Every mother of older children, even grown children, will quite frequently get a glimpse of something - typically a young mother with her baby, toddler, or preschooler - and will instantly recall those days of years ago when her own children were that little. With these thoughts, come the flood of memories. I had one of these moments this morning and decided to share it with you, along with the many others that often cross my mind. Perhaps some of you may relate to one or two.
1. Knowing the phone number to my OB/GYN by heart. Lord knows during pregnancy she and her staff became like a second family.
2. Picking out the perfect car seat / stroller set was more stressful than applying for college because my baby's comfort depended on it.
3. Sticking to a feeding, sleeping, and, let's face it, breathing schedule meant the difference between sane mommy and bat-shit crazy mommy!
4. A big morning out was a visit to the playground or a walk around the mall with a fellow mom - Starbucks in hand. Even to this day, every time I see a mother pushing her child in a stroller at the mall, I can't help but remember the countless hours I did that. After all, it is air-conditioned, a huge factor when living in FL!
5. The backseat of my car typically had a couple of half-empty sippy-cups containing warm, two-day old apple juice and there were star-shaped puffs and cheerios scattered about and in between the seats.
6. Getting my toddlers down for a nap seemed to take an act of Congress on some days yet I'd stop at nothing to see this goal achieved. Why? See memory #3.
7. Going to the library was a weekly event: story time, friends, and piles of books. My sons would check out the same ones over and over again. And, in case any new parents are reading this, exposure to books at an early age won't guarantee your child will grow up loving to read - but expose them anyway!
8. Strolls around the neighborhood in the wagon fully decked out in costumes still worn from playing dress-up earlier in the day. Sometimes the children next door would pile in as well and make it a real party!
9. Watching "educational" television snuggled on the couch to try and decompress after a long day. Because, if the children weren't reading by age five, there was no way they would get into Harvard.
10. The sound of giggles - lots and lots of giggles, the kind that a young child makes when you blow raspberries on their bellies. One can surely never tire of those. Record your toddler giggling - I wish I had.
I can remind you to enjoy your babies and toddlers because they grow up fast - but you've heard it all before. What I will ask you to remember, when you're exhausted and ready to pull your hair out and when the crying and tantrums won't stop, is that there will be a day when you'll crave for the innocence of these days.
Moms and Dads of older children: What are your favorite memories of the first few years?
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