Wednesday, September 9, 2015
I blinked and she grew up. How can so much change in such a short period of time? I am starting to get a slight taste of what so many parents experience when they are sending their baby off to college, and tell them that it feels like yesterday that they were holding them in their arms for the first time. How is it that when you are on the treadmill for a minute, it feels like an eternity of pain that won’t end, but a year with a child feels like a nanosecond that you would give anything to last just a little bit longer?
And what is so ironic is how different I felt a short time ago. Those first few sleepless nights felt like they would never end, and I was BEGGING for time to speed up. Then once Zoe was sleeping through the night, I wished for one more middle of the night breastfeeding session surrounded by sweet silence with only the sound of her breath. I remember maternity leave DRAGGING and telling every stay-at-home mom I knew what saints they were for doing this job 24 hours of Every. Single. Day. When the day finally came for me to go back to work, I would have given anything for just one more day. One more ‘lazy’ afternoon of her tiny curled up body snuggled up on my chest.
I wanted so badly for her to start crawling then walking so I would know that she was on track with all those ridiculous milestones designed to make moms paranoid, only to ask time to stop when she started running away from me. (Side Bar – I think that the person who came up with the list of what your kid should be doing by each month of their life, is the same jerk who came up with the wedding check list on the knot that makes Brides turn 50 shades of cray because its 3 weeks out and you haven’t hand written your place cards yet.)
I know it’s irrational, and I wish I could blame it on hormones, but every feeling that I experience as Zoe grows up contradicts each other. I want her to be brave, independent, and confident. But I want her to need me. I want her to walk on her own and get more comfortable in her movements. But I want to hold and carry her everywhere. I get so excited every time she learns something new, and can do something on her own. But I get sad that it is one less thing that she needs me for.
So as I watch my little girl, who is no longer a baby, run straight into her classroom for the first day of preschool with a huge grin on her face, I felt so proud of that brave, independent, confident girl. But I couldn’t help but shed a tear because she didn’t need me. She had it under control. She gave me my hug, blew me a kiss goodbye and that was it. My first taste of saying goodbye. My first step as a parent, needing to let go.
When Logan and I first found out we were pregnant, I asked him what he was most excited about. He said he was most excited about teaching her stuff. Having this little sponge that we get to help learn about the world, and grow into a woman that is a reflection of both of us. But what I’m quickly learning is that she is going to be teaching us a lot more than we will ever be able to pass along to her. She has already taught me how to function on 15 minutes of sleep and caffeine, endless amounts of patience, how little you can care about your personal appearance when running errands, and most importantly, how to love UNCONDITIONALLY. I’ve had more life lessons in 19 months than I can ever imagine giving her in 19 years. I can’t wait to see what is in store for us… all I ask is… please slow down.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
There are some days that can only be described as perfect. Last Saturday was that day. Zoe allowed us to sleep in until 9 a.m. That’s right, 9 a.m. Feel free to say how much you hate me right now. Then after we all enjoyed our coffees and milk, we took a nice family walk down to the farmer’s market. Every little kid wanted to pet Mallory, Zoe smiled and made her sweet talking sounds from her stroller, while Logan and I tasted some of the fine local cuisine from the food trucks. We then took our sweet angel to the Florida Aquarium so she could fall in love with the ocean the way her mommy does. She walked around, enjoyed looking at all the colorful fish and was as happy as could be. Even without a nap, she never once acted cranky or got fussy. Again, feel free to tell me how much you hate me right now. When we got home from our day of fun, Zoe continued to play until it was time for her to go to bed. She went down without a fight at her bedtime, giving us the whole evening to be able to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It was the best day ever.
Then there are days like Monday… which was not perfect. Not even close. It started off with Zoe waking up before our alarm went off. It is amazing how much 2 minutes makes a huge difference in my attitude. We got up to greet our happy girl and hurried to feed her so we could both get ready for work. We both had meetings to prepare for that day, so we didn’t have time to ease into our morning. So we decided to bring Zoe into the bathroom with us while we took turns taking showers and getting ready. I put a blanket down on the floor with a few of her favorite toys and she was content.
I go into the closet to dress while Logan brushed his teeth with Zoe playing at his feet. Not even 30 seconds later, I hear a smack followed by a distressed cry. I come into the bathroom where I see Logan holding our blood covered child with the toothbrush laying in the sink. All I see are blood and teeth particles on my sweet girl’s face. Apparently she tried to stand up and fell in the process. I quickly grab her from Logan, so that he can get his composure while I try to calm her down and assess the situation. Thank goodness that during this time, Margie got to our house and was able to assist. I was able to hold her and calm her down while Margie cleaned her face and Logan called the pediatrician and pediatric dentist to see what we could do quickly. Suddenly, those meetings we were both preparing for were a distant thought. (Side Bar – even though Logan was the one with her, this would have happened to anyone with her. It was a fluke accident.)
Here comes the good news. I’ll fast forward through the next hour where Zoe calms down and is no longer in pain, we get to the dentist, get X-Rays done and discover that while she did break her two front teeth, it was the best case scenario in broken teeth. The roots were not damaged and they are not loose. So while she will have a busted looking grill, she will still have all her teeth.
Once we all get home and compose ourselves, we go back to business as usual. Logan and I both got to our meetings and were able to work… mildly still shook up from the morning. That evening, I took Zoe to her swim lessons since she was acting just fine. We had a great class where Zoe enjoyed splashing me in the face and swimming like she always does.
After class, we did the normal dance we always do where I try to change out of my wet clothes while also keeping an eye on Zoe in a bathroom. It is never a fun process. I normally sit her on the counter with one hand on her while I try to one-handedly undress out of my wet clothes and put on dry clothes. All while keeping Zoe from falling, sticking her finger in a socket or something else gross or dangerous. Then it hits me. I have to pee. But what do I do with Zoe? I can’t leave her on the counter. She will suicide jump and break all her remaining teeth. I can’t hold her and pee at the same time… that is a 25 lb. squat that I would be doing with a squirmy child. Plus how the heck do you wipe? I can’t put her on the floor because, well, that is disgusting. So I took our towels that are kind of wet and make a makeshift blanket for her, hand her a toy, and try to pee as quickly as I can. Not quick enough… she instantly starts to crawl off the towels towards a random kid’s bandaid sitting on the floor. I am able to jump up, mid-stream, just in time to prevent her from putting that nasty germ infested thing into her mouth. (SHARK TANK OPPORTUNITY – Find a solution to this problem when you have a child that can’t stand and you need to use a public bathroom. Think of me when you make your first Million.)
I shake off how grossed out I am, wipe all exposed parts of Zoe’s body with a baby wipe, (yes I know that didn’t do anything) and run out to the car. On the way home I stop at Walgreens to pick up some baby pain reliever to make sure the swelling of Zoe’s mouth goes down and she is able to get a good night’s sleep. I carry Zoe on my hip and walk into the store and B-Line straight to the baby aisle. I can’t seem to find any of the baby pain relievers, so I ask a worker nearby if they can point me in the right direction. After they look at me like I have a 3rd eye on my forehead, they tell me which aisle to go to. I grab the Infant Tylenol and go to check out. The woman in front of me kept staring at us, so I thought maybe she was looking at Zoe’s crazy swimmer hair. I start doing my cat-like pawing at her head to try to make it look better before I am able to grab my meds and leave. The cashier gives me the same awesome expression as the woman in line and the worker earlier. I shrug it off, even though this is the first time people haven’t told me how incredibly adorable my child is. It must be her teeth. (I start obsessing in my head.)
We get home and see Logan shortly after. He immediately makes the same face. ‘Why are you looking at me like that?’ I ask. ‘Because you have mascara all over your face.’ He innocently replies. I had it ALL OVER my face. It looked like I was crying black tears. When Zoe splashed me in the face like she always does, it made my mascara run badly. Never once did I check a mirror. Every. Single. Person. I ran into saw me look like a train wreck. What sweet icing on top of my crap-cake day. Worst. Day. Ever. But the next morning, when she woke me up a few minutes before alarm went off, and I saw my smiling snaggle-tooth girl, she reminded me that a few of these really bad days were worth it for the payoff of those perfect ones.