Yesterday, Bibliomama made a statement that resonated with me.
"With so much of parenting, when you lose something you almost always get something equally (but differently) awesome in return."
I found this extremely encouraging. And when I thought more about it, I found it to be true of my experience as well. Sure, I miss (some of) those baby, toddler, and preschool days.
I started looking at the oldest posts on this blog and became verklempt. Talk among yourselves. (Sorry if you're too young to get that. Look it up on YouTube.)
I mean, who wouldn't miss this?
We’re in the middle of a language explosion around here. Mr. Blue’s vocabulary is expanding--seemingly like the universe, at an ever-increasing rate. At night Justin and I recount the things the words he’s spoken for the first time: “He said ‘medicine,’ didn’t he?” “Well, actually it was more like ‘medsih,’ but yeah.” He says simple sentences now, like “I walk stairs,” or “Mamaw go bye-bye.” With each addition to his vocabulary, my heart swells with pride, like he’s the first kid who ever learned to talk. Now the words are coming out so fast, I find myself thinking, “When did he learn to say that?”
Like every kid, though, he has his own unique names for some things. He calls his toothbrush his “Nemo,” even though he has no idea that’s what the decorative fish on it is named. The blanket he sleeps with is, inexplicably, an “otay.” Anything heart-shaped is a “vah-vah,” and until this week he called a light that can be switched on a “dawdaw.” Monday night Justin told me Mr. Blue said “light” instead, as he turned off the one in his room. (It seems so strange that we can pin down the exact day he started calling it a light.) I felt the pang that I’m already familiar with from Miss Pink’s toddler years. You know they have to learn the real word, but the nonsense one is so cute, you hate to see it go.
Mostly, though, I’m happy to be able to communicate with him the way I communicate best—with words. Of course I loved my children's first few months, but sometimes it was frustrating that the screaming bundle couldn’t just tell me what she or he wanted (and I’d have to haul my shirt up and see if that was it. Again.) Plus, I like newborns best when they aren’t doing anything; if they’re calm and still, it’s a good thing. Any communication from a tiny infant is an urgent call to action. Now Mr. Blue can run around pointing at things, identifying them, and having a conversation with me. “Oh! Pane! [pointing at sky]. Bird. Fower. Want swing, Mama. Where juice? Tank oo. Oh, poopy” (not always accurate, but still helpful).
Then I chase him down (not an easy task), hold him tight, and whisper, “Stay like this. Stay just like this, and don’t ever change.”
WEEP. Of course he didn't obey; no child except Peter Pan ever has. But now we have such fun conversations. Here's one we had this week:
L: Tuesday night is my least favorite night of the week.
Me: Oh, really? Why's that?
L: Well, Monday is Monday Night Football, and Wednesday night is church, so that's good. And then there's Thursday Night Football, I get to stay up later on Friday night, and there's more football on Saturday and Sunday. Tuesday night is the only night when nothing really happens.
Me: What a tragedy.
And I also find my daughter incredibly amusing. Tonight when we were watching "The Voice" she declared, "He killed it! It's so dead, it's already decaying!"
I remember when I was pregnant with C, Justin and I would talk about what his or her (we didn't find out the sex in advance) personality was going to be like. We were sure this baby would come into the world with some traits hardwired into the system. Sure enough, both kids brought their own personalities into the world, and although they have changed somewhat as they grew, I loved them then, and as they get older, I keep falling in love all over again with the people they are becoming.