My sweet yet fiery baby girl turned into a toddler. The transition gradual, although in hindsight instantaneous. And despite my proclamations that she is and forever will be my baby I know that she is a baby no longer.
I know that the little footsteps that run through the house are those of a toddler.
The requests (and occasional demands) for a “book” and to “play” are being made by a toddler.
The tiny arms that firmly wrap around my neck when I ask for a hug are toddler arms.
Those tiny lips that lean in to give mama a kiss. “Muuuuah.” Well, those are toddler lips.
And that big grin that can make even the most challenging of days better — that toothy grin belongs to a toddler. My toddler.
These are the things that remind me that growth is a beautiful thing. But they also prompt me to slow down. To engage in the animated conversations where not all words are understood and oftentimes, it feels like we’re playing a mean game of charades (toddler edition of course). To pause to marvel at hand dimples, snores and toes that are still round and kissable. To find contentment in the fact that her favorite resting place is still in my arms and how her arms hold tightly onto my legs as she says mama don’t go or take me with you — without saying a word at all. To be able to see the funny moments lived to the tune of belly laughs and giggles.
In time what has now become familiar, the very thing I’ve finally come to accept will be a memory. This will soon be our once upon a time. I will long for these days. A part of me already does…
For as it would turn out, this — toddlerhood– is the sweetest stage yet. Even when it calls for shampooing yogurt out of hair or discovering that not all crayons are washable. My tiny person isn’t just watching life happen she’s living it and from the looks of her smile loving it too. She’s taking steps toward autonomy while reminding me that she still needs me, especially as she continues to embark on adventures beyond the playpen, stroller or carrier.
Our days are filled with the beautiful chaos, excitement and wonder that life with a toddler brings. And hearing her little voice say “mommy mommy,” no matter how many times is music to my ears.
So perhaps it’s fair to say that I haven’t only come to terms with toddlerhood. I’ve come to love it too. I remembered it being sweet but didn’t realize it would be this sweet.
How did you feel about your baby’s transition to toddlerhood?