My life has mostly revolved around babies in recent history. For six years I have been looking forward to a baby coming. This year is a little different. Instead of anticipating something I know how to take care of (a baby) I am now entering the trenches of what I am considering "real" parenting. You know, the stuff that helps you grow a person. A person that will someday leave home and be a grown up and do grown up things. Don't get me wrong, parenting a baby is not easy. Their needs are simple, but meeting them requires incredible stamina and mental fortitude. I also know you parents of teenagers are laughing at me. I know my daily battles with my three year old are just a warm up to the really hard stuff.
Now my baby is closing in on two. My oldest can ride a bike and just lost his first tooth. I am navigating uncharted waters. Birthday party planning. Tooth Fairy traditions. Teaching manners. Teaching reading, counting, colours. Having conversations about things like bullies, volcanoes and why we can't eat at McDonald's every day.
Last night I felt myself grow up a little. For the first time I only had to dress ONE kid to go to the park. AND he was able to bring me his shoes and then willingly sat down while I put them on. For the first time Emmett biked to the park without anyone holding on to the seat to keep the bike pointed in the right direction. For the first time, Charlotte pedaled all the way to the park. (Dad walked alongside to help steer.) For the first time I went to the park pushing my double stroller with only one seat occupied.
Several friends are expecting or have recently had babies. I am so happy for them and look forward to cuddling the new little ones. I do not have rose tinted glasses on. My sciatica and morning sickness and multiple-day labours are still pretty fresh in my mind. I am not wishing to be back in the Newborn Club. I am busy being initiated into the Kid Club now.