Ever since people found out I was pregnant, they told me to be careful and cherish every moment with my baby because “time flies.” And they were right. I feel like only yesterday I was spending two hours putting Ev to bed. I feel really bad saying it, but at the time that felt like a chore and sometimes my mind wandered to what other things I could be doing. Now I yearn for that time together so badly it hurts! I would love to rock Ev in my arms and have him fall asleep on my chest and lay there for two hours.
But being a text-book toddler, Ev is increasingly independent, or at least trying to be. While my husband and I try not to get into power struggles, we have our moments. Just the other morning Ev wanted to fight me on everything. He screamed when it was time to change out of pajamas and into clothes, he kicked off his shoes as I was putting them on and he didn’t want what I gave him for breakfast. He fought me right up until leaving when putting on his coat. I kept my voice calm and let him know that while I was sorry he was upset about those things, it didn’t change anything (it’s illegal to go to child care naked, you know).
Although I was OK with how I handled the morning, I was still very regretful when I pulled away from his child care. He was totally fine by the time I dropped him off, but I was not fine. Our time together that morning wasn’t pleasant and as I pulled away, I was thinking I wanted to do it over and it literally brought me to tears.
Sometimes it’s hard to cherish the moment and take advantage of time together for lots of reasons. I really admire when I see other parents seizing those opportunities. At a recent family gathering, my brother and sister-in-law’s 3-year-old son seemed a little over-whelmed by all of the people in his house. Even though she had a house full of people and food literally in the oven, she knew she needed to spend some time with him. They went upstairs and cuddled on the bed while watching one of his favorite shows. Some may question that decision but I think she did exactly what she needed to do.
So when Ev just wanted me to hold him and cry about everything at bedtime last night, and having all this on my mind lately, instead of putting him straight to bed I rocked and sang to him for awhile. He wasn’t going to fall asleep that way anymore so I couldn’t do it long, but I wanted to end our day feeling like we’d had some quality time together.