Praise Buddha! I finally ponied up the money to get my laptop fixed. Which means I can once again engage in my illustrious side hustles, AND I can flesh out a couple of these long-teased blog topics. Amazingly, Google Analytics tells me that I received many new viewers during my lengthy sabbatical. But based on the emails I’ve read, I fear it may be more quantity than quality.
…Fan Mail Time!
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…Moving on, the topic I’ve been pondering lately is how the heck my daughter has already turned two. Seriously, it was just yesterday that I was pushing her around as a tiny infant in a wheelbarrow at The Home Depot. I turn around and she’s a little person, standing impatiently in line at the playground slide. It’s a complete cliche, but it’s true that it all goes by too fast.
I recently hosted her birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, and holy cow is the house of the mouse expensive. But I flexed my Amazon credit card and it was worth it. And the pizza was surprisingly delicious. As I watched my daughter riding around on the same little train for the twentieth time, I was thinking about the milestones that I somehow missed.
Let me explain. The movies would have you believe that baby milestones are sudden and identifiable. One minute, the little tyke is drooling on the floor, and the next minute he stands up and marches across the room with a shaky yet determined gait. His parents fumble for the phone and grab it just in time to record the triumphant moment for posterity and social media.
Maybe sometimes it happens like this, but my daughter’s motor skills and physical dexterity developed so gradually, that it would have been impossible to pinpoint that magic moment. She was crawling for a while, then she started propping herself up against random objects and furniture. Then she would let go here and there to take a step and fall, then semi-stand and try again. Then eventually, she was walking without effort. I used to feel guilty with her being in daycare all the time, that I was missing out on all these precious “firsts.” But at this point, I’m not sure whether the daycare is experiencing them either.
Same goes for talking. My daughter is using primitive sentences at this point. Her favorite sentence is, “Go, Mom, Now!” which she uses whenever we are stopped at a red light. In the movies and on TV, there’s always that scene where baby utters her first word: a clear, crisp “mama” or “dada.” So sweet. But with my daughter, it was more like: “Did she just say mama?…I think she said mama…It came sandwiched in a series of random noises… Does that count? Can I say that was her first word??” Even to this day, I don’t understand half the gobbledegook that my daughter utters. Yet her sentences get gradually more clear and decipherable from one day to the next.
From what I’ve found so far, these huge “milestone moments” are largely a myth, perpetuated in the media and hyped by Hallmark. Life with baby happens more incrementally than this.
And I think this is where time warps for us as parents. It all happens at such a gradual pace, that before you know it, they’re grown! It’s a paradox…Time moves slowly yet when we look back on it, it seems to have gone by in the blink of an eye.
I now understand why people decide to have more than one of these little rugrats. They want to ride the rollercoaster all over again so that this time, they can try and capture time as it whizzes by. But this will be my only baby. And can’t believe my daughter is already two.