Something crazy happened today…I lost my baby. I didn’t misplace her. She wasn’t kidnapped. She’s just gone. That tiny baby girl that loved to be held and snuggle for hours and sleep is nowhere to be found. She has been replaced by this crazy toddler that wakes up and immediately starts jumping up and down so hard in her crib that we can hear the thumps and the squeaking of the springs two rooms away.
It’s funny, there were definitely things I loved about having a newborn. I loved holding my daughter, just wrapping her up and cuddling for hours. I loved the way she would sleep best lying on my chest. I loved the fact that I could put her down somewhere and walk away to go use the bathroom or get a drink and she would be in the exact same spot and perfectly content when I returned.
Yet, at the same time, there are a whole lot of things I definitely don’t miss. The feeding/sleeping/pooping schedule for instance. How new parents actually survive those first few months is a damn miracle. I mean, the sleep deprivation alone is enough to drive you to the brink of madness. Then you add things like spit up and explosive diarrhea and walking around completely petrified that you are going to accidentally damage this fragile little person that you’ve been entrusted to care for. It’s a miracle that new parents actually make it through the first year without their heads exploding.
Then comes toddlerhood, and the rules of the game suddenly change without warning. Instead of being able to spend a lazy afternoon snuggling and napping with my daughter, I have become a human jungle gym. Cadence wants to be on me or close enough to touch me 24/7, yet she’s only interested in snuggling for about six seconds at a time. After that, she’s far more interested in seeing if she can climb up onto my head using my hair as a rope to aid the ascent.
And forget about putting her down and leaving the room for a moment and expecting to find her in the same spot when I return. In the five seconds it takes to pour myself a cup of coffee, Cadence has managed to rearrange all the icons on my cell phone, change to the DirectTV information channel and start recording, and somehow rig my laptop so that the only key on the keyboard that actually works is the Back Space key. And all this after she has already taken every single one of her toys off the shelf and strewn them across the living room floor. These days, my showering opportunities are fully dependent on whether Cadence can be coaxed into her high chair and distracted with either breakfast or some paper and crayons.
You spend the newborn days staring at your baby in love drunk fascination, and you spend the toddler days staring at your child in utter disbelief.
Did she just say doggy?
Did she just build that big block tower all by herself?
Did she really just climb to the top of the couch, fall flat on her face, laugh, and climb up again?
Every day is certainly an adventure when you’re in the midst of toddlerhood. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to collapse in bed so I can get up and do it all again tomorrow.
Tonight’s 365 Project entry is dedicated to the little girl who keeps me on my toes. Here are a few photos of my baby, who is not so much a baby anymore.