I was wistful early on, in those bleary-eyed weeks of new motherhood, when it seemed that mini changed by the minute. Time was moving fast and slow; if I blinked, I’d miss a new expression, a first, a last. I am even now nostalgic, weepy for those newborn, birdlike squeaks and squawks, her angelic stupor when well-fed, her wide-eyed alertness at a new sound or a bright color or the crooning of my voice. In the movie Tully, one character says: “Kiss your baby goodnight — she’ll be different in the morning.” She was changing in realtime, and I knew it, and I felt a lump in the back of my throat when I’d creep away from her bassinet and pour myself between the sheets.
And then there was a string of weeks when we moved to New York and settled into a new life, when she was around eight months old, and I was flying by the seat of my pants. I was too worried about just making the basics happen — finding her a quiet place to sleep amidst hotels and our new box-clogged apartment, getting her into a new schedule, figuring out what new solids she might take, trying to decide when to wean, weaning, keeping her clothes and bottles clean when we were migrant and then without a dishwasher. I didn’t have the emotional capacity to linger long over the swift and cruel passage of time. I was moving at what felt like blinding speed. Everything had changed overnight, and I was too whiplashed and dizzied to think about my girl and how much she was still changing before my eyes. Maybe this was a kindness, a reprieve from the intensity of new motherhood weepiness and worries; I don’t know. Is it unseemly to turn to mush every other day, as I did on occasion in those early months?
And then, there was a parade of months where she learned to crawl and I learned how to care for a crawling baby, and then she learned to walk, and I learned how to care for a walking baby, and then she learned how to pull herself onto sofas and chairs and strollers and other generally precarious perches, and I am still lingering there, in the waves of don’t-be-too-anxious-let-her-learn and oh-my-god-please-just-get-down-from-there. These months have been fast and exhausting, and in many ways I feel like I’m swinging from monkey bar to monkey bar, just trying to keep up with my precocious (she can’t yet talk per se, but my, my is she expressive) and hilarious and endearing and brave and sharp little girl. (Does every mother to a 1.5 year old describe her own child in these terms, I wonder?)
But there is a returning wistfulness that pummels me with mounting frequency these days. I collected a bag of outgrown clothes to donate, and tears lined my lashes. I sorted through a bin of old toys to make way for new ones and — oh my, how have we moved beyond the Sophie days? I tilted my head to take her in the other day, leaning back lazily against the couch, her legs crossed at the ankles, looking more a thirteen year old than a seventeen month old, and I stifled a sob. I observed a mother sitting in Central Park with a baby girl who couldn’t have been more than a month old and I put my hand to my heart. “Oh,” I intoned gently, instinctively. The vision of them, their closeness, the baby’s newness. I could almost feel my girl of three weeks in my arms again. Her smell, her heat, her leaning onto me. The curl of her unhappy lip. The shock of her dark hair. The glitter of her curious eyes.
Ugh, my heart.
I sit here, dabbing my eyes.
+A fun gift for a British babe. (Or Anglophile parents.)
+Had to order this for mini’s fall wardrobe. How precious?! Love the floral print.
+This is currently my go-to water bottle for mini while we’re out an about. They’re super sturdy, the images on the sides don’t get easily scraped off, they’re mold-resistant, and they hold a lot of water, which makes me happy in these steamy August days. I think I have to buy a second!
+I mentioned recently that mini prefers utensils that she can use to actually spear her food — and just came across these! So fun and colorful! #Inthebasket
+Another addition to our Christmas shopping list for mini…the list is getting long and we’ll need to cull it considerably.
+Loving this sophisticated peplum turtleneck tunic! Would be such an easy spare outfit to throw into my diaper bag with a pair of black leggings for the inevitable spill/mess situation this fall.
+THAT ELEPHANT COLLAR!!!!
+Mini is going to be attending ballet classes this fall (!) and I had fun revisiting all my picks for her here.