Tomorrow you turn two. Two years old.
I can’t believe I’ve only known you for 730 days. It’s crazy how most of those 730 days – ok the nights mostly – seemed to last forever, but collectively they went by in a blink of an eye. Just like everyone warned me they would.
I feel like I’ve known you forever, like you’ve always been a part of me. I was always meant to be “Wy’s mama” (as you say) and you were always meant to be my son.
Don’t worry, daddy feels this way too – he just sucks at expressing his feelings.
I know what makes you happy. Shopping carts, stop signs, swings and slides, swimming, being chased, hugging stuffed animals, hanging around real cats, and trying to play with other kids.
I know what you’re afraid of. So far, it’s just bugs if they’re in your way or mommy getting checked out by the doctor.
I know what sets you off. Too long in the carseat, not enough sleep, coming in from outside, or putting “yucky” food (like meat or vegetables or anything with fat in it) in front of you.
I know you want to be independent so badly. Outside, you can never run away from mommy fast enough and you don’t even look back when I drop you off at school anymore. You won’t let daddy and I help you do much – this leads to a huge mess when you eat yogurt and a lot of frustration when you want your shoes on. Luckily, this also means you love to help us out – I can only hope this lasts.
I know you are a very sweet little boy, and I’m not just saying that because I’m your mom. Your teachers tell me how patient you are with other kids and how the only time you protest is when is when it’s time to come in from outside – which isn’t shocking to me. You’re always hugging, kissing, and cuddling with your stuffed animals and me. You still want me to rock you at night – which is something I’m so grateful for.
I know you’re so curious and smarter than I realize. You don’t have the entire alphabet down but you know strings of letters that go together and can identify almost every letter individually. When we fold laundry together, you always know which articles of clothing are mine and which are daddy’s. And your memory is incredible. You’ll remember playdates from months ago and (accurately) tell me which friend was playing with which toy. You amaze me every single day.
I know what your laugh sounds like – it’s my favorite noise in the world and something that will stay imprinted in my mind forever. I can identify your “there’s something really wrong” cry vs. your “my train is stuck” cry in a split second. I can tell by the pitch of your scream if you’re shrieking in delight, fear, or anger. I feel like I know you better than I know myself.
But Wyatt there is so, so much I don’t know about you yet.
I don’t know what your favorite color is. Yesterday you told me it was yellow, and then an hour later you picked blue. I don’t know how your interests will evolve. Will you always love books and being active? I don’t know how you’ll be with your friends. It takes you awhile to warm up to people now. I don’t know if you’ll enjoy school. Want to be a superhero. Play a musical instrument. I don’t know if you’ll be a dreamer or a realist. If you’ll always share things with me. If you’ll continue to be proud of your work. I don’t know when you’ll be bullied for the first time, and I don’t know when you’ll get your first broken bone… or worse, broken heart. And I have no idea how I’ll keep calm in any of these situations and be a good role model for you.
But I do know that I will be there every step of the way.
I remember thinking when you were 18 months old that it was the best age ever. I wanted to freeze time and keep you my happy, little 18 month old forever. Now I see what a foolish wish that was. These last 6 months have been amazing, and I can’t believe I basically wished to miss out on them.
I can’t wait to keep watching you grow. I’m so glad I have a front row seat to watching you become your own person.
I know that no matter what, I will always love you so much. I will always support you. I will be here whenever you need me. I will spend the rest of my life just like I did the past 730 days – trying to keep you happy and healthy.
Happy birthday, Wyatt. Thank you so much for choosing me to be your mom.
… and that’s OK.
Sometime this past spring, things got really good with Wyatt. He started sleeping and became really happy. Things were just predictable and easier. Even the dreaded two-to-one nap transition wasn’t horrible (and didn’t happen until 18 months!) and initial stages of weaning went better than I expected.
Then within a 5 week time span, I rocked his world. I fully weaned him (his last feeding was the day I got a positive pregnancy test), I went on bedrest and family members took over all of my mom duties for 3 weeks, we moved, and he started preschool. What resulted what a very unhappy, very clingy little guy – which was to be expected. I felt awful that I did that to him, but reminded myself that kids are awesome and usually adapt to change fairly quickly.
And then after a month, he settled into his routine and went back to being more like his old self. He even bounced back quickly after two rough illnesses. We hit our sweet spot again (and I shared a day in the life post) and I got my mommy confidence back.
Until this past Monday that is -- when I got a huge slap of mommy guilt in the face. He’s had a rash around his mouth for about a month, that I assumed was just a reaction from not wiping food off his face quickly enough at mealtimes. I’ve been putting on Aquaphor, and while it hasn’t exactly been helping, it wasn’t getting worse either.
Then in NJ this past week, where it was much colder, his rash got a lot worse and spread. I made a doctor appointment for as soon as we got home Monday, and what do you know? It’s bad eczema. He’s on two prescriptions and has a follow-up appointment in 2 weeks because his doctor is concerned over how severe it is. I hate myself for not taking him sooner.
As if that wasn’t enough, his doctor wanted to give him a check-up while we were there. As soon as she looked in Wyatt’s right ear she said, “oh my gosh”. His eardrum had burst recently. Probably on the plane that morning when he was sleeping soundly, jumped up, and grabbed his ear. He was cranky the rest of the flight but I just thought it was his ears popping combined with a 4am wake up call. Mom-of-the-year over here, friends.
He also hasn’t been sleeping well since we went to NJ. He had a great time there – but naps were no longer than an hour and he went back to 6am wake ups.
Oh and I didn’t notice until I took this picture of him Monday afternoon that he needs a haircut badly. Yikes.
Needless to say, I feel like a pretty crappy mom right now. I know all of these problems are super minor, but it just reminded me that I’m never going to have this mommy thing figured out. There’s always going to be challenges and I’m going to make mistakes every day – and sometimes those errors will come at the expense of my children’s wellbeing. Ugh. Which makes me feel bad, but I know it’s just part of life. And, yes, I’m terrified by how much I’ll mess up when I have two little people to look after!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to attempt to trim Wyatt’s hair (my husband usually does it but it working extra long hours this week). We’re waiting until next week in Disney for his first official haircut (!), but I’m scared he won’t sit still in the chair so I at least need to make him presentable in the meantime.
Yesterday, Wyatt opened a box and said “empty”. This threw me for a loop because I had no idea he knew that word. We usually say “all gone” or “no more”. The same day he was playing with his felt letters and identified almost all of them correctly. I knew he knew a, b, c, d, o, and the letters in his names – but he picked up on the rest so quickly!
It’s crazy how much kids learn in such a short amount of time, but I tend to forget that, as an adult, I’m always learning, too. I’ve become more cognizant of this since becoming a mother. Each time I learn a lesson, I try to file it away for later.
For instance, this week I’ve learned:
1. The situations I dread the most usually end up being some of the easiest.
I’ve flown alone with Wyatt a bunch of times. All but once, he’s done really well on planes and received compliments from other passengers. Still, I dread flying alone with him for days before the actual event. I over-pack, over-analyze, and over-stress like crazy.
We flew to NJ this week and, except for one minor incident with squirting his water bottle on the man in front of us (the guy was understanding and just relieved it was water and not a bodily fluid), he did great!
We had an empty row so I tried sitting him in the seat next to me to see how he’d do – he turns 2 in a month which means no more flying on mommy’s lap – but he wouldn’t have it. So, I have no idea how we’ll manage to fly up here next time (he hates the car seat so that’s not an option). But I remembering this lesson. We will get here some way and it will likely go more smoothly than I anticipate.
2. The best runs happen when you least expect them.
Ok, so this isn’t a new lesson – but every time this happens, it surprises me.
I ran yesterday morning in NJ… in 38 degrees which is 20+ degrees cooler than weather I’ve been running in lately. I was heading out for 4 miles and told my parents to expect me back in 40 minutes. Then I said 45 and eventually 50 because I thought for sure I’d have breathing issues in the cold or something. Well, I was back in just under 35 minutes! The brisk air and cool wind made me feel awesome. I haven’t averaged sub-9 minute/miles since my pregnancy running comeback and this run averaged an 8:38 pace. I felt on top of the world.
3. My favorite foods don’t taste good during pregnancy.
My favorite lunch from Turning Point – didn’t taste the same.
I’ve really been looking forward to this trip for two reasons 1) to see my friends and family and 2) to eat all the yummy NJ food. I had horrible morning sickness and assumed by now – 15 weeks – I’d be back to feeling like my own self. Ha no. I’ve been able to eat which is a huge improvement, but food just doesn’t taste good anymore. My parents have taken me to all of my favorite restaurants and I’ve been disappointed by my favorite dishes every time. (I realize this is not a big deal at all, especially because it’s my top pregnancy complaint right now. I’m only sharing because it was unexpected and I really like eating!)
The one exception? Bagels with cream cheese.
Why do bagels taste so delicious during pregnancy? I’ll never understand. At least I’m in a pregnant woman’s paradise right now – nothing beats a NJ bagel.