From Baby to Toddler
Nothing speeds up time faster then having children. One moment, we are sitting in our childhood bedrooms, anticipating tomorrow’s test, the next we are handed a little creature and thrusted into the life of parenthood. Our anxieties were once surviving high school and avoiding the mean girls, and now they are wrestling through diaper changes and our child’s health. It is strange what time does to us.
The first time I held my daughter after she was born, she was incredibly light, fragile and so tiny. I remember thinking how amazing it was that the little creature I had in my arms fit so perfectly in my belly. The fact that she started out as this small little spec, and suddenly she was on the outside, so beautiful and so very real. I remember being so afraid of dropping her. I got nervous when other people handled her. Even when my husband held her, I felt anxious. Spoiler: no one dropped her.
For me, the newborn stage was hard, but I still tried to soak her in as much as I could. I snuggled her close to my face, and I absorbed her baby smells. Her noises echoed in my ears. Her adorable Newborn clothes were big on her. She swam in them, and I was blown away by it. She loved being close to Mommy, the only time she would tolerate being put down was in her rock and play. She loved to eat. She ate a lot, and she grew fast. Before I knew it, she was wearing 0-3, then 3-6. She skipped 6-9 and went straight to 12 months. And she kept growing.
My precious newborn is now a sweet and salty toddler. As I sit and type this, I can’t help but wonder where the time went. My baby is growing into her own little person and my heart is torn between wanting the clock to slow down, and anxious to get to know the woman she will become. She’s creating her own little personality; she’s got her own likes and dislikes. I feel like it was just yesterday when she was barely picking her head up, and now she’s running. Running through the grass, running away from me as I try to brush her teeth, running to her future, and I can’t make her slow down. The emotions that exist when a parent watches their child grow are so very conflicting.
My daughter is at that transition stage where she’s not quite full toddler, but not exactly a baby either. We are not ready for potty training just yet, but we’re moving away from the bottle. There is an ache that I can’t fully describe. Time is moving too fast. As much as I am trying to embrace each moment, I still can’t get the days to slow down. Everyday, she grows taller and I am regretting having to pack up the next set of clothing. On the other hand, it’s pretty exciting to see her grow into her own being, and become a little more independent.
I miss those days when we would snuggle on the couch together; when she would sleep in my arms for hours while I entertained myself with Netflix. I miss carrying her around against my chest as I walked the dog. How she sat in her car seat, sleeping at the restaurant or when I pushed her around in the stroller. Seeing her smile for the first time, and listening to her first laugh. Watching her gaze at me in wonder and curiosity. Packing away clothes that she’ll never wear again was a sad realization that she was not going to be small for long. As I look back at her photos, my heart yearns for those days with her again. To hold her tiny little body in my arms and watch her as she sleeps.
At the same time, however, I anticipate the girl she will grow up to be. Seeing her become more of her own person is exciting and honestly, a little relieving. Watching her explore the world and discover how things work is fun to observe. She’s funny, she’s sassy, she’s spunky, she’s silly, she’s shy, and she is so incredibly loving. She gives hugs and kisses, she loves to walk, she loves her puppy and she’s definitely a mama’s girl. She’s starting to say more words and she understands me when I talk to her. She can pick her toys up when I ask, she’s almost putting on her own clothes, and she loves to talk. Watching her grow is sad, I miss her as a newborn, but this is honestly my favorite age so far.
Watching my baby become a unique individual is both rewarding and painful. The clock ticks on, the Earth continues to rotate, and life doesn’t pause. Not for a single moment. We can only catch a moment as we currently live in it, and hope it stays embedded into our memory, where we can play it over and over. Take a still shot and stay frozen with it as the hands of the clock continue to tick on. Precious memories and photographs will be the only thing that can take us back to specific days, yet they still won’t calm the ache in our hearts when we look up at our ever growing child.
Getting to see her grow up has been a blessing. It has been difficult at times, it has gone by extremely slow some days and exceptionally fast on others. I feel sad at times knowing that I will not get these times back with her and it’s bittersweet. Yet, I get to know her more each day, as she grows, and I can’t help but admire her and adore her more. This period of time is so precious, and I’ve had so much fun with her. I can’t wait to see what the next age brings. I’ll miss this time I know, but I’ll embrace each stage as they come.
The future reveals itself to us in pieces, each day, like a puzzle. One we put together bit by bit, and watch as the fragments create a whole picture. As time leaves us with memories, it gives us a glimpse of what is to come. What was, is branded in to our hearts and what will be knocks at the front door. I hold my beautiful daughters hand, take in a deep breath, and I turn the knob to meet our fate because time does not stand still,baby and my daughters future awaits us.
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