Precious moments amidst the tumult and chaos

The Atlantic recently published an article entitled, “Why We Long for the Most Difficult Days of Parenthood.” It’s about how parents of older children always tell parents of younger children to cherish every second because time will pass all too quickly. Your child is born. You blink. And suddenly, they are off to college or starting their very first job. Everything in between very quickly becomes a memory in the back of your mind. While all this is true, every parent can attest to the fact that the first few years of their child’s life tends to be the hardest; you are caring for a tiny human who is 100 percent helpless and thus 100 percent dependent on you, so you don’t get much time to yourself. And so these parents of older children reminisce on those tough times, those sweet times, and say they wished they had cherished those moments more.

I can relate to this a lot. Parenting a young one is no joke, especially when you’re exclusively pumping in the first year or so. Even towards the end of my pumping journey, right before bed, instead of reading or listening to podcasts, I would sometimes just watch videos spanning the previous year, when Kaia was just a newborn, a babbling baby, a crawling baby, and eventually a pulling-up-and-cruising-along-furniture baby-becoming-a-toddler. I would marvel at Kaia’s chunky little face, made fat from all the breast milk I pumped, and her chunky arms and legs that I always said I wanted to eat. I would tear up when I’d hear her first babbles and giggles or when I’d relive her first smiles and stuck-out tongues. I partly took so many videos because my friend said exactly this, that she wished she had taken more videos to just record the SOUNDS her kids made as babies because she missed the sweetness and cuteness of it so much. Even now, as Pookster is learning new skills and saying new words every single day, while I love it, part of me is a little sad that my baby is growing so fast, almost too fast. I just want to bottle her up, cup her face in my hands, and pause this moment to enjoy her in her sweet (yet rebellious) toddler phase of life.

The other morning, I coughed and ran into the other room to grab a tissue while she was eating breakfast in her high chair. As I blew my nose in the other room, I heard Kaia yell, “Are you okay, mummy-dear?” I came back into her view and smiled at her.

“Yes, mummy is okay,” I assured her. “Mummy just had to blow her nose, but I’m back now!”

I just dissolve into a puddle when she expresses love and concern. I just want to squeeze her nonstop in these moments. My baby is slowly but surely learning empathy. She’s also been especially affectionate this week, constantly asking Chris and me for hugs and kisses. She’s also repeatedly asking for kisses and hugs at bedtime, which I’m obsessed with.

I am not able to capture every single moment in photo or video, as it would be nearly impossible considering how quickly they all happen. But to fill in the gaps, I am writing about these moments in this blog so that I can document her development in a written manner to revisit them one day, and to one day have her revisit them from my perspective, as well.

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