Taking a Step Back

fire truckHow is it possible for a two year old to grow up so much in two days?

Last weekend, I went away from my family for a ladies’ weekend. (By the way, it’s okay to feel extreme jealousy right now. I actually got time to read a novel…during the day!) I was only gone for two nights but when I got home, a strange young man greeted me. He looked sort of like my two year old son, Wolfy. He even called me, “Mommy”. But he definitely wasn’t the Wolfy that I know and love.

This child was different. He was older. He knew more letters of the alphabet and moved with a confident manly swagger. The Wolfy that I know has this cute little toddler prance and usually refuses to answer any questions.

I kept saying to my husband, “Is Wolfy different? Did he change a lot this weekend? Look how much he grew up!” But of course my husband had no idea what I was talking about. He just shrugged his shoulders and continued on with his evening, but I couldn’t stop staring at my son. Studying him. Who is this child?

Then it dawned on me. This is Wolfy out of context. This is the Wolfy that everyone else gets to see all the time. Even my husband gets to be amazed by our son frequently because he isn’t around him quite as much. Because I’m a stay-at-home-mother, I’m around Wolfy constantly.

I am deep in the trenches of toddler-hood.

It is a constant stream of prying play-doh out of the trunks of toy cars, counting back from three, and getting up from meals over and over to get the right drink, the ketchup, a new fork.

I only see Wolfy from two angles. There is the up close of cuddling, of reading a story, of explaining why it’s so very wrong to pinch my nipple. Then there is the peripheral angle of watching Wolfy play by himself out of the corner of my eye while I make dinner, of watching him in the rearview mirror while we sing the ABCs together over and over, of holding hands on through busy parking lots.

Being away had allowed me to take a step back.   When I did, I saw a new side of Wolfy. And I realized that he’s growing up just fine. He’s a brilliant and beautiful.

All my worries for him are just normal super-involved parental worries and they are really for nothing.

And since I totally have a totally unbiased and completely objective opinion now, I can honestly say: he’s growing into the best little boy in the whole world!

7 thoughts on “Taking a Step Back

  1. That’s exactly what happens to me with Lola… I, too, am a stay-at-home mom… So, once, hubby told me, you’re the only one who has something to rant about her… She’s a delight! And i was like sooooo offended by his comment, and then it hit me! Yup, it’s because i know her in ways no one ever will… It’s because of our M.O. … It’s because we’re like pb and j!

  2. Your post hit on two things that I am experiencing.
    I just had my son a month ago and my daughter stayed with her grandparents for the first time over night. I didn’t really get to see her or spend time with her for the three days I was in the hospital. When we finally got home I kept looking at her like who is this child. She seemed taller, she felt like she was heavier weight wise, like she was talking more and just different. I kept looking at her like what is different about her. And I suppose now after reading your post I understand. I had never been away from her since her birth so I never had the chance to really miss her or see a different side of her. Another thing that you touched on is the pinching of the nipples. I thought my daughter was just super weird for trying to pinch my nipples and my husband’s nipples. What is this all about and how can I get her to stop? Her new new thing now though is kissing our feet. Really??? Motherhood is such an adventure for me.

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