When I first found out I was pregnant with Olivia, I was scared. Terrified, even.
How on Earth was I ever going to be good enough for her? How? I mean, what if I dropped her, what if I didn’t feed her enough, what if I couldn’t take care of her the way she needed to be taken care of?
What if I couldn’t love her enough?
And then she was born.
Can you imagine how freaked out I was once she was actually in my arms? This tiny, delicate, 7 pounds 6 ounces, beautiful new baby girl, depending on me to take the very best care of her. For such a little thing, she really knew how to put pressure on a girl.
Dominic and I were pretty crazy when Olivia was first born, we’ll be the first to admit that. Dominic and I bought the biggest bottle of hand-sanitizer we could find, and we put it right by the entrance to our place. If you wanted to hold our baby, you were going to sanitize first. It took us forever to go out on a date sans baby because we didn’t want anyone to watch her, and when we finally did, I don’t think we were out more than an hour. We drove slower, talked softer, and spent a whole lot of time watching her breathe and examining her body because we wanted to always make sure she was okay.
First time parent problems, I suppose.
Even now, we’re still a little crazy….okay, maybe it’s more me, but I don’t care. My baby, my rules. You know what I mean?
Anyway…lately, Olivia, our sweet little 7 pound baby has really been testing the limits. She’s kind of like our own personal sour patch kid. And now we’re dealing with a whole new set of problems.
She challenges us, she says no, she throws temper tantrums, she throws things, she cries. Sometimes, it’s a little much to handle. Because I am usually the one with her all day, by the time Dominic gets home some days, I will literally be waiting by the front door, white flag in the air, begging him to take over for a little while.
But then there are nights when he comes home, and Olivia and I will be sitting on the floor crying with laughter, and when he wants to put her to sleep, I find myself saying, “No! Five more minutes!” because we’ve had such an awesome day and I don’t want it to end.
And honestly, that’s where I was going with this post. I really wanted to talk about how I feel about Olivia turning two in a few days and how instead of the awful term “Terrible twos”, I think “Sour Patch Kid” is a way better name, because sometimes she’s sour and then she’s sweet.
I really wanted to talk about how I’m trying to handle it, without losing my cool (which I do sometimes.)
I really wanted to talk about how I put her in her first time out, and that it killed me…
I really wanted to talk about different ways to discipline her because hitting her was out of the question.
But then last Tuesday, something magical happened.
I kissed Olivia, and after she kissed me back, she looked me straight in the eyes, and with that beautiful smile, she said:
“Love you, Mama.”
My girl is definitely a talker, she knows A LOT of words, but it’s been hard to get her to put them together. We try all the time, and understand that she’ll do it when she’s ready and a couple Sundays ago, I guess she was finally ready because she started saying, “Bye bye dada/mama/kiki/papa/mickey/balloon/insert whatever other word here” and then she added, “hi, _______” and we’ve been really excited about it. There is just something so special about your child finally getting it (whatever IT may be). When that light turns on and they are just as proud of themselves as you are of them, it really is such a sight. And then when she said she loved me? Heart. Melted.
It’s okay, Olivia, you don’t need to ever say anything else ;)
Although she is testing her limits more and more, and driving me crazy at times, lately I have found myself wanting to be so much closer to her than usual (which is pretty close). My little baby is growing up right before my eyes and even though it is an amazing thing to witness, I think I’m taking it pretty hard. Can you blame me though? I’m gonna close my eyes for half a second and she’ll be running off to college.
Being a mom is by far the most rewarding, and challenging thing that I have ever done. But it is so worth it. All of it. Even if in that moment, you really don’t see how a screaming toddler in the middle of aisle 3 is worth it, trust me, it is, because it really, really goes by so quickly. It’s unfair, really. I’m not saying that you have to be happy in every good or bad moment, but the trick is to remember that they’re not going to be this little forever. They’re not going to want to cuddle and love on you forever. They’re not gonna want to be at your side every moment of every day (and twice as close when you have to pee.) It’s all gonna be gone before you know it and then you’ll be wishing that they were small again.
I’m enjoying Olivia as much as I can. I try not to complain as much about her being so whiny or clingy, or me not getting enough sleep. I’m starting to realize that if she really thinks that playing blocks for the 13th time that day is more important than paying bills, cleaning the house, or making dinner, then it is. And if every once in a while she thinks that she wants to have a bowl of cereal and make funny faces at 10:30 at night instead of sleeping? Well then that’s what we’re gonna do.
And really, those faces?
So worth it.