Monday, November 26, 2012

instant toddler

toddling away
Mason turned one, and someone flipped a switch. In an instant, it seemed, I went from having a baby to chasing around a toddler.

Mason couldn't even walk completely on his own by his first birthday. He took plenty of independent steps then, but we didn't officially classify him as a walker until he was 13 months, when Hurricane Sandy blew through and we were trapped inside for two days. Desperate to get out, he grew brave and started walking running. He hasn't slowed down since then.

By Mason's first birthday, we had survived and even thrived during the various phases one's first year: keeping a detailed eating, napping, and pooping log to share with the pediatrician during the early days; waking Mason up to eat every three hours; middle-of-the-night feedings; sponge baths; caring for his circumcision and umbilical cord wounds; swaddling; teething; and introducing solids. We also celebrated myriad other firsts: holidays, visits, and accomplishments. We survived shots and his first cold, fever, and stomach bug. He survived his first falls when learning to sit, and then eventually to walk. Breastfeeding came and went. And so did my full-time job outside the home.

Even Baby Center immediately changed their language after Mason's first birthday. The weekly update emails went from "your baby" to "your toddler".

How can one year of life contain so much change? My head and heart are still reeling. Many days, I think, "What just happened?" in regards to the past year.

I miss the little baby days. My heart yearns for them. But at the same time, I love each new stage more than the last. Even with Mason's hot temper and constant need for discipline, my boy is such a blast! There's something to be said for a child who can say Mama and give sweet, unsolicited kisses. That simple display of unconditional love makes the all consuming effort in caring for a young child feel less exhausting and cumbersome.

Fellow parents, tell me, will Mason's birthdays always feel like flipping a switch--from baby to toddler to little boy? I can't imagine any other year containing as much change as the first one did.


Thrift Store Mama said...

I think the changes always seem fairly significant when viewed through the lens of an entire year. Birthdays tend to remind me to the enormity and tremendous privilege of the task of mothering, so I tend to get rather contemplative.

Jen V said...

just wait until he says, "mama, i love you soooo much!' so sweet!