Today I had a mom moment that melts your heart and breaks it all at once. I needed to get out of the house. A lot of little things were going “wrong”. I was getting plain grouchy. So I did my best to patiently explain to Easton that monster slippers will not work in the rain, and to get us out of the house quickly, with promise of chicken nuggets. I then served my toddler a fried fast food meal in the car seat. And, sent frustrated-worn-out mom texts to my husband.
We pulled up to the store. I got out, and noticed right away that my toddler who never stops even strapped into the car seat, was peacefully asleep. For a good two minutes, I stood by my side of the car debating if I should let him sleep or get him out and go in. But, I didn’t know where to go where he could continue to sleep. And, I drove all the way into the next town to come to this store. So, I chose the latter.
I unbuckled him gently, and hoisted him to my hip where his head flopped to my shoulder. The walk in didn’t budge him. Neither did the one hand fumbling for a cart. A sweet passer-by commented on how darling he was, and still nothing. I began to walk into the store. Awkward and uncomfortable as can be. 32 weeks big with a nearly 30 lbs toddler switching from arm, to bump, to arm all while pushing a shorter than usual shopping cart with one hand. This sweet little thing didn’t even bat an eye when I fumbled my jacket off. A dang near Olympic event, by the way. So, I just slowly walked and adjusted through the store for as much as my pregnant self could take – 10 mins maybe. We got compliments and I’d smile. But, I was far from comfortable.
It wasn’t until the long check out line, where it all really clicked. I looked down at my very favorite sleeping face. Admiring his long full lashes, sweet little nose, and that sleeping pout, I could see the tiny baby he used to be. I have held this human wrapped up in my arms from 6 lbs to 26 lbs. I have never gone more than 12 hours without seeing him. This exact scenario use to happen often 20 lbs and two years ago. In those moments of feeling achy, tired, and especially pregnant hoisting around a baby that’s too big for this, I couldn’t believe how I have seen him, felt him, grow up before my very eyes and it is still unreal! I haven’t missed hardly a minute and it’s still not enough.
His sleepy face could still fool me that there is baby left, but not nearly enough. Every day he is learning new things, and surprising us with things we’ve never even practiced with him. He’s learning to count, knows his colors, works on his ABC’s, says “May I please”, and takes his dishes to the sink. He is well on his way to being A KID! But, today he was just my baby for a short period of time. He was in his safe place and so content. And, I was in Mom heaven. This is 100% why I dreamt of being a mom! Nothing gets me like that sweet feeling of YOUR baby melted into you fast asleep.
Even though I’ve soaked in every snuggle like this, in all of the time he’s been here. He has still grown so big in the blink of an eye. I was reminded today by the simplicity of an extra sleepy toddler, how quick this parenting thing goes by! I adore every sweet moment. And, thankfully still get a lot. But, the weight of his two-year old body was the sad reminder that he will continue to grow.
He may still be a very sweet boy. My guess is he will be. But, we only have a little bit longer left before he won’t want to kiss and hug me on demand. Or snuggle in Mama’s bed as he drinks his bedtime milk. I am saying this all in the terrible two stage, you guys! I know there are a lot of very frustrating moments in raising a little human. It’s exhausting. You give all of yourself all of the time. And, they still cry. The still fight sleep. They still throw tantrums. And, get into everything.
But, hold on to every precious moment, because time moves a whole lot faster now as a parent. And, it’s the saddest most unfair thing in the world. Because all you want is that tiny little baby to sleep in your arms for ever.