Enjoy every moment. Enjoy this time; it goes so fast. Appreciate every little thing.
As a relatively new mother, I hear this a lot. Often a version is said to me in response to evidence that I am sleepy from being a five-star concierge to a demanding baby rock star. He wants his milk at just the right warm temperature. He only wants to put blue circles and green squares in the shape-sorter. Frequently, a witness to a particularly stressful moment will proclaim those statements to me, like during a restaurant meltdown or on the third day of a stomach virus.
- I unconditionally love and adore my son. Etymology has not yet invented a word to describe how I feel about him.
- He is that urban legend easy baby usually found in textbooks only. I hesitate to put that in print because I don’t want to jinx how lucky and blessed I’ve been with my regular sleeper, eater, and smiler.
There are countless things that I enjoy and appreciate. I marvel at so many moments. They are memorialized in multiple modes of photography, videography, and repeated bragging to others.
- Waking up to his smile. It doesn’t even matter if the stench of a large poop accompanies it. Sometimes that even enhances it if I’ve been waiting for one!
- His sweet – and many – baby teeth. He is 13 months, and we are at nine right now.
- His laughs. He has different ones for different occasions. There is the uncontrollable belly laugh for tickles and peekaboo-type surprises. There is the delighted little giggle when he sees puffs are on the way to his bowl. He even has a polite chuckle. That is when he knows you are trying to make him laugh, and he’s not into it but doesn’t want to disappoint you. It’s the baby equivalent of making a joke and having someone say, “That’s funny,” instead of outright laughing.
- His wonder at new things, like the first time he saw and touched mylar balloons. Now I find excuses to buy them. I’m pretty sure they make Flag Day balloons, right?
- Diaper changes on a child older than six months who no longer lays passively on the table. My friends with older children warned me about this. But I didn’t understand for myself until my son tried to breakdance and use the changing pad as his piece of cardboard for his popping and locking routine.
- Baby vaccinations.
- The application and removal of winter outerwear, especially concerning cars, eat safety.
- The application and removal of sunscreen.
- Discovering a new part of our house needs babyproofing.
- Nap-free days.
Baby Sleepaway Camp
- Packing for a trip. Like so many pre-parenting things, I wish I had appreciated only having to pack for myself when I traveled. Packing to take a toddler on vacation is daunting. Plus, you never know if you got it right until the trip ends. And you never get it 100% right.
- Compiling enough diapers, wipes, cups, sunscreen, tiny bathing suits, and too many other items to type resulted in three large duffel bags, one pack-and-play, one stroller, and one massive convertible car seat. It was as if I had packed him for baby sleepaway camp for eight weeks.
What Makes it All Worth While
I’m his mother. And I have 56,111 photos and 494 videos of that moment alone to prove it!