It goes without saying that I adore Peanut. But she’s 18 months old now and testing every boundary put before her. Each teeny life event that doesn’t go her way is grounds for a meltdown, and there are many moments that I think, My god, please let this phase end soon.
Toddlers are hard. They’re finicky and volatile and impossible to please. They’re also fascinating and incredible to observe and somehow, they manage to reach new heights of adorable and cuteness.
It’s this dichotomy that has me thinking about Squeak, growing steadily in my belly, and how much I am looking forward to certain aspects of having an infant again.
A Limited Menu
Two weeks ago, Peanut decided she was done eating cottage cheese and string cheese, two things she had loved up to that moment. She now pitches the string cheese to the dog and regurgitates cottage cheese down into her bib’s crumb catcher. We’ve gone from 9 things she’ll eat down to 7, and Picky Pants’ eating habits are a constant source of stress and worry (is she getting a balanced diet? is she gaining enough weight? what the HELL will we feed her for dinner?).
Squeak, on the other hand, will eat ONE THING for the first six months of his life: breastmilk. I know exactly how to get it, and hopefully will have no problems making plenty for him. No stress over food options for SIX MONTHS.
I. Can. Not. Wait.
If I can get Peanut’s old diaper off before she rolls over and slides off the bed, it’s a good day. Getting her diapered nowadays is a feat of acrobatics; one arm distracts her with something tempting while the other tries to lift her legs and slide a new diaper under her booty. It works…sometimes. Other times I get more diaper rash cream on myself than her. I can’t wait to diaper a teeny weeny infant, where the biggest of my worries is a poop explosion or fountain of pee.
When I set Peanut down, she disappears in seconds. Off to the next exciting adventure, whether it’s turning off the washing machine mid-cycle or wandering into our bedroom and returning to the living room with a bottle of Astroglide and presenting it to our visitors. (Excuse me as I die of embarrassment.)
Squeak will be happily immobile for at least 4 months, and won’t crawl for at least 7. We’ll have a lovely reprieve where Mommy puts baby down and baby stays. AWESOME.
Shorter List of Demands
Squeak’s list of demands will be incredibly short for a long time. Milk. Clean diapers. Sleep. Warmth. Love/snuggles. That’s about it. If he’s upset, we’ll run down the list and have him smiling again in no time.
Peanut, on the other hand, has a list of demands like a schizophrenic hostage-taker. Mommy’s glasses. My laptop cord. The cat’s tail. My computer mouse. The dog’s food. Any utensil I happen to be using at the moment. Mommy and Daddy’s iPhones. The TV remote (or really, any remote). Plastic shopping bags. Knives. Everything in the dishwasher. The dog’s collar (while he’s wearing it). The only thing she doesn’t want is world peace.
Five minutes of toting a 28-pound toddler around on my hip leaves me completely spent (maybe because I’m also toting another baby, a placenta, and all that jazz between my hips too). I’m looking forward to the relatively effortless carrying of a 7-pound waif. My back muscles are also excited.
Weekday mornings as I leave for work, Peanut must be distracted so she doesn’t see me go. If she witnesses me heading for the door, a meltdown ensues that’s epic in proportion. My heart aches as I get in my car, hearing her scream and pound at the door to the garage. It’s physically painful. While Squeak will love me no less than Peanut (I hope), he won’t give two shits when I leave for work.
Simple Shopping Trips
I remember the good ol’ days of trips to Target with a newborn. The worst of my worries is that she’d get hungry or shit out the side of her diaper. Even if she did, I had all the necessary tools to fix the situation: a bottle (or a boob), diapers and wipes, and an extra outfit.
When Peanut and I ventured to Target this afternoon, I faced meltdowns for the following totally-rational-to-a-toddler reasons: (1) Mommy wouldn’t let her stand in the cart; (2) Mommy wouldn’t let her put an applesauce pouch lid in her mouth; (3) Mommy wouldn’t let her ride on the register’s conveyor belt; (4) Mommy wouldn’t let her out of the cart; and (5) Mommy wouldn’t let her tear open a bag of spring greens with her teeth.
It bears repeating that I love my little Peanut with every ounce of my being. But here lately, she’s been hard to be around. I do find myself wishing daycare was open on weekends… just for a few hours. 🙂 I’m sure we’ll get past this phase, though it will require some new parenting strategies for Daddy (who does not require her to stay in the cart at Target). We’ll get through it.
I know infants come with their own set of downsides. But I’ll save those for my next entry. 🙂