Having a sick baby is no fun, but the adorable tiny raspy voice and a willingness to cuddle are definitely silver linings. Camryn is not a cuddler and I haven’t rocked her to sleep in ages, but tonight I did. Tonight she was all sorts of falling apart. She cried floods of gigantic sick-baby tears and everything I offered her was answered with nothing short of utter devastation. And so we cuddled in the chair, read an entire 6-book Curious George anthology, and I rocked my baby to sleep. Make that my toddler. I watched her sleep, such a rare occurrence, and I thought about a conversation I’d had with a friend at the park.
My friend had two–a toddler and a nearly newborn. She expressed with honestly her struggles with the toddler–hitting and pushing other kids, yelling at other kids, shattering bottles of nail polish on Walmart floors–the works. She gazed at her new baby adoringly and said “please can you never grow up to be 2!” Obviously, she loves both of her children, but she said that right now, her newborn was just easier to love.
It made me remember the first days, weeks, and months of motherhood. There were many many moments of complete adoration. Moments of staring at my baby with total amazement and awe that I had created this human being. Of just swelling with pride and joy–her eyes are perfect, her nose is perfect, her hands are so tiny! She’s amazing! She’s mine! I have the incredible blessing and privilege of caring for this little girl every day. I felt so lucky, so happy, so amazed.
I still feel that way about her, but there’s no doubt things are different. Toddlerhood–it’s tough. She pushes my buttons and patience to the max every day, and with her on the move I’m more inclined to be annoyed that I can’t get things done, less inclined to sit around loving her. But I want to make sure and take the time to just watch her sleep or play or laugh. I want to be amazed by how beautiful her smile is and all of the sweet things she does. To sit still and stare while my heart fills all the way up and spills over.
And there she is crying again. . . I think it’s going to be a long night. Such is motherhood.