How did I suddenly become the mother of a one year old? This past year was both the shortest and longest year of my entire life. It seems like only yesterday that I was still pregnant and blogging away on bed rest. My body still feels as though it is healing from its traumatic childbirth experience. I still sometimes wake up at 3am and expect to nurse a tiny baby dozing in the bassinet beside my bed. However, those throaty, scratchy sounds of a newborn have long since abated.
Back then it seemed there was no end in sight of the sleepless nights, colicky behavior, and neediness that only a newborn baby can possess. Although everyone told me how “quickly it all goes by”, I wish I could travel back in time and advise my frazzled self.
After Baby J neared the end of newborn-dome and began smiling socially for the first time, I fell in love. Enchanted by his smiles, enraptured with his charm, I began enjoying motherhood. Between 6-8 months, he became the epitome of a perfect baby: He was content playing for long periods but couldn’t yet crawl or move. I used to place him on the family room floor strewn with toys and jump on my treadmill for a half hour. Those respite days are long over.
When he approached eight months, his little personality would surface at the most inopportune of moments. His father’s stubbornness would appear when things didn’t go quite his way. His mother’s restlessness would always prevail when out to dinner at a restaurant. Around eleven months, I suddenly woke up one morning and discovered that I no longer had a baby: I had a toddler instead. The change was so spontaneous that I was sure my baby was kidnapped in the middle of the night and replaced with an older child.
This weekend Jordan was presented with his first birthday “smash” cake, adorned with green icing. As he dove, fingers first into his mini-masterpiece, I was quite the adoring mother. A party guest actually congratulated me on making it through one year. As if getting through the first year of baby’s life is a huge accomplishment.
My husband, who loves to rid our house of antiquated items, already moved Jordan’s baby items out of the house. As my husband relegated the exersaucer into the garage, I was filled with nostalgia for the baby days. I must also donate books, toys, clothes, and gear that are suited for a baby, not a toddler. I can no longer use the excuse “I have a baby” for various reasons such as showing up late to work, not wearing make-up, or having a messy house. I doubt the “I have a toddler” excuse with garner as much sympathy and understanding.
So, as another momentous year in my life has come to a close, I look forward to the new challenges imposed by motherhood. Next, will be learning to walk, talk, and use the bathroom. While I will always reminisce about the “baby days” I look forward to more birthday cakes, celebrations, and watching g my toddler grow into a little boy….