Monday, December 12, 2011


Today, my little boy is turning two years old. And I am turning two as a mother, which seems just as significant (to me, anyway). Being two is hard!

For W, being two means talking. A lot. New words come out every single day and he's saying short sentences ("I did it!" and "Airplane is up in the sky!"). Just a few days ago, he sang parts of Twinkle, Twinkle and ABC (mostly singing the last words of each line in a complete monotone--very sweet!). He loves "chicken," which in fact is not chicken at all but is a fake chicken nugget made of soy. His other favorites are green beans, lima beans, broccoli, fruit of any kind (grapes cut into tiny pieces are a current fave), bagels with cream cheese, and "bish" (goldfish crackers).

He sleeps on his own, most of the time. Last week, he was in our bed at least once a night for several nights in a row. But last night, he slept in his crib again by himself. I think the disruption is due to the new baby--W is still trying to figure out where he fits in. And speaking of the new baby, he likes her, I think, though he doesn't seem to understand that she's a fellow person. I found him the other day poking at her eyes and it scared the hell out of me. She wasn't bothered at all, and she has a tendency to smile very wide when he comes directly into her view. He doesn't notice this smile and doesn't seem to get why this is such a big deal, but I tell him it is and hopefully he'll get it soon.

He likes the stereotypically two year old things: blocks, cars, stuffed animals, flashy shiny toys that friends have handed down to us (we don't generally buy toys for him--they're all hand-me-downs). His favorite things, though, are dinosaurs in any shape or kind. We have several stuffed dinosaurs and two big dinosaur toys that make roaring sounds and have flashing lights for eyes. I find them quite scary, but W cannot get enough. He also loves "mimic," which is his word for music. As soon as he's buckled into his car seat, he begins demanding "mimic," and in between songs, he asks "Mimic??" until the next track comes on.

My second year of motherhood has been WAY better than the first. As you all know, I found the first few months of W's life to be quite difficult. Impossible, even, though I seem to have survived which means that it only felt impossible. I remember all too well how minutes ticked by so slowly in those early months. I'm sure I've told the story before that I honestly thought one of our clock's batteries had died because the clock appeared to have stopped. I found out later that the clock was still working fine--it was just my perception of time that had slowed to a crawl. Awful. I also remember pacing the floors because W liked movement. I couldn't sit down because he'd cry, so the creaking floorboards in our house are surely due to those long, painful days.

It all got much better around four months and then by nine or ten months, it was even better. It's pretty damn wonderful now, but having two babies is my new motherhood challenge. How do people survive having two??? I guess I'll figure out. I'm two and a half months into having two babies, and as I said above, I'm still here. It helps that E is quite different than W was--much easier and more laid-back.

On a spiritual level, being a mother is like a hard-core meditation practice. It doesn't necessarily feel great in the moment--it can sometimes feel quite grueling (talk to me about motherhood during one of W's latest tantrums, for instance, which include throwing himself to the ground, screaming, and thrashing about, and I might say "don't do it!")--but over time, being a mother coalesces me into something bigger than I was before having a baby. I am more full of love and amazement and beauty than I was before.

Ah, what is it about having children that turns people into sentimental mushes? Well, it is what it is. I am a mush for my kids. In person, you'd find me more acerbic and less sentimental, I think. Maybe it's writing about having children that turns me into a mush? Maybe it's the birthday? I suppose it's so hard to describe the experience that words fail, you know? Would I have been a fabulous person without W in the world? Yes, of course. I was doing just fine. But two years ago, when W came into this world and changed our lives, I became a new person. I experienced a rebirth. And kicking and screaming at least part of the way, I became the person I am today. I suppose this is it: living with a child alters one's own perception of the world.

So today, I say happy birthday to my dear, sweet baby boy Wyatt. And I say happy birthday to the mother that I am, flaws and all. We made it this far, and I'm very curious to see where we go next!


  1. Being two is hard! I agree. And happy birthday - to both of you! I sympathize with you on the difficulty of your first year of motherhood. I remember such similar thoughts after g was born. In my case, I was so used to counting the weeks of my pregnancy that I kept counting weeks religiously after he was born. Then, I remember that it hit me. I was thinking, "I made it to 11 weeks -yeah", when I stopped myself. Those were 11 loooong weeks.

  2. Happy Birthday! Discovered your blog recently and loving & relating to so much...I think I'm a couple of weeks behind you in motherhood, my first will be 2 in a week and a half and I have a 10-week old. Our early days with #1 sound similar to yours...the first few months were tough, then it just kept getting better & better---more recently we've hit some bumps with the terrible-nearly-twos, but still wondrous to see the development.

  3. Thank you both for your comments! It is amazing how slowly the days go with a newborn, but yet the months seem to speed by. Maybe it's only that they speed by in retrospect, though, and in the moment, time just creeps by. It's always so nice to know that I'm not alone.

    Ana, I'll have to stop by and check out your blog--we are in similar stages!

  4. Thanks for your comment, Rachael! I love your comment about motherhood being like a meditation practice. Mindfulness is definitely important! :)

    Someone told me that in parenting, the days are long and the years are short ... I think that's so true. Happy birthday, Wyatt!