you’re gonna miss this.

She was staring out the window
Of their SUV
Complaining, saying,
I cant wait to turn 18
She said, “I’ll make my own money”
And I’ll make my own rules”
Mama put the car in park
Out there in front of the school
And she kissed her head
And said ‘I was just like you”

You’re going to miss this
You’re going to want this back
You’re going to wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re going to miss this

Before she knows it
She’s a brand new bride
In her one bedroom apartment
And her daddy stops by
He tells her “It’s a nice place”
She says “It’ll do for now”
Starts talking about babies
And buying a house
Daddy shakes his head
And says “Baby just slow down”

Cause
You’re going to miss this
You’re going to want this back
You’re going to wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re going to miss this

Five years later
There’s a plumber
Working on the water heater
Dogs barking, phones ringing
One kids crying, one kids screaming
She keeps apologizing
He says “They don’t bother me.
I’ve got two babies of my own.
One’s 36, one’s 23.
It’s hard to believe…”

But
You’re going to miss this
You’re going to want this back
You’re going to wish these days
Hadn’t gone by so fast
These are some good times
So take a good look around
You may not know it now
But you’re going to miss this
You’re going to miss this
Yeah you’re going to miss this

cheerios all over the floor, even somehow in the tub and the bathroom.

water spots all over the floor, maybe a couple juice spots too.

celtic lullabys playing

toys, toys, toys everywhere.

a coconut in the bathtub. 

sticky banana mess on the highchair.

sticky banana baby sleeping in crib

crying crying crying

giggles.

translucent skin. gray blue eyes.

“ome. tawel.” words that mean something important to lincoln

empty bottles, billions of balls.

half full coffee cups from days ago

pieces of toast found behind the tv

books all over the nursery, books all over in the crib

mini basketball hoops set up strategically around the house.

baby socks litter the floor, no matching partner in sight

magnetic alphabet letters everywhere. 

finger prints and hand prints on the front window.

an arm constantly wrapped around my leg.

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it’s raining it’s pouring.

well it seems like the two’s have hit lincoln.  my happy baby, my little sweet heart seems to have a streak of demon in him.  i have read all the books and i know what’s ‘going on’ in his little frusterated toddler head, but that doesn’t make it any less horrific for me.  since he is my first baby, and so then my first toddler, i really have no gauge on ‘normal’.  i don’t know if his antics are extreme or par for course.  that’s frusterating for me.  not knowing.  not knowing what to do, how to do it.  the dreaded wonder if i am doing it right…….

i know that lincoln is frusterated.  he spends his days talking to me and i JUST DON’T SEEM TO GET IT in his mind.  why oh why would i give him cheerios when he specifically said he wanted toast?!  why would i sit on the pink blanket when he asked me repeatedly to sit on the brown one?  the hard part is that he talks, i attempt to listen, but i can’t always hear (understand) him.  so i do the wrong thing, and that drives him crazy.  as i imagine it would.  i am sure i have complained myself many times about talking and being ignored over and over and over.  he actually must have loads of patience in order to be as controlled as he is.  i mean, can you imagine what it must be like for him?  to have a tall person speak really slowly to you, as if you were hard of hearing or something.  to talk all day long and be ignored.  you place dinner requests and they still make you pasta (for the 5th time in two weeks).  i can imagine he has his own list of complaints.

i try to talk to the ‘other moms’ about it.  hesitantly asking, “does aidan ever throw a fit?” oh sure she answers and then changes the subject.  it drives me crazy.  what does ‘oh sure’ mean?  i need details, descriptions, anlaysis, data.  something that says, yes, lincoln is normal.  he is not possessed by satan for 35 min a week, he’s two (or almost).  but instead i get a vague, non-committal answer.  maybe they don’t want to shed to much light into the dark parts of motherhood.  i do.  it really doesn’t bother me to say, “hey this part sucks and guess what, it gets worse.”  don’t get me wrong, i wouldn’t trade babies for anything in the world, but much like my outlook on the rest of life-i’m not going to lie.  i’m a realist, i say it how it is.  life isn’t perfect all the time and neither is motherhood.  sometimes it sucks.  and when a little 3 foot tall toddler is trying to manicallyhit you and scream because you sat on the wrong blanket, well, besides being slightly humerous, it  kind of sucks.  so, there it is, motherhood sucking 2.5 points (it gets a point for the month stella woke up every 20 minutes and half a point for labor.  yep, only half a point.  and that’s drug free labor) motherhood being the best thing i have ever encountered 987,456,238 and counting.

when stella was very small.

it’s sunday night, a little after 8 and everyone is sleeping.  you know you live in a house with babies when people are snoring at 8pm. 

stella is 8 months old.  time has gone so fast.  time is a blur.  i often don’t know what day it is, what month it is, or even what season (perpetual northern california cold weather helps with that).  one day stella was tiny, slept all day.   suddenly she’s standing, pulling herself up on everything.  giggling at the cat, two fisting bagels, pulling herself out the door and onto the back deck.  splashing in the tub.  she has gotten VERY fun.  i forget how fun 8 months is. 

8 month olds are so cute.  they are happy.  there are no temper tantrums.  there is only discovery.  and joy.  joy of being alive.  they radiate love.  whenever we take stella anywhere her eyes are so wide, her head swirling to see everything in sight.  she can’t get enough of life.  and i can’t get enough of her, or her me.  she is convinced that she and i must always be within eye sight of each other.  touching is better, and cuddling the best in her opinion.

time is going too fast.  soon stella will be 18 months.  and then 8.  and then (God forbid) 18.  and someday i hope she’s 78.  but right now, right now i don’t want her to grow another day.  i want to freeze her in this happy little bubble.  i want to always hear, “babababa…phoootttttt….bababba”.  i want to see her chunky little arms reaching for a banana while licking her lips.  her eyes wide and a giggle cough when the cat wanders into the room.  how she bounces when she’s excited. which is often. 

grandma becky gave stella a book called, “when stella was very small.”  it’s about how when you are small the world is so big, the possibilities are endless.  it’s a very nice book.  but in the book stella grows up. 

as any mother i pray mainly for my children’s health and happiness.  but i also pray that stella doesn’t grow up, at least not all the way.  i want her to still keep her eyes open wide.  i want her to smile every time she sees a cat.  i want her to bounce when she’s excited.  i want the world to remain big, without limitations on imagination.  i want the possibilites to be endless.  and i want her to know that cuddling with mommy REALLY IS one of the best things ever.  she was right all along.

wilson.

there is a silence that i think only stay at home moms understand.  it’s not the silence of naptime (blessed silence that is) it’s the silence of non-communication.  our days are spent in babbles and bawling.  screams and sputters.  you talk , they listen, and you talk some more.  there is RARELY ever a quiet moment in a house with children.  but when you have little ones that are pre-talking you become locked in a silent bubble.  try talking to yourself for hours, days, weeks at a time and having no one answer you-except for the occasional, “ba!”  or stella’s ever so popular, “mmmmm….bububuubu….hmmmmmm”.  you don’t realize how bonkers you’ve become until you are standing in the grocery store line and normal conversation seems difficult and you feel your lips going, “baaaa.” 

stay at home moms go to crazy extremes to find conversation.  we arrange ‘playdates’ for 8 month olds (they end up sleeping in their car seats while the moms fumble to find words).  we go to the park like most people go to happy hours.  we stand a little longer in lines hoping to be caught up in conversation.  a few words here or there will last us til next week. 

when matt comes home from work and asks me something i often start sputtering while my mind attempts to form real grown up words.  with the kids i speak extra loud, slower, and stress certain aspects. 

“hand me the PLATE. the ORANGE PLATE.  THANK YOU.  mommy says THANK YOU to LINCOLN”

“don’t hit her.  DON’T HIT HER. OUCH! OWIE. lincoln will give stella an owie.”

“DOG. that’s a BLACK DOG. dogs go RUFF RUFF.” 

and so on and so force.  reading back over it sounds ridiculous.  silly.  no one talks like that.  but i do.  everyday.  and for good reason.  they have to learn manners.  they have to learn animals. they have to learn colors.  they have to learn to not hit.  they have to learn to TALK. 

 and finally, when you think you have been cast to sea and forgotten about, when the silence among the screams seem to be deafening, you ask a question and get an answer.

“is lincoln poopy?” i asked while unbuckling stella from the stroller, half paying attention half thinking of my venti coffee getting cold.

“NO! ba-ba-blocks!” and he picked up the bag of oversized legos and threw them on the ground.  I was in shock.  wait a minute….was that…an ANSWER?!  dear Lord did we just have a conversation?!  it wasn’t much, the next question was answered in giggles, but it was an answer.  we were getting somewhere.

i often chuckle because i feel like tom hanks in the movie Cast Away.  he spends his days talking to and arguing with a volleyball he named wilson.  I have the same one sided conversations day in and day out, i amuse myself with the topics.  we talk about what to have for dinner, how to properly prepare fish, which path we like best walking home, which park we like best, the differences between sport balls.  but unlike tom hanks, my wilson’s will answer me someday.  and yesterday, i had a glimpse, a sliver, of that conversation.

but for now i am going to enjoy my captivated audience and relish in the fact that i get to monopolize the conversation without being rude, and that i always get the last word.