Just like that, I am now the mother of two toddlers.
While we were in Auckland Chip started walking. He is delighting in his new-found freedom and wobbles off as fast as his little legs will go.
While my children will always be my babies, even when they are old and grey, it is with only a teensy bit of sadness that I kiss babyhood goodbye. Our play gyms, bouncers and slings are officially retired, and I just gave away the last of Chip’s baby clothes to be worn by the soon-to-be-born baby of a dear friend.
I have several friends who are either due to give birth soon, or who have recently had baby number two or three, and all I can think is ‘I am so glad I’m not in your shoes!’ That first year with a new baby is so intense, even if it’s your second, fourth or tenth.
I know many parents struggle to know when their family is ‘done’ and regret not having another child, or who suffer the pain of secondary infertility. D and I have never hankered after a large family and both have a very solid sense of being done. I have a new appreciation for just how breathtaking and clever and fun and mucky and miraculous babies are, but I do not hanker after any more. Any such thoughts are deftly quashed by the thought of having another dreadful pregnancy like I had with Chip – only this time with two children in tow. No, I could not go through that again.
I’m enjoying having children who (mostly) sleep through the night. I love the utterly random conversations I have with my almost three year-old girl, and the ‘what the heck is that’ pointing from my 13 month-old boy who just wants to know what absolutely everything is called – and preferably put it in his mouth.
Life is still dictated somewhat by the midday nap, but at least there is only one nap to worry about. While my brain has years of sleep to catch up on, it definitely seems to be more functional these days…unlike the baby sleep-deprived brain when I forgot how to spell my last name. I like having more capacity for other things in my life, and being able to have conversations with D that don’t involve monitoring the bowel movements of our baby, or desperately trying to get the baby to stop crying.
So bye bye baby, hello toddlerhood. I hear ‘threenagers’ are really, um, interesting.