Having children just 18 months apart meant I basically had 2 straight years of 2 year-olds and 2+ LONG years of threenagers. I always say, The days are long but the years are short. I feel like that sentiment is a pretty good summary of motherhood. The toddler years were some of my longest days, and that is saying something since my infants both had reflux!
But oh those toddler days.…some of the highlights included when my 20 month-old repeatedly threw EVERYTHING within reach down the stairs while I tried to nurse my 2 month old. I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I teach my baby to watch TV? He could be totally entertained by Elmo right now!” Another highlight was when my 3 year old desperately wanted to wear 2 shoes on the same foot. He cried so hard he threw up in the carseat as I was trying to get off to work one bright morning. Then there was the communication barrier that seemed to be too much for my 2 year old when he wanted his balloon string shorter-longer-bigger. I just couldn’t understand what he wanted and my attempt to make it shorter by cutting it with scissors incited the most hysterical screams. My attempt to tie the now broken pieces back to a longer version actually brought on more hysterics!
One of my favorite toddler memories was when my 9 month-old with extreme reflux vomited all over the bedroom carpet, and my sensitive 2 year-old sympathetically threw up on the living room carpet! The only thing better than cleaning up puke in one room is cleaning up puke in two. Ahhhh, those toddler days sure were long.
Although there were struggles with basically any outing and both my toddlers possessed completely irrational reasoning, the snuggly toddler years really were something to be treasured. The joy they exuded was contagious. I can still hear their toddler giggles ringing in my ears. I truly enjoyed watching them grow and develop on a daily basis and couldn’t get enough of watching them sleep. (Partially because that was the only time they truly were still and not over-emoting!)
As the toddler days are now a memory and the overwhelming moments are actually a little funny, we’ve moved on to the pre-school and kindergarten days. With naps no longer a dictator of our schedule, our days are actually a little more calm. These days tend to be a little less emotional and a little more reasonable. They are still filled with plenty of difficult moments (such as when my 4 year-old got in a physical fight with a new friend at a play date and insisted he was going to be the boss.) The actions of my kindergartener are sometimes still a bit unpredictable. As I’m writing this, he just came in the house with the backyard soccer net stuck on his head and said, “I don’t know know why I did that.” Alas, the higher level of thinking is quite a welcomed change from the mostly unreasonable and crazy days that were our daily life for several years. I love the glimpses of the future boys (and men) that I see in them as they navigate new and bigger challenges.
Each stage has seemingly brought forth a seesaw of experiences. Challenges were balanced by the sweet moments, milestones met, or memories made. As we face each new stage of life, we are facing each season and recognizing that the challenges are part of the blessing.