In with the new

Yesterday AG and I hit a couple of stores to buy her some clothes. It had become glaringly obvious in the past two weeks that the nine-month onesies were no longer cutting it and there was a decided lack of actual outfits in her closet that fit her. Thanks to so many generous loved ones, AG hasn’t had much of a need for a mother who kept a particularly careful eye on her wardrobe inventory. There just always seemed to be enough.

But now. Now, well, in two weeks and two days we welcome a ONE YEAR OLD into our home. Let the toddlering commence.

So off we hit the stores, taking advantage of the insane deals and buying her enough clothes to see though the end of the winter, early spring. And while I know it will all likely be augmented by birthday gifts, AG made out like a cute little bandit.

This morning as I gathered up all of the old clothes, I found myself only slightly wistful. While my brain is officially blown back by realizing that a year has actually gone by, I’m genuinely excited for this next stage. I feel rather certain that I am not a baby person. Being the mom of a baby, even one as awesome as my daughter, was not a good fit for me. I’ve heard others admit to this – that they were not fans of the baby stage but LOVED the toddler era. So far, this seems to be true. AG gets into everything, walks everywhere now and has a definite opinion about, well, everything.

This could not be more fascinating and fantastic to me.

And if I’m honest? A lot easier. So much of this past year has been about carving out a new routine,  a new way of seeing the world, of seeing myself. For as much unmistakable joy was wrapped up in this task, there was a lot of sorrow here, too. And struggle. So much of the road of parenthood can be littered with minefields unique to each family. This is probably why I get so punchy when I read/hear/observe others imparting their own experiences as universal wisdom. Such information can be so misleading, so damaging for others. Coupled with PPD and the idea that I was supposed to be in snuggly bliss with my newborn, my first few weeks of motherhood sent me reeling. I felt ashamed, desperate and broken and full of unimaginable regret because my experience was nothing like that of others.

If I have any regrets, it’s that I didn’t read up more on colic and reflux and postpartum depression before Abigail was born. I was so horribly unarmed for that situation.

But here we are now. I rush home from work to see Abigail. To have her attempt to feed me raspberries and puffs at dinner. To run up to my legs and pull at me to pick her up. To hear her bark “MA-MA!” when I walk in the door. On weekends we all seem to sleep in until 7:30 a.m. now. When we get into the car, AG grabs her Pooh Bear blanket, sticks her thumb in her mouth, and lazily gazes out the window as we drive along to our destination – nary an unwarranted cry or scream.

We read books together before bath time and nap times, we share a Green Monster smoothie in the mornings before breakfast. She’s gotten so good at drinking from a straw that we’ve graduated sippy cups.

She is working hard on a new tooth.

My girl was never much of a cuddler, and she’s certainly not now, so I suppose I miss the involuntary moments where sleep would overcome her, thanks to endless efforts to get her to sleep, and she’d lie in my arms, allowing me to brush my lips against her downy little head and breathe in all of that sweet baby goodness. However now before bed she likes to point things out to me around the room, to examine my teeth and then giggle into my neck loudly while attempting to wrestle from my arms and take off.

Everything is a trade off.

Scott remarked that her new clothes look an awful like like Big Kid clothes. As I tossed the last of the footied pants into the bag to be packed away in the basement, I thanked God for our big kid and for getting us all this far.