Where has the time gone?
My daughter’s second birthday is fast approaching and it has me thinking a lot about those early days. While I’ve definitely been known to wax nostalgic about the time when she was just a little swaddled up bug, I’ve never been the kind of mama who truly mourned the passing of the baby phase. For the most part I’m just grateful to have survived her infancy without any visible scars.
My seemingly callous perspective has much to do with the fact that when it came to the newborn stage, my daughter was the absolute worst. I’m not exaggerating; even our sleep trainer told us that Tallulah was the most stubborn baby she’d ever encountered. (!!!)
But that’s just it…she was a baby. She wasn’t supposed to be easy; no human signs up for parenthood thinking, “this is gonna be a breeze!” (That’s why companies have spent billions and developed national conventions—like the ABC Kids Expo—where tens of thousands of baby brands come together and fill the equivalent of three football stadiums with products guaranteed to help you navigate this crazy parenting journey.)
Ironically, her first birthday was really hard for me. The year had flown by way too fast (partly because I had missed most of the summer working like crazy on Celebrate) and I wasn’t prepared to have a walking, talking human. From everything I gathered from other mamas and blogs, the baby stage was a piece of cake compared to toddler-land and I wasn’t sure I could handle things getting any more difficult.
[Side note: Yes, I’m telling you that I didn’t always enjoy having a small baby. I am beyond grateful to be a mother, and I have so much respect, empathy and heartache for the women who struggle with fertility. But as a new mother, I was capable of feeling profoundly blessed for bringing this little human into the world and also totally and utterly overwhelmed. I can also walk and chew gum…for the record. So while I loved the shit out of my teething 9 month-old, I wasn’t necessarily having a good time.]
I feel like long before ever becoming a parent, we are all warned about the “terrible twos.” We are told that it is a life lived in utter chaos and without reason. Her first birthday had snuck up on us so quickly, that I was convinced the “terrible twos” would come barreling at me like a damn freight train.
And it did. This year came and went so quickly that I’m not sure where the time has gone (and according to my dermatologist, I am desperately in need of a refresh on filler).
But much to my surprise, I’ve found that my near two-year-old is not just manageable, she’s actually enjoyable! Honestly…she’s super freaking fun. These days, I have a built-in best friend. She’s my little mini partner-in-crime and literally one of three people in this whole world that I can be around constantly and never get sick of (that might actually be a lie). We hit the beach together, we have Disney dance parties together, we go shoe shopping together, we bake cookies together, we eat meals together…and I’m even getting her an early start on my favorite thing of all time: CANDYLAND!
Yes, her tantrums blow—and she has plenty. When she’s having a bad day, life can really, really suck and we are all victimized by her reign of terror.
However, most days, she’s just a normal little human who likes to play, read books, talk and laugh…and who has an occasional freak-out; but now she’s at an age where small amounts of reason, logic, and, yes, bribery begin to work. And to be totally transparent, let us not underestimate the power of “THE MOM STARE.” I grew up terrified of my mother—and still am— but I also recognized that she’s my best friend and the one person who always has my back.
Long story longer, we’ve moved on from the demanding baby phase (and yes, I’m still so grateful to have had it…and all the things I’m supposed to say), and NOW we get to begin the business of ENJOYING being a family together: going to new places, seeing new things and discovering this beautiful world through my daughter’s eyes.
So bring on those not-so terrible twos…I’m ready for you. I’ve even forgotten enough of those crazy early days to start thinking about a second baby. But let’s get through this election before I even CONSIDER putting away the Sauv Blanc.