The days around here have been…challenging recently. My sweet one year old is quickly approaching two, and she is developing all of the opinions to match. Every silly toddler parent joke makes so much more sense now. She really did melt down today because I gave her milk—the milk she asked for. I stood there, just looking at her, not sure of how to respond while she threw herself down on the ottoman in a dramatic fashion that would color any Disney princess impressed: one arm flung forward, the other crooked with her face buried into her elbow.
Sometimes I think about when, exactly, did the new baby smell wear off? What were we doing the last time I inhaled that sweet scent? I would have lingered a little longer. I remember chubby baby legs and squishy little hands. I remember toothless grins and wispy hair.
You know what I don’t really remember so well? The long nights that, at the time, I know seemed endless. I know they happened; I remember feeling tired and drained of answers or methods to soothe her yet wordless cries. But I don’t really remember. It is all a haze—a sweet smelling cloud of baby cuddles.
Today is the one year anniversary of my very first post on the Orlando Moms Blog, and it was a particularly vulnerable look into my current feelings trying to balance my life with a baby. I felt a little exposed, a little naked in my first post, but it felt like a fresh perspective seeing it out in writing. Rereading it now, a full year later, it brings back those memories that have since been muted by all of those well-intentioned motherly hormones. Especially now, when the days seem oh so much longer, it is a nice reminder that the years are short, that I will one day look back on Vi’s sass with a smile.
This is an excerpt from my original post.
When the Days Are Long
Curled up against my body in a soft white blanket, my baby girl is finally sleeping peacefully. It took rocking and singing and nursing and the pacifier that I thought we had successfully gotten rid of a month ago, but she eventually closed her eyes and slipped off to sleep with a whimper.
Sore gums where three more little teeth will soon sprout have kept her on edge and cranky. All she wants is to be held and to let me know how miserable she is with pitiful noises, her big eyes shiny with tears and heavy with sleepiness.
Every night I hold her close and sing to her, just like when she was a newborn and wasn’t yet able to sleep through the night. She is only nine months old, but it has been the fastest nine months of my life. We brought her home, brand new and swaddled, and seemingly overnight she grew. Now she is smarter, faster, and filled with her very own feisty, loving personality.