If I had my way, I would freeze this moment in time.
Well, not this exact moment, as my toddler, Petunia, is currently refusing to nap and my 10-week-old, Peony, clearly needs a diaper change and that means I would have to actually stand up and do it, as opposed to gazing at her coo softly as she fades in and out of sleep while happily snuggled in her little vibrating chair.
But in general, I am eating up almost every delicious moment with Peony and Petunia. It’s in those other moments that I sometimes find myself wishing time away, and then feeling drenched in guilt afterward.
I know how fortunate I am that Peony seems to be sleeping through the night for the most part – except for the pacifier nights. And when she’s not sleeping, she’s breastfeeding well, beaming on cue and cuddling like a literal bug in a rug – all tight and cute (you know, like ladybug-kind of cute, not cockroach-kind of cute). But those pacifier nights? They can drain me pretty fast.
While Petunia is a typical toddler (or maybe just a wee bit more toddler-ish), she’s my toddler, and I adore her more than the air in my lungs. But she seems to have it out for her baby sister subconsciously, and I can’t leave the room or even turn my back to her for a millisecond when I’m in the same room. And that’s pretty tiring.
It’s at those moments that I tell myself, “Oh, in a few months Petunia won’t pick on her sister so much.” Or, “In a few years they’ll be playing together like best friends.” Or, “In a few months Peony will figure out how to keep the pacifier in her mouth at night.” Or, “In a few years Peony will be big enough to ‘hug’ her sister in her sleep and scream “I love you” in her ear and see how she likes being woken up.”
And it’s that kind of wishing time away that I need to stop doing. Because I want to absorb what’s happening now — for better or worse — because it’s all happening too quickly. I love that Peony is smiling, but I hate that she’s old enough to smile. At nearly 11 weeks old, she’s not the newborn baby just home from the hospital who can’t focus her eyes. We won’t have that time back again.
Everything is happening so fast that the last thing I should be doing is wishing away these precious times. It’s just hard to strike an emotional balance in the less-than-Kodak moments.
Do you ever find yourself wishing time away with your kids?
Image: Meredith Carroll