I read an article the other day about how every stage of motherhood is a season – here for a short time before something changes. The main purpose of the article was to remind moms that every stage of baby-hood has its own challenges and rewards. When kids are older and more self-reliant, that’s when mom’s can more freely decorate their home and spend time cooking gourmet meals and get lots of reading done. But when kids are younger, that’s when moms get to play the made-up games, snuggle the babies, and rock their kids to sleep. Each stage has its own positives and negatives, and don’t waste the positives of one season by wishing you were in a different one.
It really struck a chord with me. Though I don’t like to think of myself this way, I really like to have control. In fact, I think its one of the reasons why teaching part time right now is good for me – I go to work and I have complete control (sorta) over my classroom. I set the mood, I set the rules, I set the learning expectations, I set the social expectations, for better or worse. But at home right now, Jaylee is in control of most of those things. And I feel like I spend a lot of time trying to organize the chaos of this particular season of motherhood, when I should just be enjoying my babies. Obviously, I can’t just quit doing laundry (oh! the dream!). But I can change my attitude and learn to let go of my need to control my environment. I can try, anyway.
But it got me thinking – there are so many wonderful things that my children are doing RIGHT NOW that I will miss when this season is over. And so I wanted to write a couple of them down so that I can look back and remember their special behaviors as babies.
Jaylee’s very favorite game right now is a game she called “Stars Gone Get You!”. We take this star light projector into her room and turn off all the lights and chase each other around with the stars. And then she takes the box from me and chases me. When I am “tagged”, I have to fall down and play dead bug. She lays on my chest to be a dead bug, and then I tickle her, she lifts my head to help me get up, and we do it all over again.
She also LOVES watching shows, particularly Color Crew or Curious George. Her favorite mode of transportation is to climb on her daddy’s back and say “hold on!!” And right now, over the baby monitor, I can hear that she is playing in her room instead of taking a nap. She doesn’t take very many naps these days.
Her diet right now consists of Ramen, cereal, crackers, chips (which we’ve stopped buying), french fries, “chocolate” milk, and the occasional piece of “B” (aka bread). She used to love strawberries, but I bought her a package and she doesn’t seem interested in them anymore.
She’s also deathly afraid of the robot. And if she wants you to come play and you’re not coming, she’ll come over and grab your finger to drag you along. She is constantly moving – climbing, running, dancing, singing, playing. Until she needs some down time and goes to take a “cig break” in her bed – where the pacifier lives. She’ll love the paci leash for a little while, and then come back out later when she’s full of energy again.
This boy LOVES to be involved in everything that’s going on. He’s getting very close to crawling, and will lunge forward from a sitting position to grab at whatever he is interested in. Usually he then ends up on his stomach in a beached whale position and cries for someone to come save him.
When he goes to sleep, he MUST have something rubbing on his little nose. In his bed, this is usually one of his swaddle blankets. He doesn’t fall asleep in my arms very often anymore, but when he does, he nuzzles up to make sure my shirt (or bra if we’re nursing) is rubbing against the bridge of his nose.
He also really likes to have his arm tucked behind his back. I think this is left over from the swaddle days, when we’d put him in the “super swaddle” and one arm would usually end up behind his back.
I can’t get over how cute his chubby little baby hands are. He’s learning how to use his index finger and thumb like a pincher, but he’s very clumsy and drops things all the time.
He spends most of him time riding around on my hip as we follow his big sister. And when he’s hungry, he lets me know by gnawing at my shoulder, leaving big wet marks from his drool. I’ll miss those wet marks when they stop.
If his current toy has a tag on it, that is the most interesting part. In fact, toys aren’t really any good unless they have a tag on them. One day I’m going to give him his last sink bath, and my heart will hurt when that happens. Sink bath babies are some of my very favorite.
So there you go. There are my current favorite parts of this particular season with my children. My least favorite is the laundry, the dirty house, the three ring circus act it takes to go somewhere, and the strict nap schedule that must be followed. But truly, none of those really matter when I think about how wonderful my little children are. And if I can keep my mindset on how this season of motherhood is fleeting, perhaps I’ll be able to actually enjoy even the not-so-fun parts.