Goodbye to Two

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June got mad at preschool today — really mad. For her, anyway.

June, Henry and I go to a mommy-and-me preschool type thing right down the road from our house, and all of us love it. It gives us structure, it gives Henry exposure to other kids, and it gives June some much-needed socialization. She’s usually introverted and shy to the point of catatonia. But not today.

Today we were sitting in our semi-circle with all the other kids and their mothers for story time. Instead of a story, the teacher pulled out a wooden Melissa and Doug birthday cake and we sang Happy Birthday to the three kids who had turned four over the weekend. Apparently, June was not having it. She left the reading circle, sat with her back toward everyone else, and crossed her elbows, clearly pissed.

“I NOT singing that song, Mommy,” she said. “I just NOT singing it. It’s MY birfday TOO.”

“No, sweetie, it’s not your birthday until next month. We’ll sing happy birthday for you next month. Right now it’s their turn.”

“NO.” She said, sticking her feet straight out in front of her, in defiance. “It’s my birthday NOW. I three NOW.”

And it hit me: Whoa. She’ll be three soon. One more month, and I’ll no longer have a two year old.

And, ouch, my heart. On the way home, trying to hold it together, I made a mental list of things we’ll be saying goodbye to, when two is officially over: This is the last year she’s going to reach for me to hold her when we walk down the steps. This will be the last year she’ll plop down on my lap and kiss me on the lips and say “I yuv you!” without provocation. This is the last year she’ll pronounce frustrating as fushing! God willing, this is the last year she’ll eat ONLY CEREAL for every single meal.

“Mommy, can I have some — ” NO

I’m not ready.

I want more.

I know everyone tells you not to “wish the days away,” but the newborn days suck, and I definitely wished them away. All of them. I would happily hold them in my belly until the twenty-fifth trimester so I could avoid the nursing-for-a-half-hour-every-forty-minutes stage. (Otherwise known as the is-that-blood-jesus-christ-my-nipples-are-bleeding-again-somebody-please-anesthetize-me stage.) It’s not my favorite stage. I cherish my sweet newborns, I do. I hold them and kiss their milk-lips and nibble on their cheeks when they’re sleeping. And then I toss them in their baby swing and run like hell so I can take a shower and ice my nips.

And I’ll probably get crucified for saying so, but anything before eight weeks is so boring. They’re cute and everything, but it’s just a lot of work for not a whole lot of payoff: How’s the baby? Uh, he weighs, like, ten pounds now, I think? He nurses a lot still. He really likes playing with this kleenex box full of scarves. He doesn’t *quite* hold his head up yet — but maybe soon! Wow. Riveting. All that excitement totally makes up for the ninety cumulative minutes of sleep I got last night.

Oh, yes, it will. But we parents of newborns call it “the scare ball”

When I think of being pregnant again, I inwardly groan, because pregnancy. And newborn stage. And bleeding nips. But when I think of having another one- or two-year-old, I could have a million of those and never get sick of it. Two is when some of this parenting stuff actually feels like it’s starting to pay off. Two is when you can opine on their personality instead of run through a laundry list of boring milestones.

I am not a weepy, emotional mother by any means (unless I skip my zoloft for five or six days and then let’s just say I’ve been known to binge-watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians all afternoon and cry when Kim loses her earrings in the ocean). I am not nostalgic and I never cried when my babies reached their milestones. I never told them to slow down, you’re growing up too fast! I told them to hurry up and sleep through the night, so I don’t feel like killing myself!

I am guilty of wishing the days away. I am lazy. I don’t like work. Motherhood is hard. Sacrifice is really really hard. Having bleeding nipples and no sleep and wonky anxiety hormones sucks so badly. I’m not nostalgic for these moments. Probably because I’m in the thick of them.

Truth. And I’ll scrapbook WHEN I’M DEAD.

But two is the exception. It’s kind of throwing me for a loop. It’s so very challenging and so very, very joyful. Even when I’m scolding her for throwing her underwear at me yet again, or when I’m leading her by the hand, screaming, into Time Out because she threw a toy at her brother (“FINE, I SHARE!”), and I just want five minutes where she doesn’t ask me for another bowl of goddamn cereal, I feel so much joy and love in my heart that I catch myself smiling when I shouldn’t be. I sneak upstairs where my husband’s working and relay everything naughty she’s done and hold back laughter until my abdomen aches.

I’m not ready to say goodbye.

I want more.

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9 thoughts on “Goodbye to Two

  1. You are hilarious! Breastfeeding hurt so bad for me in the beginning but at least I avoided bleeding nipples, yikes. And I’m with you on not loving the newborn stage, I love love three year old kids. And seriously LOL on the binge watching of The Kardashians when skipping Zoloft. I skip mine and I’m watching Teen Mom or Bridezillas 🙂 move near me so we can be besties!

  2. I am not a newborn person either– I remember Sim going to sleep and my mother saying how lovely he was and me being like “Yeah, but don’t you kind of wish he would just grow up a little?” Sim will be two this month and I already love it. June will be great at three I’m sure. Can’t wait to watch your FB and read all her sassy talk!

    • “Yeah, but don’t you kind of wish he would grow up just a little?” LOL FOREVER, that’s totally what I thought when June was like three months old!!

  3. Lady, we are like motherhood twins. People keep asking me if we want more kids, and I’m all like, “Sure I want more kids. I just don’t want any more BABIES”. Which raises some eyebrows, as you can imagine. I want every person who’s ever told me not to wish it away to spend a week walking one of my colicky newborns around the living room for 12 hours a day, then tell me how much they are cherishing it.

  4. Pingback: Hold On | wifeytini

  5. Sooo… This is perfectly written. I whole heartedley agree with you. I feel the same way about the newborn stage. I love 6 months and on. I love love love one year olds. My son is two and can be challenging at times, but watching him learn new things and communicate better every single day is so fun. Also, where do you do the mommy and me pre school? My son needs more socialization for sure because the day care he goes to has just one other child and I notice his lack of sharing and “being nice” skills a lot. Thanks for this great post!

    • yes! Six months and on is great 🙂 Hell, I’ll even take four months…as long as I’m sleeping 5-6 hours and my nipples aren’t bleeding, I’m good! hahaha

  6. Soooo… This post is perfectly written. I am also not the biggest fan of the newborn stage. I love 6 months and up. I love love love one year olds. My son is two and he can be challenging at times but seeing him talk more everyday and learn more and more and get excited about things is so so fun. Also, where do you go for mommy and me pre-school? My son needs more socialization because I’ve been noticing his lack of sharing and being nice skills a lot lately. Thanks for a great post!

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