Having a two-year old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for. — Jerry Seinfield
There’s a certain word my son just can’t seem to say. All kids go through this phase when they are toddlers and learning to speak. Generally, by fix or six, they have mastered the pronunciation of most words they know. But one word, my son never bothers to correct, even though I have told him the correct way to say it, is: CAROUSEL!
He has always insisted it’s called The Care-of –Self. Which knowing him and his sweet personality, it fits.
When he was a baby, much to my sometimes horror, he would lovingly pat any woman who held him, in the chest—top, dead, center as it is known in mechanical terms. As a toddler he called these lovely items: Mashers. I noticed from the time he could speak, whenever he didn’t know a word; he just gave an item a word that seemed to fit.
Certainly mashers fit the name of someone prone to his proclivity, as well as the aforementioned item being squashed by small hands. I used to warn moms, grand moms, and even young teenage girls, if they were to pick him up, “If you’ve got them, he’ll get them!” Thankfully, he’s outgrown this innocent toddler behavior—well hopefully until at least the late teen years.
I wish I remembered more of this early vocabulary he created. At five, he first became aware that people die and ultimately are buried in cemeteries. So whenever we’d pass a cemetery in the car, he’d say, “Look Mom, there’s a ghost hive!” On Mother’s Day, he always wishes me “Happy Saint Mother’s Day!”
One of the funniest words I recall was about a time he had used the bathroom and unfortunately the toilet clogged and ran over. “Mom! HELP!” I came running as fast as I could. He was tearing up and said, “Help!! There’s “toilet juice” all over the floor! It’s disgusting!” Indeed it was, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at his description.
Another time, even though he was already five, he pointed at a robin scampering across our yard. Strange little creatures, you’re more likely to see them on the ground, then above your head. But he saw it and pointed out, “Look mom, it’s a Robin Red Chest!”
Once at the playground, a child bolted down a plastic curvy slide so fast, that his hair stood totally on end! My son noticed this scientific phenomenon and yelled out, “Mom, his hair ran out of gravity!”
Only a few months ago, he observed an apartment close to our home that had burned down several months ago. Construction crews had started stripping it down to the foundation, removing all of the burned siding, and clearing out the burned interior. When we passed this apartment, he noticed the new crews working. He pointed at it and said, “Now all the house needs is its skin on it.”
I wrote down a handful of these words over the years, but the majority of this creative-speak simply evaporated into the atmosphere and that makes me sad.
See he is growing up now. The first trimester of childhood, that is the first six years, is already up. How can this be? He’s my mid-life baby whose sole responsibility is to keep me young, busy, and on my toes until my late fifties!
I have just one piece of advice to all you young, and young-at-heart wonderful mommies out there. Somehow, somewhere, write down those cute little things your boy-wonder or little starlet says. I know you already take a million digital pictures, but make sure you jot down somewhere those “first REAL words”. You think you won’t forget this ever, and by next Tuesday you’ll have no idea what that cute thing was, only that they said “something” adorable. Keep a notepad in your car, your diaper bag, or purse with attached pen so that you can capture it. Even if you just shove all your little notes in a folder with your kids name on it, you’ll be glad later.
I know the days of early motherhood can be long. The duties are harsh, your “to do” list borders on cruel and inhumane, your body is tired and worn out, and all your efforts are consumed with orchestrating nearly everything:
- Coordinating play dates!
- Providing top-notch educational experiences!
- Teaching little ones to tinkle and stinkle in a potty!
- Learning how to read words!
- Breaking up fights among siblings!
- Planning three nutritious meals a day and snacks that are nibbled yet never entirely consumed!
- Hourly diaper changes!
- Grocery and supply shopping!
- Acres of dirty laundry and hours of cleaning that are never seen!
You spend your days navigating the disaster zone of spilled cheerios, leaking sippy cups, and a minefield of sharp, talking toys, as well as the brigade of ten thousand tiny pieces (kit toys).
Yes, I know! You moms are at your most amazing, when you feel the least visible and the most vulnerable to losing the last shred of YOU! Time moves simultaneously at the speed of light and slower than a snail’s pace.
Just remember this:
These sweet days will pass. These little darlings will grow. You will get through this! And ultimately you will be begging your mind to remember one day those subtle moments when each of your sweet children said something precious or did something adorable.
The journey of motherhood is an arduous one. You will learn a new language and skill set right along with your baby. So whenever you can, however you can, find the ways to rest your body, and nourish your soul:
- A call to a friend while sitting down, not tending to a child
- Read a great book or magazine at nap time
- A box of chocolates! Calories don’t count if you’re near tears anyway.
As I hit submit on this post, I am praying this simple prayer:
“Lord, for any mom today that needs encouragement desperately, please let her know she is super amazing! I don’t know who she is, but I know she’s giving with everything she’s got to her family. Reward her faith and let her feel appreciated and loved. Make sure she is blessed with the knowledge that she is a good mom and may she at least once today have the opportunity to board “The Care of Self”.