She was here not too long ago, cooing and laying there, but now she can’t be found laying peacefully on the floor. She’s not sound asleep on my chest, tucked safely in the carrier, and she’s never where I left her.
My helpless babe has left me. She’s up and disappeared. What happened?
It seems like overnight she went from a sleepy, needy newborn to a busy and opinionated toddler. Did that actually happen so fast, or have I been under a sleeping spell while the last 14 months whizzed by?
Yes, I miss how my baby would fall asleep on my chest, wherever I was, and I miss being able to set her down on the floor and know that she wasn’t going anywhere. I miss being able to hop on a plane, boat or train and have her happily sit with me and fall asleep. I can’t see that happening now.
But, like everything else, each stage has it’s positives. I love watching as my little girl walks around, steady on her feet, back and forth between her great-grandparents, passing out hugs and kisses like they’re going out of style. I love to be able to take her to play on the playground, and splash in puddles. I love that she’s independent enough now to play happily by herself while I make dinner. Not all the time, but it gets better every day.
One day she’ll be off living the next series of stages of her life, sooner than I’m prepared to think about, and I won’t ever have back what I have with her now. She won’t always fall asleep cuddling me. She won’t always look to me when she’s feeling lonely. I won’t always be reading her bedtime stories and kissing hurts better.
I welcome the positives that come with each new phase we go through as she grows, but I also know that what we have right now is only temporary, and once it’s gone I may realize that I wanted to hold on a bit longer.
That’s what keeps me calm, keeps me going, keeps me sane. In the moments where I’m ready to scream and give up in frustration over dropped food, wakeful nights, and clingy days, I just remind myself that this won’t last forever.