Eeek…has it really been almost two weeks since I’ve posted? Yes, it has. Some wild and wonderful things have been taking place in our household over the past two weeks (more wild than the normal toddler-pulling-cat parade, and more wonderful than Ben & Jerry’s ANYTHING, if you can believe that…) BUT, since I’m not at liberty to divulge the wonderfulness yet, you’ll have to forgive my sporadic writing. I know, all 42 of you are terribly sad, right? Wink wink, nod nod.
And so, today I’m reflecting on my momness, and it’s lack of newness…
Back to school…while my son isn’t in preschool yet, we have always referred to daycare as “school”, since something in my mind tells me this will make the transition easier once he does start kindergarten. But, because preschool is part of the center he attends, there’s always a Fall Open House, since there are kids moving up to start preschool. The teachers also try to coordinate other classroom moves to occur around this time, which means more than half of his current “class” in the 12-18 month toddler room has now moved up to the 18-24 month room. We said goodbye (for now) to a few of his friends, and welcomed a big group of very new toddlers.
Miles is now the second oldest in his class; my sweetest boy is, for now, one of the “big kids.”
While dropping him off at school last week (the “first week” in new classrooms for those moved), one of the new moms arrived just minutes after us. She talked to her little guy, and handed her list of instructions to one of the teachers. She had lengthy conversations about how her son likes to eat his cereal, the best way to get him to eat peas, and how much milk he usually drinks with snacks and meals. I couldn’t help but giggle in my head while listening to this “new” mom. Because I knew that once they were at school, all bets were off. I knew that Miles would eat twice as much broccoli here than at home; that he would love chicken and rice at school, but refuse it from me. My heart was filled with empathy for this still-new mom.
And that’s when I realized something…I am no longer new. Oh yes, I am still a first-time mom, but I am not a new mom. We survived the first year: newborn, infant, rolling, crawling, learning to walk and talk, dropping the bottle and eating dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets. One big, beautiful blur of important moments, quickly jotted in a baby book for me to reflect on when I have a smelly preteen.
Those new mom days, they’re something else, right? So many moments of uncertainty (not that we have it all together by this age, either…) So much time spent googling, searching, asking, comparing. And the worry – oh, the worry – is he eating enough? Drinking enough? Napping enough? Getting enough sunshine?
Suddenly, and without you even realizing, it’s just a familiar routine. One day you just know that your son will expect peas and corn and PB&J for lunch every Saturday. You will know from the moment you put him down for his nap whether it will be a quick two hours, or a glorious three hours. You will see the summer cold before he even has his first cough. You know more about poop than you ever imagined possible. And your super mom senses will tell you when he’s about to throw the plate of ravioli at the dog.
I chat with the still-new moms every morning, and listen to their worries and concerns about weaning from the bottle, or dropping the second nap. I remember asking those same questions to my veteran mom friends; I remember my frustration when answers like, “You’ll figure it out” or “It will happen on its own” were the only responses. Because as a new mom, I felt like somewhere in the great book of mom knowledge, there were answers and they just weren’t sharing.
But they were right. We figured it out, and if we didn’t, things happened on their own. We followed Miles’ lead. And slowly, I just became a mom – no longer new. It’s an incredible feeling, knowing your child so well (right now…) Words cannot describe the bond we share, but a series of goofy faces and fart noises sure can.
I am happy and blessed and thankful each day to be just mom; no longer new.