I'm really not digging the Terrible Twos right now. From one day to the next, we never know if we'll have a good day (laughing, smiling, cuteness, new words, new skills, cooperation, good naps, eating well) or a Terrible day (screaming, crying, throwing things, getting frustrated over a lack of new words and skills, refusing to take a nap, acting like food he liked the day before is burning acid in his throat...). The highs are really high, like J running up to me and cannonballing into my lap, shouting "Mommy!" like I'm the best thing he ever saw. But then the lows can be pretty low, as evidenced by the scene last night when J flipped out over taking a bath, but we had to force the issue because he was covered in dirt and chocolate pudding, so we ganged up on him like jail wardens, TH wrestling the kid while I manned the soap and washcloth.
That said...I realized over the weekend what I hate the most about this age. It's the growing pains -- mine, not his. My baby is leaving me. Sure, he's still in diapers and he still sleeps in a crib, but his growing independence is causing me to struggle some days just as much as him. Over the weekend we had a little dinner party/playdate with friends from out of town--one friend has 8-month-old twins, and the other has an 8-week-old. As I was holding the newborn baby, I tried to remember J at that age, and I couldn't. I remember that time in our life, and I can tell a million stories about breastfeeding, poopy diapers, and sleep deprivation, but I can't really remember what J looked or sounded or smelled like then. If I didn't have the pictures to prove it, I probably would have forgotten little details like what his face looked like without eyebrows (he didn't have any for a long time) and the fact that he had pretty bad baby acne when he was 6 weeks old (totally forgot about that until I pulled out the photo album the other day). Then I looked over at J standing next to one of the twins, and he was HUGE, he towered over them like a giant. Was he really as small as them only a little over a year ago? When did he fit 9-month size clothes? I remember saying to my sister when he was that age that I couldn't even imagine him walking and with a mouth full of teeth. And she wisely told me, "Just wait. Soon you won't be able to remember when he didn't."
I looked back and forth between the 3 littles ones and my big one, and realized his "baby" days are quickly receding into distant memory. And wouldn't you know it, I felt a little sad. Don't get me wrong, I love my almost-preschooler, tantrums and all. He's much more fun and interesting and engaging in so many ways, and in all honesty I wasn't a huge fan of the newborn phase anyway. It's not so much that I miss him being a baby...it's more the realization that the whole point of going through these Terrible Twos is to start the long road to independence. He's still needy and clingy to Mommy most days, but I can see that as he learns to jump and walk and run, he's jumping and walking and running away from us, bit by bit. One day (too soon) all of this...this...littleness will be another distant memory and a picture in the photo album, and I won't be able to really remember a lot of it. The day is coming when I'll be watching him skateboard down the street or something, and I'll fondly recall him throwing a fit about not being able to turn the pedals on the tricycle, screaming "I DO IT! I DO IT!" as I tried to help him. I'll be like my own mom, forcing my former mama's boy to give me a kiss before he runs into his first day of school, then secretly watching him through the window and crying (one of her favorite stories). I know, I know, it's wonderful and necessary and the natural order of things, but still...it burns a little, doesn't it?
Practice makes perfect
8 years ago