Who is this little girl whose legs drape over mine as I rock and read her a bedtime story? Wasn’t it just yesterday that she easily fit lengthwise in my lap?
Who is this child who runs to me with a a book while whispering “cookie” and when I look, I see the book she picked is “If you give a mouse a cookie”? Wasn’t it just last week that she stared blankly at the pages as I read to her?
Who is this girl with curls at the nape of her neck that need to be blown dry before bedtime? When just a moment ago her head was full of peach fuzz and we were sure she would never have hair long enough for barrettes?
Who is this girl who grins and whispers “HAP-HEE” when I finally give in to her whining and say with exasperation, “Are you happy now?” I so easily remember when she didn’t whine or talk or laugh, when instead her only way to communicate was to cry.
This child who “cooks dinner” at her play kitchen one moment, crawls into my lap with a book the next, giggles and runs away when I ask for a kiss and has an opinion about what she eats for breakfast can’t possibly be the same baby we brought home from the hospital nearly 16 months ago. It’s so hard to comprehend just how much she has learned and how much she’s grown in those months that have flown by.
When I think about having another newborn, I look forward to those snuggles from a brand-new baby. I love imagining the weight of an infant in my arms. And I dream about holding him or her close and breathing in the newborn smell. I love the newborn stage. Even with the sleepless nights and copious amounts of bodily fluid that ends up on my shoulders and down my shirt. I love the dependency that a newborn has and the newness that she brings.
But? Then I look at C. I see her giggle, give hugs and kisses, answer questions and throw temper tantrums and I think that the toddler stage? It’s pretty cool too.