Six Things We're (Mostly) Surprised to Know Now that Our Son is a Toddler

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It hit me when my son was playing on his hands and knees in front of a play barn I bought for him: 

My son is a little boy.

In those moments of illustrious playtime, he looks as though he could be a teenager. I've marveled with some of my mama-friends at how sometimes, in flashes and in pictures, I can almost see what he'll look like as a young man. It freaks me out entirely, because it's like witnessing magic unfurl right before you.

And I'm not ready for that sleight of hand they call growing up anytime soon!

Now that my son is in the toddler-range, (and celebrating his 15-month birthday today!), here are a few things I've learned looking back:

All the stuff "they" say you need you really just...don't.

Don't stress. You can get by without the gadgets and gizmos a'plenty. We tried to be trim with our purchases–both in clothing and plastic light-up toys. We still have come out of the other side of this year with way more than we have storage for. We are the proud owners of three different strollers.

While we're thankful that our child has wanted for nothing this year, I'm also a little frustrated with the industry that panders to new and scared parents. All the "stuff" (I'm talking bottle warmers, wipe warmers, diaper genies, drying racks...) is only a little bit useful and pretty expensive for the literal shortest year of your life. 

How Easy it is to lose Their Socks

I've been stumped by this before. Where do all the socks go?

I've learned never to buy colorful socks, or worse, colorful socks that also have days of the week on the bottoms of the feet (that was a mistake, believe me). From now on, I will only buy one size, shape and color of socks: white, white, white. Life is too short to be frustrated by an army of missing footwear. 

How You Can Have a Full Day Before the Rest of the World Wakes Up

My coworkers and I love to marvel at this one. By the time we get our kids fed, their diapers changed, their clothes changed, and made sure they're set and organized for the day ahead–on top of making ourselves look at least semi-presentable for office life, we've had a full day. Many times by the time we even get to work we're ready for a break! 

How Fast it All Goes

When I was pregnant, and even when we first brought little Johnny home, we heard over and over again how quickly this time passes. We believed it and we've witnessed it first-hand. It is incredible how life goes into hyperdrive once kids enter the picture. It's not just their growth and development that goes quickly.

I promise.

How Hard it is to Remember Life Before Him

I think we went to a lot more movies in the theater. And I know we slept in far later than 5:30 a.m. on weekdays and weekends. I know we were late to mostly everything (something that still doesn't quite register with me. How, how were we late to places when we only had to get ourselves out the door?).

Other than that, I'm at a loss. It's like this little person who was meant to be a part of our lives all along.

How Much We Want to Do it All Over Again

During the first six months or so of newborn life, I thought that people with multiple kids had to be crazy. They had to be. How could you knowingly sign up for this madness? We couldn't do this again. And we certainly couldn't encourage our friends to do the same. We knew too much!

But now, the difficulty of that season is fading away into the corners of our memories. Every day I notice a change or a new task or word my son is able to complete; and we get further away from those effortless cuddles, and those moments that we'd all just sit on the couch together, as one big exhausted, happy family.

We're not planning on it any time soon. But it's funny how the season we never thought we'd get through, that small, fleeting season, is all completely worth it in the end, and the very, very beginning.

Brett Tubbs