Firsts and Lasts
Some recent firsts:
- First day totally solo (except for a surprise afternoon visit from Uncle Colin), including first time taking all three to music class by myself.
- First time at the newly renovated neighborhood playground.
- First splinter extraction (from Audrey’s palm). I was afraid of her reaction, but a binky, Munny, and the deft handling of a sanitized safety pin helped her handle it like a warrior.
- First glycerin suppository insertion on a toddler. Not something I look forward to having to repeat.
- First time taking all three kids to the park by myself. Since there’s construction, the space between the outside fence to the sidewalk and the inner construction fence is open; mostly it’s used by dog owners as a mini off-leash park. But it’s also perfect for keeping three almost-two-year-olds contained while letting them run.
Which reminded me today that with every first there’s a last. We went for a walk in the wagon today, and didn’t get very far before there was a request to see diggers, and with that the park to kick the soccer ball and run. We used to take hour-long walks in that wagon starting last summer, when I had what seemed like huge stretches of time by myself with them.
Some transitions are anticipated eagerly: the first time we go to a playground and I don’t panic when someone climbs up the highest part of the play structure. The first time they say “I love you” spontaneously.
Some are dreaded: giving up the bottle. Giving up the binky. Potty training.
We have learned that most transitions go more smoothly than we expect them to. Which we take to mean: the expectant panic and trepidation make everything go fine, so we should continue to panic.
Seriously, I fear potty training perhaps more than I feared my first day of school as a teacher. However, I am trying to rationalize and breathe and remind myself that worry doesn’t change anything; it just makes me more miserable.
So many lasts have passed virtually unnoticed:
- the last time all three slept in one crib
- the last night feed or dream feed
- the last bottle
- the last night with the monitor on all night
- the last bath in the baby bathtub
- the last ride in the infant car seat
- the last week that Audrey was up crying several times most nights
Sometimes, especially in the first year or so, I got caught up looking forward to firsts that I lost sight of the continuum. Most things change slowly rather than suddenly. (What was their first word? Who knows.)
This is a reminder to me to enjoy the firsts, embrace the nostalgia of the lasts, and be present with these guys as they keep growing…and growing…