Monday, February 8, 2016

Little Moments

Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders,
These twists & turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours,
These small hours still remain
-Rob Thomas

I'm sitting on the kitchen floor with my toddler. Lasagna is in the oven and we're licking the sauce pot. Soon he'll be off to play with blocks or demolish a pile of laundry, but for now, it's perfect.

It's the kind of homey relaxed moment I want my life to be filled with as a mama.

There are a lot of those moments in my days and weeks. But there are also other moments that are everything but homey or relaxed. And who takes photos of the tough times, or talks about those tear-my-hair-out and we-may-never-have-another-kid moments?

Maybe it's the broken nights that make us appreciate the squishy morning hugs.

Maybe it's the toddler glee at new skills that help us get through the tantrums.

Pippin can now climb into his own high chair. He brings me the flower pot from the mantel and the salt and pepper shakers. He can open the balcony door, fetch his own hat and jacket, try to wind my scarf around his own neck. I feel like I spend half the time praising him for being so clever and the other half worrying that he's going to hurt himself badly.

And between suspicious silences (Is he emptying the kitchen cabinet?) and suspicious noises (If he yanks out the drawers he'll hurt his fingers again), there are howls, laughs, and babblings. I videoed him at dinner chatting and chatting away. I have no idea what he was saying, but there were hand gestures involved. Other meals I definitely don't want to video, as he drops his bowl on the floor, refuses to eat his favorite food, or creatively adorns the *underside* of his pajamas with oatmeal (??). He burned his hand on the heater this week and I felt horrible. I put him in time-out three times this morning when he disobeyed. And since our library attaches paper index cards to ALL books, I still have to grab the tape for repairs on 'unrippable' cardboard baby books. I don't want to be the mother that says 'No!' all the time; I want to be the mother who packs the picnic bag or lets him play with cookie dough before baking it.

Today, after a long grumpy morning with no coffee, I dragged us both outside. We waded into the wind and sun. Chatted with our friends the shopkeepers. Held hands as Pippin insisted on climbing up and down the doorsteps of random houses. Watched ducks swim and birds fly.

A favorite habit of ours is to go to Lidl, buy groceries (especially bananas), then pause at a bench on the way home. There we have a snack and watch bikers and buses go by. I took a photo today of the sunny little moment, with Pippin swinging his bright blue boots and stuffing a banana into his mouth. The wind was cold, but his little knit hat covered his ears and we were happy together.

After the bench pictures, the next photos on my phone are of freshly made playdough and freshly made lasagna. There are no photos of Pippin refusing to walk home and howling when I wouldn't carry him. Or of the stinky diaper that fumigated the whole living room. Or of him waking up three times during his nap. Because those are moments I'd just as soon forget.

I guess my question is, can I still feel like a homey relaxed mama when Pippin's world looks like a whirlwind? And is it worth remembering moments with tantrums instead of snuggles and time-outs instead of adventures?

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