Alert the media: I’ve had the toilet paper on the roll for THREE days now and not one incident of Maya running through the apartment, gleefully dancing with the entire roll of toilet paper flying behind her, a rhythm gymnast in the making. She did spin it a few times and I could tell she was flirting with the thought of running wild with the tp, but after I gave her a brief “hey!” she smiled coyly and walked away. This is a huge advancement in my life because I’ve had to keep the tp on the top shelf for the past year. I almost feel like a normal adult again.
There are certain conditions unlikely to change anytime in the near future. Like the fact that my home is constantly cluttered with Mega Blocks, toddler books, stuffed animals and puzzles. As I type this, she is racing her Scoot N Zoom through the living room, crashing into her blocks repeatedly and laughing hysterically. I pick up the toys; she destroys. This is the way of our world.
I will (seemingly) forever have pudgy finger smudges on my tv and nose and mouth prints on my windows. I will likely continue to step on random Cheerios that escape the clutch of my vacuum cleaner. I will have near heart-attacks due to the sudden, ear-piercing squeals thrown from Maya’s body because she’s excited to see a dog outside. And I will keep plucking various objects- such as bugs and bundles of dirt- out of her mouth.
However, I will have the privilege of being on the receiving end of her sweet hugs and kisses. I get to hear all of her “secrets” and listen to her lengthy, babbling stories. I get to see her face light up and dimples crater her cheeks as she breaks into belly laughs. I get the “ahhbo mama” (love you) while she wraps her arms around me.
It’s been a struggle, but life is getting easier. I think the first year is the hardest for everyone period. It just seems especially more so when you’re the sole parent. Then the babe start sleeping through the night, walking and yapping and she begins to morph into this independent creature who never fails to amaze you.
This second year has been less about struggle and more about adapting, letting things go and living in the moment, because that’s what toddlers do. They are right here, right now. When they pour their cereal on the floor, it’s because they want to see what happens or because they want to watch your face twist into a Quasimodo expression as your voice jumps an octave. Which, you have to admit, must be pretty damn funny. They live in the moment, which makes it easier to do so yourself. There will soon be a time when she starts planning and plotting…
I thought about this today as I was looking through her baby photos. While every day seemed like an eternity, the past twenty months have flown by. One minute she can’t hold her own bottle and the next she’s getting into the fridge and getting the milk out by herself. I’ve watched her grow into this tiny person. It’s an incredible experience and I can’t imagine missing one single bit of it, let alone all of it.
The next thing I know, she’ll be off to school and I’ll be thinking about this time, right here, right now. Not long from that moment, she’ll be graduating, just as Josh will be this year. It’s absolutely crazy.
But for now, I have to be in this moment, so please excuse me while I fish my coasters out of the air conditioning unit.