** Sorry everyone, my blogs are becoming a little sappy and disorganized at times. That's the late pregnancy brain kicking in =)
I had this envision in my head, before my daughter was born, that I wanted to raise an independent child. I wanted her, from an early age, to feel comfortable in her own skin, trust her own instincts and be comfortable with others. So, with every stage of development, I anticipated her next milestone accomplishment. When she was a baby, I looked forward to the day she would roll over. As an infant, I couldn’t wait to try solids. And crawling was something we worked on diligently every day. I encouraged her to interact with peers and family members. And finally, with walking, I started getting antsy. I couldn’t wait to see her take her first steps, which she finally did at 13 months.
And then we had some more challenging milestones (or maybe I’ll call them stages.. or better phases) I just couldn’t wait to get past. We had a colic for about 6 months. I dreamt about the day I would have a happy, smiling baby. We still don’t sleep through the night and I listen with an envious ear when I hear other moms talk about getting 8 hours on a consistent basis. And the “I only want mommy” stage we are going through right now, in which my daughter will hardly go to anyone else, even her dad. I do love that she wants me and only me, but it is exhausting to ALWAYS be the one to put her to sleep, give her a bath and handle the middle of the night business and on and on- Especially with the upcoming arrival of our second daughter in a few short months.
People always tell you, “appreciate them while they are young because they grow up fast”. But that doesn’t make any sense to a new mom who is in the thick of just trying to figure everything out. But it finally resonated with me the day my daughter took those first steps, that moment I had been looking forward to for sooo long. It was Mother’s Day and it was the day that Reagan decided to let go of the table and walk on her own. It was the most precious thing to watch. Each step was so concentrated and calculated. Her little arms were held way up high in efforts to keep a balance.. and then caboom…she’s fall. She’s get back up again, little arms in the air and take a few more steps. You could just see the look in her face, the determination, the “I think I can, I think I can” mind set. As we sat in the living room together- cameras, video cameras and all, my husband looked at me and said, “I’m going to miss this”. “What do you mean”, I replied. He went on to say, “It’s kind of like an ending of an era. Our little girl will never be a baby again. That’s it”. “OMG”, I thought, “he was right”. I spent all of this time anticipating this moment and now all I wanted was to freeze time. He went on to say, “next week, walking will be second nature to her… her little arms will go down, because she won’t need them to balance and she won’t calculate every step… in fact, she won’t know any different”. How is it that my husband can put me into sentimental check?? I thought it was supposed to be the other way around. But he was so right, just like that, two weeks later it was gone. The cute balancing and wobbling was replaced with confident strides. The crawling disappeared and walking was second nature…. And my baby was a toddler.
I had a sentimental moment right then and realized everything passes before your eyes, the good and the bad. For us, the colic eventually subsided… and the sleeping -well, that’s still an issue. But I started to realize, "the only mommy stage" isn't such a bad deal. Because one day, my daughter won’t only want me. One day, she will want to hang out with her friends instead of her parents. One day, it won’t be cool to give her baths anymore. One day she is going to have me park three blocks away from school so her friends don’t see her get out of the car. One day she will go off to college and get married. One day it will all be gone.
The first few years (I’ve only been on the job for 1 ½ so that’s all I know)... they do go by fast. As hard as it has been for me to adapt to motherhood and weather the storms we’ve encountered, they all seem like a distant memory and baby grew up in the blink of an eye.
Seeing how fast that first year went, and how fast my daughter went from newborn to infant to toddler, I think I’ll stop and smell the roses a little more going forward. There is no need to hurry on to the next developmental stage. Of course I'd love a full nights sleep, but I'll catch up on all that later- sometimes watching Yo Gabba gabba at 2:00am is fun... ok that might be stretching it)But most importantly, I am going to enjoy the fact that, right now, I am my daughter’s best friend and she loves spending time with me.