So on Wednesday my daughter turned 3 years old. I spoiled her rotten on that day. Whatever she wanted to eat, play, do, and go, we did. The following day she had her first preschool birthday party. Mommy and Daddy brought in Dunkin Donut Munchkins (it is all they allow parents to bring in due to allergies) for all her classmates, and watched as our big three year old strutted around with a specially made crown, adorned with princesses, talking to her new friends, and drinking water from a real cup like a big girl. If this wasn’t enough, yesterday we had her big party with family and friends in attendance. In the midst of buying presents, planning parties, channeling Martha Stewart, and finding time for everyday life, it hit me that I have a child of “preschool age.” She’s not a newborn, or a baby, and toddlerhood is quickly fading. Outside of the fact that we had a 3 on her cake, and had to plan her first preschool celebration, the moment it really hit me that we didn’t have such a little girl anymore was when Bret brought home some birthday gifts, some which were 3T footie pajamas. Have you seen the size of these things? They’re huge, and my daughter fills them in quite nicely. I know it is a small thing, but it’s always those small things that hit home more than others (like when buying new shoes for them because the ones you just bought are now too small, or seeing new parents holding their new baby in a baby bjorn). It’s those moments that remind me of the how many things that I/we/us have experienced. Thousands of memories, many of them wonderful (hearing her say I love you mommy for the first time), with a couple that I would be ok forgetting (when she found a garbage bag of chicken wing bones, and proceeded to put one in her mouth, and choke on it – that one took 10 years off my life!). As I think back, I thought it would be fun to reminisce a bit about the moments of the last 3 years that stand out.
-The moment she arrived here – after 40+ hours of labor, complications, and having a completely opposite result than my birthing plan, I had a healthy, 8 lb. 11 oz. beautiful baby girl.
-Seeing her cuddle with daddy so mommy can rest.
-Bouncing her in her bouncy chair with our foot during dinner and at two in the morning because that’s the only way we could get our borderline collicky baby to get some shut eye.
-Hearing her laugh for the first time, then trying to get her to do it again so daddy could hear it.
-Taking a 101 pictures, using every tactic in the book, to try to get one shot were she was smiling.
-Ferberizing her (that was tough), but having those nights of silence and sleep was golden.
-Seeing her roll over, sit up, stand up, crawl, walk, and hop for the first time. Each one got more and more exciting.
You can skip to 143 seconds to see Brooke’s First Steps
-Bringing her to playdates, and watching her steal other baby’s pacifiers out of their mouths so that she could put it in her own.
-I have fond memories of when she used to nap for 3 hours. Quiet time is nice, but it is just not the same.
-Smelling like maple syrup while taking fenugreek so I could keep up the pumping for as long as my body would (I lasted 8 months of manual pumping – how I pumped that long without an electronic pump, I will never know.
-Hearing her babble, say mommy, and I love you for the first time. So precious.
-Watching her open up presents on her own. That look of sheer excitement is priceless.
-Making homemade baby food, and feeding her for the first time.
-Hearing that trickling sound the first time she went pee-pee on the potty. Oh Happy Day!
-Seeing the pure enjoyment she gets out of trying new things – helping mommy bake, learning to use scissors, playing with new toys.. it is so much fun doing all those things with her.
-Her first ballet class.
-Pushing her on the swings (even though I have to push her for 30 minutes straight, just to have her get off to go on the slide one time, then back to the swings again for another 30 minute swing session). She loves it, so it makes it worth it – plus I am sure my arm is a bit stronger because of it. 😉
-That look she gets when you can tell she is taking it all in, and making sense of the world. Oh if I could only hear what her little thoughts sounded like..
-Reading stories with her, playing tent under a blanket, or playing make believe.. All of it reminds you of how much fun being a kid really is.
-The scary moments when things go wrong. Daughter falling out of a rocking swing. Check. First call to poison control because she ate the contents of the packet that comes in a shoe box that is clearly marked, Do Not Eat. Check. The second call to poison control when she ate dirt out of a house plant that had fertilizer pellets in it. Check. Using the heimlich for the first time when your daughter chokes on a chicken wing bone. Check. Though these are the scariest moments of a parents life, it is also the moments when you hug you child just a little bit tighter, and realize that your love for them is beyond words, and if anything happened to them, it would be unbearable. It reminds you of how precious the moments we have with our children really are.
There are hundreds more moments that I love and cherish. It is when you are in those moments, or remember those moments, when you realize that those moments are just that, moments in time that are fleeting. You can cherish those moments always, but only if the memories are made in the first place. So take some time out of your day, spend that one on one time with your little one, and build some memories out of those fleeting moments. Those memories will bring you joy for the rest of your life.
What are some of the special moments you always look back on and smile about from your days of being a parent?