Our days have been yin and yangs lately. From quiet mornings and peaceful outings, embracing a world where strollers are more and more unnecessary, diaper bags are lighter, outings are easier, sippy cups are even beginning to get phased out as you grow so quickly and discover new skills. We smile and laugh together as we walk down the street, stopping to do “hand stands” or walk backwards, smell the flowers and point out all the puppies getting their morning walk.
We walk home leisurely, I make lunch. You eat almost the same lunch every day, but there is a rhythm to it that feels just right. Jelly on one side, peanut butter on the other. Fold. String cheese. Fruit or veggies? A cup of milk. The afternoon floats to a close like the tide coming and going and the moments are like bliss. It’s easy.
Other days, other moments and minutes, there will be irrational tantrums and angry tears. You’ll scream at me in frustration and I’ll beg you to just tell me what’s wrong – explain to me what you need so that I can make you happy again. Are you tired or hurt or just bored? Did I give you the wrong color cup or put on the wrong tv show? Are you just keeping me on my toes? Are you just two?
You nap eventually and wake up a different child. Or you don’t nap the afternoon stumbles by in a blur of give and take and bated breath as I wait for evening and daddy to come home. I make dinner, you help your brother clean up… mostly. You egg each other on with arguments and antics and happy chatter and then frustration over normal sibling battles over who gets what toy and who goes first and who sits where. I bite my lip.
Bedtime comes before I know it but also takes too long. Brush teeth. Change diaper. Choose pajamas. Not those pajamas, mommy, the other ones. No the first pair. Bedtime stories. Maybe just one more. Three stories? Not tonight. Hugs and kisses. I breathe in the scent of you and wish you could stay up all night with me, snuggling. What if I just linger here awhile longer and hold you? You’re such a good girl, so sweet and clever.
By the time you’re falling asleep, the tantrums and struggles and tears seem like lifetimes ago and all I can remember is kissing your cheek, tucking you in and turning off the light. I’m anxious for you to wake up again so I can spend more time with you tomorrow, doing hand stands and walking backwards and stopping to smell every flower.
I hope you know that those moments? They are worth every tantrum.