Today, I watched you walk out the door with your grandma, on your way to a fun morning date to the Science Museum. You walked down the stairs in front of our little white house, one hand holding the railing, the other holding grandma's hand. You looked like such a big girl. I said to myself 'where did my baby go?' I thought of two summers ago, when I was waddling up and down those stairs, my belly so big and full of life - you were all curled up in there, getting ready to come out - and I was busy getting ready for your arrival: planning a nursery, washing diapers and onesies, all while dreaming of you, my sweet Baby P. How are you already almost two years old?
Today, you played at a little indoor play area at our local mall with grandma and me. We shared (and I use that word lightly because I think you drank most of it) a mango smoothie and you sat on my lap, enjoying the novelty of drinking out of three straws. I told your grandma that last time you and I shared a smoothie (about 6 or 7 months ago), it was a much more equitable experience :) But it's okay, I know it's all part of growing up. You know what is yours, or, more accurately, what you would like to be yours, and you know how to defend it.
You are growing up.
Later, when you were playing (after you made sure that the mango smoothie was gone), you found it difficult to share the play area with the other children, telling them "No" and saying "Eliza's!" when they tried to play where you wanted to play. You were upset that a little girl was on the slide. You pushed her and were not very gentle with her. I jumped up and came over to you and we talked about gentle touches and you told the little girl you were sorry. It was hard for mama to see you do that; I know you are a kind, tender, gentle girl, and you were just having a hard time sharing today.
You are growing up, and this is all part of growing up. As I watched you, again I wondered, 'where did my baby go?'
Today, you pooped in your potty for the first time and you were happy and proud of yourself, and yet, at the same time, it was like it was no big deal to you. You just stood up and slammed the lid shut and (almost) walked away (there was still the small matter of wiping to be dealt with...). When dada came home, you said "I pooped!" and we all laughed and high-fived. When I called grandma and grandpa to tell them, grandpa said it made him a little sad - you are growing up.
Today, I am a very proud, very happy mama.
There are moments when this is hard. Like, really really hard. Moments when parenting you, my dear toddler girl, is not fun, or even The Thing I Would Like To Be Doing Most at that moment. But that is normal, and those moments pass. And I remind myself that each day will be different, each day you will change, that 'this too shall pass'... I remind myself that you are growing up. And it is bittersweet.
Today, you needed me when daddy was rinsing your soapy hair at bath time. You were scared and didn't want all the water splashing over your head. You are usually okay with it, but tonight you weren't, and we don't know why, but you just needed to be held while daddy rinsed your hair. I held you and told you it was okay and that the water wouldn't hurt you, but that I would hold you and give you kisses while daddy poured the water. You agreed, and I gave you big raspberry kisses on your belly - just like I've been doing since you were one week old - and you laughed, which made me laugh.
Today, you grew up a little bit more. But I want you to know that you will always be my baby and I will always be here to hold you when you are scared - even if all you are scared of is bath water.
Eliza, you are growing up, but you will always be my baby girl, and I will always be your Mama. I love you so much.