You have to read it like the original Otis Redding. You have to feel the yearning.
For my arms are feeling it when I hold my small girl close, when I feel the recognition in my muscles, the knowing how to hold this little body, and the sadness these arms feel already, knowing she won't be so little for much longer.
It's so ridiculously biological it's almost laughable.
I'm not a big baby fan, both my girls I've enjoyed so much more after their first birthdays. I don't miss breastfeeding (much), I don't miss having that small being ON me all the time, I love being able to communicate with words, I love watching them grow more independent.
But my arms, they refute all of this when I hold my Stella close, especially in her warm and floppy moments, and the muscles sing with yearning, with already full-blown nostalgia, with the shattering knowledge that the next baby, if any, that I'll hold with this kind of kinship, will be a grandchild.
She's becoming such a big girl.
She LOVES a doll. In fact, the more the lovelier. Whereas Frieda's only ever had one doll (the still so named Zeberebareba), and was never particularly into playing dolly, Stella has a host of 'babas' - all of whom get canoodled and paraded around and pushed in the pram/wheelbarrow/random box.
She HATES orange food. Barring cheese, she won't even look twice at butternut, carrot, peach, melon, pawpaw etc.
She LOVES her mummy, and wants to sleep with me every night. I pretend to be mildly annoyed by this and half-heartedly resist, but at some point in the night our love can no longer be denied and we end up together, in her bed or mine. 'Cos, mah baybeee see?
She HATES hats. She LOVES cats. She SCREAMS when outraged and SQUEALS when happy. She LOVES/HATES/LOVES/HATESbutmostlyLOVES her big sister.
She wields a mean bitch-slap, can scratch like a tiger and still likes to bite me.
She's saying the same first proper word as Frieda did: juice.
She LOVES her dad and wanders disconsolately around the house carrying one of his slippers calling 'Daddy?'
She's a big little person, our Stella. I love watching her develop, but I wish she wouldn't grow so fast.
Wish she'd stay my little woman for just a little bit longer.