I have a new baby. She came into my life two days ago but is already just shy of seven months old. Se looks a lot like my old baby, except that her head is bigger.

This baby can stay awake for two hours or more at a time. Like my old baby, she will only nap for a cycle at a time during the day, but unlike my old baby, she sleeps for maximum 2.5 or 3 hours a day. From about 2.30 pm she won’t sleep, and if we put her to bed, she will complain in the voice of an older baby, which is a voice you can practically hear the thoughts within. And they are not gentle thoughts like my old baby’s. Oh no. They are thoughts of wilful destruction, of havoc in the living room, of jumping and swiping and general mayhem.

I am learning the tired signs and the hungry signs of this new baby, and I am a bit slow on the uptake, because I keep mistaking her for my old baby.

This baby is a lot cheekier and it has to be said, more fun than the old baby. She likes hiding games, and surprises. She really looks at you, and touches your face with intent to know. Whilst she is more demanding than the old baby, wanting much more regular stimulation and rough and tumble games (this baby loves being held upside down and swung around, whereas the old baby would go so far as to let you bounce her in your lap), she is also sparking with smarts. The neural electrons are zipping around our apartment, zinging the air with the energy of the age of discovery, once considered in the distant human past, yet recreated every time my baby wakes up and says with her little, craning neck, “Go!”

I love my new baby just as much as my old baby. She is definitely harder to handle, and I get more exasperated and exhausted than before, a taste of things to come when this baby is replaced with a new toddler, and so on as the cycle goes. But I am also in the slightest awe of her. Watching my new baby take the world and try to play with it, eat it, see it and understand it is like watching our ancestral arthropods clamber into the sun for the very first time.