Thursday, August 4, 2011

Newborns & Toddlers

My daughter, Lily, is 20 months old.

After sleeping 14 hours last night she woke up this morning singing and telling me she wanted to eat. I asked her what she wanted and she said hot potatoes (this is what she calls all potatoes except fries, this is also what she asks to eat for every meal.). We don't have any hot potatoes so I got her to agree to eating eggs, as long as they had cheese on them. So, I cooked both of us up some eggs, got a spoon and set her food in front of her and we both happily ate our breakfasts.

After breakfast, she asked for some ice water and then brought me books to read to her & her friend, Laila (who is almost 2.5 years old). We played and sang the whole morning. She told me when she was hungry, when she was thirsty, what she wanted to do and what she didn't want to do. She told me if she was cold, if she had a boo boo that needed kissing and when she was ready for a nap. She tells me she wants to get dressed and even helps pick out her own clothes. She's gotten pretty good at putting clothes on too!

Most days, Lily is so easy to take care of. If I need to get things done, she happily plays by herself (or with Laila). With over 100 words and 5 or 6 signs, she communicates awesomely and very rarely is unable to express herself to me. We have a system & it works. And it's easy. And she's amazing. And she's funny. And she's lovable.

And she's self sufficient. You moms out there know how much easier life gets when your child become even somewhat self sufficient. How much more freedom that allows us as mothers that our child can exist without us, even if it's just long enough to get the dishes done or dinner cooked. But, the best part is that as self sufficient as she is, she's still a mama's girl. She's still full of hugs & kisses & snuggles and still loves to be rocked and sang to before bed. We haven't hit that point where she no longer needs mama or dada at all. She's at that perfect in between age.

I love where our family is at right now. So, why oh why oh why, would I want to change that? Why would I want to add a newborn to the mix when things are just getting good?! Newborns don't sleep through the night. They have no means to communicate except to cry. Does that cry mean s/he's tired? Hungry? Hot? Cold? Bored? Have you ever tried to dress a floppy newborn? It's not an easy task. The poop. The spit up. The constant attention that they need. So opposite from what I have with Lily. What it took 20 months to get to.

So, I ask myself, why do I want to change things?! Why would I want to start all over again?! And then my friend has a baby, a tiny, perfect little ball of squish. And I get to hold him. And smell him. And hear that little newborn cry. You know the one, it sounds like it is echoing from the pit of that baby's belly. It certainly doesn't sound like the one Lily has when she's told she can't have something she wants (that sounds like it's coming from the pit of somewhere else!). And then I see my other friends have babies. And post their little squishes pictures online. And talk about their growing family. And I know that I want that too.

A good friend once told me that you know when your family is complete. The fact of the matter is that, right now, I know my family isn't complete. I know that I love what I have with my daughter and that going back to the newborn stage isn't going to be easy. But, it'll be worth it. And I look forward to doing it again, because, we all know the newborn stage isn't all bad and the toddler stage isn't all good (even though I've made it sound like sunshine & rainbows).

So, I may be clinically insane. Or maybe that fog of pregnancy/infancy that everyone talks about is true and I DON'T remember how bad it was and I DON'T remember how hard it's going to be. All I know, is that I'm ready to start it all over again.