormones and arguments and me being the most embarrassing thing in her life.
I can't bear it.
At the moment Nancy looks at me like there's no one else in her world. I can make her smile just by wiggling her around, and she laughs without fail if I blow a raspberry on her tummy. Its all so uncomplicated. I've got a tiny best friend who thinks I'm the acest. And I don't want that to change. For her to be hurt by anyone, or upset, or let down. I want her to always look at me like I'm the centre of her world, because I want always to protect her. From everything.
I'll end up one of those weirdo parents who never lets their child do anything without them. Try and become mates with Nancy's friends. Go to gigs with them and pretend I'm well into trance or whatever the music of choice will be in 2027. Be the first to volunteer to go on school trips as the extra helper. I'll try anything to be the house that all the kids want to come to hang out in after school. Bribe them with sweets when they're young and booze when they're older. And the other mums won't get it. They wont understand what secret I have to making our home so cool. The secret of sheer desperation.
It will start with small pushes for independence. Like pulling out the hair clip I've put in her hair. And end up with not wanting to go on holiday with us in favour of going to Malaga with her mates.
The first time I remember thinking I wish someone had asked my opinion was when dad took me and my sister to get our hair cut when I was 6 and she was 3. He instructed the hairdresser on a style without consultation, and we both came out with bowlies. Must have been pretty awful for the hairdresser as these two little girls burst into tears at the sight of their own hairdos. But must have been even worse for dad as he realised that his babies weren't babies anymore.
Nancy's outgrown her crib. In fairness in comes as no surprise. The other morning I found her asleep with her arms and legs poking out through all of the slats like one of The Twits. Her big cot is in her own room which is the next step, but I can't stand the thought of her moving out of our room. I love listening to her breathing when she's asleep. Or sneaking a quick peep at her if I nip to the loo in the middle of the night.
So we bought her a travel cot as a buffer as its big enough that she can sleep starfish style, but small enough that it'll squeeze into our bedroom. The woman in Mothercare said babies can't stay in them for any length of time. That 2 weeks is the max.
So I've got 14 days to get my head around her growing up.
Or buy a bigger house.