Having a toddler running your house and life can be exhausting. Honestly, put me and my toddler in a room with someone you’re trying to get information from, start Moana for 15 minutes and then shut it off. That person will talk real fast. As parents we try our best to do what’s best for our babies. We feed them, we clothe them (most times), we bathe them (most times), we cuddle them (all the times), we do a lot. Then that baby becomes *dun dun dun duh duuuunnnn* a toddler *shudder*. This gila monster that runs around with octopus arms and grabs everything in sight. They have negative self preservation and zero social etiquette so everything is up for grabs. We tell them, “No, don’t touch that” a thousand times before breakfast and, “I don’t know what you want….those aren’t words.” a thousand times before nap time. It is exhausting. To this though, I say to my amazing toddler, I see you.
I see that you are bright and curious and have been plopped down into this incredible world with completely innocent eyes. You want to touch everything because you want to know what it does and how it works. You want to taste everything because hey, it could be food. You want to see everything because maybe it’s something you’ve never seen before in your entire life. You want to reach your little arms out so far that the whole world comes rushing into them because you can’t wait to get everywhere yourself. You’ve been given these amazing sensing gifts and you want to use them.
I see that you are trying. You are desperately trying to tell me what you want. You watch mine and dada’s mouths because you are studying how the words we make are made. You are trying to become more vocal when something isn’t right or when something is. You sequel with delight because that nice dude in the deli gave you a piece of cheese only to have me covering your mouth and saying, “We don’t scream in a store”. You are trying to figure out how fast your legs can take you and how far your voice can reach. You are trying to become this little person and you need help getting there.
I see that you are in fact a little person. Adults try to box in children and what their milestones are or what is wrong with them or when they are suppose to do things because I’m sorry my love, but you can’t tell me these things yourself. As much as I think you came into this world manufactured for my desires, you are in fact a little human. You have bad days, you wake up on the wrong side of the crib, you get hangry with the best of them, you get sad, you get excited for the little things, you love, and sometimes you just want to hang out. I see that you are trying to be that human I want you to be sometimes, but I need to let you be you.
I see your frustration. Once you weren’t a newborn anymore your decisions weren’t your own. We started putting you on a schedule. A schedule that we created. You don’t get to decide when you get picked up and put into a constricting car seat. You don’t get to decide when or what you’re going to eat. You don’t get to decide what activities we are going to do that day. You go with the flow and I know that gets frustrating. You want to run with the wind and dance in the rain, some days we will do that but today we have to go to the grocery store. I see your frustration and I promise you, someday soon you will get more say in these schedules.
I. See. You. Dada and I made you out of the best human emotion. Love. We wanted you so badly that it seemed like nothing else mattered. You were given to us and you were and are our greatest achievement so far. You are loved unconditionally and to see you become Eva has been our most spectacular journey. You are hilarious. You are sassy. You are caring. You take it in. You are inquisitive. You are fearless. You are independent. You are stubborn. You are not a morning person. You are so loving already. You are Eva.
Being a parent is the best and some days the worst decision I ever made. Raising a toddler isn’t a game it is truly a blood sport. It’s so amazing and parenting is one of the only things on this planet where you can have such contradictory ideas in one paragraph and it totally makes sense. While we focus on what it is to be parents and while our objective most days is to make it to the end of the day, we need to see our children too. We need to see them for what they are and more importantly we need to see them for who they are.