I confess. Before I was a mother, I was a judge. I, like many naive women before me, assumed I Knew Everything and would never do ___ when I had a child. I wouldn’t be a short order cook, or let my kid watch too much tv, or refer to my two year old as 26 months old.
Then we get thrown into the deep end of this parenting pool and we realize that keeping our heads above water sometimes means grasping any grubby, bite-marked kick board we can find. We feed the kid off a roulette wheel of chicken nuggets, ham, and macaroni and cheese. We rewind the same four minutes of Barney for an hour every night. We write blog posts about our 26 month old.
I’m compelled to spend a few precious late night minutes capturing the person Quinn is in this moment. He’s a full fledged person now. A tiny, funny, miraculous person that somehow grew from a speck in my body what simultaneously seems like seconds and eons ago. It surprises me how much Quinn has changed in two months. His verbal skills are booming. He speaks in sentences now; he remembers things. He asks questions and puts together the puzzles of his life in ways that amaze me. The closest thing I can compare it to is when your smart phone recognizes your daily commute and informs you of the traffic without you having to tell it anything. Just magnify that astonishment times a million and it’s kinda in the same ballpark as watching your toddler figure out how to brush his teeth.
Quinn is my favorite person. It’s weird to think that someone who can’t operate a toilet himself could be your favorite human, but here we are. He’s funny and sweet and goofy and kind. He loves books and will bring me stacks of them and say “sit right here. Read, mommy.” He likes to be tickled awake in the mornings and will go to bed without qualms as long as I leave the lights on and give him a minimum of four books. He loves firetrucks and dogs and motorcycles and his friends. He knows his colors and will count 1, 2, 4, 3, 4. He needs a good hour of couch time after school before he’s ready to run around again, and I love that time with him. We sit together with our drinks and watch Barney or the three little pigs and unwind together. It is the best, most sacred part of my day.
I remember being so worried about him, just months ago, because I thought he was a little slow to talk. Now it feels like it was barely a blip on the radar. That’s what parenthood seems to be though, a stream of worries like storm clouds. Ominous, looming, dark and deep and then gone and hazily remembered. Until the next system rolls in and we do it all over again. We worry as long as we breathe. If you ever wonder why a mom looks tense, it’s because we’re holding our breath for days, weeks, years; waiting for the shoe to drop. Anticipating the next storm.
26 months feels like an exhalation. A quiet calm of toddler hood where the tornado tantrums of two have dissipated for a moment. I know it will be short lived, so I’m trying to be as present as possible. I notice how Quinn answers me calling his name with “Yes, Mommy,” or “coming, mommy” and my heart flutters. I pay attention to how he enunciates his words, how he will spend hours roughhousing with me and teaching me the names of all the animals and their colors. We spend the drives to and from daycare looking for buses, motorcycles, and construction equipment. He’s full of fun these days
and still the cutest cute to ever cute.
Oh little boy, I’m glad you’re mine.