Bubba has now been street side of the belly for longer than she was inside. Still, I told her the other day, “I invented you.” But I could never have invented everything about her. It’s more than I could have imagined.

We have been through a lot of changes in the last month.

Bubba’s head is bigger

Bubba has gone through another “wonder weeks” transition, which rocked her world, literally. Her brain got bigger and changed the way it metabolises glucose. Apparently now she can understand “categories,” and is busy comprehending that a picture of a dog and our neighbour’s poodles are part of the same group. She has also started to comprehend her own power, and has been using it to get what she wants from her gullible parents (I reckon she wins that game 80% of the time in the first round, and 100% of the time in the second. We are featherweights to her championship, 0-sized belt).

My sister is leaving home

I feel like my soul has been through the wringer – you know, that battered feeling you get in your chest after a hard, emotional pummelling. It has to do with moving house – always stressful – and the changes in our lives. It has to do with bubba getting bigger and starting family day care later this week – so soon, too soon! It has to do with my heart turning over with another thud, as my sister transitions to supported disability care. Her move is getting very mixed up in my head with my bubba’s care, and so I overreact to any wish bubba might have, as if I could somehow make my sister’s life a little happier that way. It makes no sense. It makes total sense.

I remembered that I was not alone

My husband suggested that I take a few hours of downtime, and so I went for a drive on the weekend, alone. It breathed air into my self. I gathered myself with more confidence; I recalled that I was not only on the planet to fulfil other people’s needs. I had a chat with a friend who could advise me about this, and I made a pact to let go of some control – I had seized it, and then complained about how heavy it was. I carry around this load on my back, like a Nepalese grandmother, except she carries far more useful things like aluminium sheets and bundles of blankets, whereas my bundle is a load of ideas and strictures about pleasing others, taking care of others, and not being worthy of others’ love unless I do so. It has backfired if you find yourself dizzy with the absence of weight when you do step out, alone. It is time to make some changes, to the words in your head and the baseball bat you have been using to beat yourself with.

And then you find that your partner doesn’t mind at all; in fact, he was just waiting for you to say the word (and in my case, saying many of them for me so all I had to do was say, “Yes.”)