I am not quite sure what the main direction of this blog post is , I just know that I am in disbelief that we have a toddler now!!! I guess before I had a child I always thought of 2-3 year olds as toddlers. But here we are with a 16 month old acting full-blown toddler. It came out of nowhere and I was not prepared. The tantrums, the hitting, the food throwing and pickiness, you’ve heard them all. I’ll be fooled into thinking her embrace is a hug until she rips herself out of my arms and plants a big ol’ slap across my face. And I feel like it was a really good day if I got her to eat anything other than chicken, pasta, or bread. One second she is the sweetest, kindest little angel and the next she is literally growling, screaming or just saying “nonono” repeatedly.
But sometimes what you don’t hear as much about is the absolute, melt-your-heart moments that make you feel so full of love you might burst. Those moments that seem a little silly when you write them on paper because you can’t fully describe the feeling with words. Eleanor really LOOKS at me now and wants to engage with me. She tries so hard to communicate and show things to me. She idolizes the bigger kids at daycare and watches their every move. She is obsessed with getting our attention when she wants to play peekaboo with us. When she rests her head on my shoulder while I’m reading to her or she just simply gives me the biggest smile, I feel so completely full and content with life. She is a little human-being now with personality and watching her experience things in life for the first time is completely awe-inspiring. As difficult as things truly can be at times, these are the moments that make me immediately forget about how frustrated I was with the last diaper-changing battle or food-throwing meal. Having such a hard time connecting with Eleanor in the beginning and not feeling like a Mother, I finally get it.
I guess the biggest thing I have learned in the last 16 months of my life is that once you get comfortable with things and find a rhythm, it gets turned on its head. I would start to feel defeated in some way like maybe all that hard work I put into establishing certain routines or getting her to do something had failed. But the reality that I’ve now embraced is that this is how it’s going to be, always. Babies, kids, families and marriages are forever changing and growing and the sooner that I let go trying to control parts of them, the sooner that I can simply buckle up and enjoy the ride.