5 things you will surely miss when your baby grows up

auntandtoddler

I get a lot of advice about parenting from my sister in law. She’s an amazing mom (even when she thinks she isn’t). On our family trips back to the east coast to visit my husband’s family, I love the moments when we get to swap kids…where I get time with our older nieces to talk about nails and books and my sister in law gets time with our babies to play tea party and snuggle. The last time we were together, she said, “it sounds cliche, but time flies, cherish all this sweet stuff.”

Sweet stuff?! I thought. Hmmm…the random spit up on every clothing piece I own, sleepless nights, toddler tantrums…

But she put it in perspective. There is so much to each stage of mommy-hood that warrants it’s own journey. And the stuff we moan about now, may be the stuff we ache for later. Here, she generously jotted down all that sweet stuff she misses that feels like ages ago for her as she sorts through teenager angst with her oldest child. And if anything, it served as a reminder to me, and to all the mommas out there in baby/toddler world, to stay present, to embrace this…because it won’t be the same soon in the changing tides of mommy-hood. You won’t always get to nuzzle your nose in your babies neck, (and maybe get some spit up in your hair at the same time), you won’t always hear small footsteps run to your room in the morning for snuggles, they won’t always fit right in your lap.

5 things you will surely miss when your baby grows up

Words by Jigna Bhalla…

It’s hard to imagine that your baby will become a toddler and that your toddler will soon become a young girl/boy and then inevitably a teenager!  The phrase “time flies” never meant much to me until I had children. Now I understand truly how fast time goes by. I remember getting unsolicited advice from moms of older kids and grand parents alike about how I should cherish my time with my young tantrum-prone toddlers. I found it hard to believe that I would ever miss changing diapers, breastfeeding, melt-downs, or sleepless nights. But, now a being mother of a teen and a tween, I have to admit that I do! It was after my brother’s family visited us last month, that I truly felt that I missed all of those wonderful baby and toddler moments.  After spending time with my 5 month old nephew and 4 year old niece, I realized that there are so many things that I love about babies and toddlers.  Here are some that warm my heart:

1. I miss that slow dance. When they fall asleep in the car or you discover them in a deep slumber on the couch, and you hoist them up — this still, heavy weight in your arms — allows for that rare moment to just hug, squeeze and slow dance with them to your heart’s content. No squirming or ‘I must have that toy now’ demands.

2. I miss that chase. After the multiple escape attempts from the dreaded bath towel are finally successful, comes the squealing and scurrying to reach the Naked Hallways of Freedom. Any attempt at recapture thankfully brings on more fun and laughs only the cute little bottoms, chubby thighs and little scampering feet of a shrieking, naked toddler escapee charging through the house can produce.

3. I miss them taking my breath away. It could be something as silly as getting their hands on their favorite toy after losing it for a few precious hours or the sound of the dog barking that brings on a fully charged happy toddler heading straight at you like a freight train. Their little arms are wide open, ready to wrap around your neck at a full strength bear hug. In this precious, spontaneous moment, all they want to do is share their delight with a hug so tight it momentarily cuts off your oxygen.

4. I miss that magic. Babies and toddlers can get so excited when tickled to the point that they literally cannot stop that exuberant laugh that comes straight from the belly. It magically continues each time you repeat the gesture or word that got them started in the first place. Oh, that baby babble and giggles. And anyone within earshot cannot keep their heads from turning because your baby’s laughter is so contagious.

5. I miss the sight of that surprise in their eyes. Through their fresh eyes, you get to experience the whimsy, wonder and pure joy of each new and exciting discovery they make. Whether it’s soft sand in between their toes and their screams of laughter as they retreat from foaming surf, or their first bite into something sour. It is that priceless reaction they have as you laugh at the fact they always come back for a second try.

While you will likely remain the center of their world for many years after the Terrible Twos, your children will, of course, grow up and the responsibilities and realities of the world becomes heavier on their shoulders. And the small window of time when they are truly yours will close.

So, take it all in: the good, the bad, and the ugly… and enjoy your babies and toddlers now.

Because trust me when I say that the tween and teen years, and all that brings with it, will be here in a flash.

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