Lately I’ve been feeling bad for my toddler. Nevermind that she’s going through her “normal” I’m-2-so-sometimes-I-flip-out-for-no-reason stage, she’s handled a lot the last year: She flat-out got her babyhood stripped away with the birth of my second daughter.
And so it went: My first baby had to grow up. Just like that.
At 1.5 years old (back then), I was so impressed and excited the way my first born rose to the occasion of being the big sister. She loved the baby (still does, even though they tug-of-war and bicker over toys), she helped me with the little things that her barely-a-toddler self could contribute to, she patiently waited for her milk/breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner if I asked her to “please wait” on account of my hands being tied with the baby.
But now I think all her wonderful efforts might be catching up. The last month or so she’s been especially ‘toddler-y’ (turns cranky on a dime) and very interested in acting like a baby again.
She asks for the same breakfast of Cheerios, banana and milk that her little sister has. She gets a kick out of me giving in to hold her hands above her head when she walks (as though I’m teaching her how to walk, like I do with her sister). She sweetly asks me if I can rock her to sleep like a baby. And with each small request, my heart squeezes so tight the tears well up in my eyes. In other words: Yes, her attention-getting efforts are working like a charm.
The bare truth is that my first baby is no longer a baby… and the fact that she knows it (and is seemingly trying to hold on a bit) gets to me.
So yes, from time to time I will cave to give her the Cheerios without a plate, ‘teach’ her how to walk (as we both giggle at the silliness of it all) and carry and rock her 32ish-lb body to sleep. Happily. If she longs for a little bit more attention during this weird toddler-time in her life, I’m game to give it if it helps her cope with her baby sister in the house (within reason, of course… temper-tantrums are still frowned upon and sternly dealt with). But the baby-treatment? No problem (as long as she asks nicely and it doesn’t last too long). Because in the big picture, isn’t that what mommies are for?
DID YOUR TODDLER TRY TO HOLD ON TO BABYHOOD?