The way he is looking at me with all that love pouring out of his eyes....The way she is tucking her beloved teddy into bed and singing him a goodnight lullaby...The way he is running out on to the football pitch with his team mates, arms over each other's shoulders...
Sometimes you take pictures. Sometimes you take pictures in your head. 'I'll never forget this moment' you repeat to yourself.
But lets take a little look back in time shall we?
How many of those moments can you actually recall right now?
Me? Oh, about zero. You see they've all gone into that black hole of motherhood. The only thing I can remember is the right now of parenting. The age they are currently flying through. All other ages and stages are lost to me.
Am I alone in this?
I met another mother in the park recently and we laughed together at her littlest one desperately trying to pull herself up on the see-saw and toddle to the swing.
'How old is she?' I asked.
'14 months' other mother replied.
'Ah...' I tried to recall any of my three at 14 months. Nada. 'That's a lovely age' I lied. Well it may well be - I just can't remember it.
'What age were yours when they started walking?' she asked.
The truth is I hadn't a breeze. I didn't know if they were one or two. I hadn't a clue as to what age they could have been other than this other mother's child in front of me.
'Um...about 14 months??' I asked hopefully.
She shot me a suspicious look and we departed ways soon after.
But it's not just the first steps I can't remember. It's every single milestone and stage. If it didn't happen yesterday then forget about it.
Not long after that the eight year old came back with a questionnaire from school that we had to fill out together. We looked over the sheet:
Q. 1 My first words were.....
Not a notion. I tell him to put down 'Mama'. Dada's not around right now so I don't feel too bad.
Q. 2 I got my first tooth at.....
Nope. A year? Is that believable? I resort to Googling 'what age do babies get teeth'. 4 - 7 months apparently. Thank God I checked.
Q. 3 I took my first steps at....
Yessss I know this one! 14 months *cough*
Q. 4 My favourite food was...
Oh for Christsake. Chocolate? I can't say that. Bananas? Every kid loves bananas right?
The list went on and Google was put through it's paces. My child's made up milestones must have made him the most average averagster in Averageville.
And yes I know I have three kids so I should be three times more likely to know the answers to these questions, but the truth is I don't. I can't remember any of it.
For 99.99% of those years of babyhood I was in a sleep deprived alternative reality where just getting through the day was a cause for celebration.
And my celebration usually involved flopping onto the bed fully clothed and not getting up until one of them invariably woke up calling for me.
Looking back I finally realise what those stupid baby books are all about. At the time you think you won't forget those magical moments but the truth is that you just do people!
So write it down. Take pictures. Save those memories before it's too late.
Alternatively you can always be like me and resort to The Black Hole of Motherhood's best friend - Google.
Welcome to Averageville.
(FB Image credit)