dear favorite tiny human in the whole entire world:
Welcome to being almost a year-and-a-half old, yo.
At this time last year, you were basically just a precious ball of fat-fats and squishy bits;
now here you are walking around, seizing your ability to inform people/animals/inanimate objects to “go! go!” and bringing us books to read you every fifteen seconds or so.
As far as the general public is concerned, months 15-17 are like the lost months of toddlerhood.
Starting from pretty much the instant you were old enough to exist, there were all these go-to milestones people asked about in response to hearing how old you were—
crawling, starting to walk, sleeping through the night (CAN THIS STOP BEING A THING BY THE WAY), eating solids, teething, whatever.
Now, I tell people, “He’s 16 months/almost a year and a half!” and they just kind of nod at me, like, sweet, man, way to go on the continued success of keeping your kid alive.
This month, for the first time in over a year, I was not topless at work twice a day.
I washed my last sinkful of pump bottles & pump parts, put my pumping bra through the laundry one last time, and finally, officially, brought my pump home from work.
CAN I GET AN AYYMEN Y’ALL
Breaking up with your pump is one of those weird mama milestones that I think goes grossly under-celebrated.
I mean, let’s think about it:
I topless’ed myself at work (in sanctioned areas, mind you, not just at random) twice a day, every weekday, for 15-20 minutes at a time, from the day I went back to work after maternity leave until the day I started to drop pumps.
Many hours were spent (by both myself AND that wonderful daddy of yours) washing and drying and packing and unpacking all the pump parts every night, plus making and washing bottles for baby work, and filling & freezing plastic freezer storage bags of milk for future bottles.
Back in the early days, when I had just made it back after maternity leave, pumping felt so much like a lifeline—
it was this solid, secure connection to home, and to being your mama.
With pumping, I never really set out with any kind of “goal” in mind, like going until X date or for X many months. Like a lot of things in this whole mamahood gig so far, I’ve gone in with the mentality of, welp, we’ll just keep doing this until we’re done with it, and see how that goes, and now here we are WITH SO MUCH TIME FOR ACTIVITIES.
From my boobs to yours, any other mamas reading this—
whether you’re pumping now, have pumped ever in your life, or plan to—
I raise you a celebratory chocolate-chip mug cake, because you are doing a great job.
This Easter, you met your very first Easter bunny.
It went super well!
As parents, we are total jerks.
Would I seek out a giant, festively-attired rodent on my own accord? No.
Would I want to sit on the lap of some random in a red suit and fake beard? Also no.
And yet here we are, like, HERE TINY HUMAN WHO TRUSTS ME TO HELP HIM NAVIGATE LIFE, TOSS OUT ALL YOU KNOW ABOUT STRANGER DANGER BECAUSE HOLIDAYS!
Forcing you to be near a mutant bunny in the name of festivity aside, Easter was overall a win for you this year.
For starters, I accomplished a personal life goal of finding you a pair of suspenders.
At your very first Easter egg hunt, you were totally stoked to discover that, if you pulled apart the plastic egg you just found on the ground, YOU THEN HAVE TWO EGGS OMG WHY IS NO ONE ELSE AS EXCITED AS ME.
You were so freaking calm and determined, dude, just chillfully wandering around the egg-scattered lawn and casually picking up eggs to put in your little bag.
For it being your novice run, you fully rocked it. Once we made it to grandma & grandpa’s for your egg hunt there, you’d unlocked Expert Level and didn’t even need help.
You just did you.
Cruising through April, daddy and I came to the terrifying conclusion that the hair on the back of your head was starting to grow out, rather than down.
Not only that, it was also gradually inching its way closer and closer toward becoming a mullet.
I have full confidence that you could’ve made it work.
But also, as your parent, it’s my job to protect you from terrible things.
For you, the most offensive part of your first haircut was that we made you sit still.
(Second runner-up was that your hair couldn’t be cut while you spun around the neato-spinny chair one booth over. Third was that we wouldn’t let you hold the scissors.)
Less than ten minutes later, we’d successfully slain the mullet in progress, and you were lookin’ allllll baby fly.
You and that little elbow lean & pensive off-in-the-distance gaze, like you’re auditioning to be the next happy little baby in a haircut campaign.
Oh, and bonus? We even got an official certificate.
THAT IS A THING.
The shiny part in the top right of it is a fantastic little little hair time capsule, which thrills me because like… I did not bring hair-capturing accessories to the visit.
On Mother’s Day morning, you excitedly presented me with a rainbow-striped gift bag—
casually carried over in the bent crook of your little arm—
filled with a collection of tiny presents that you’d picked out almost all by yourself, with minimal help from daddy.
I’m now the proud owner of a bottle of sparkly red nail polish, a bag of extra-dark chocolate squares, and a container of gladiolus bulbs. (Daddy vetoed a four-pack of toothbrushes and a miniature bottle of mouthwash, but I’m told that you felt very strongly I needed those also.)
My card, also hand-picked by you, says “EAT CAKE” in big, glittery letters on the front, which, I mean… it’s like you KNOW me.
My phone is filled with captured weekends.
Weekends are two glorious, beautiful days where I can soak up 48 delightful hours of hanging out with you.
You just so fun right now, man.
You love books & bring us one after another to read, pointing emphatically at the exact spot on the couch where we are going to go read them.
You love music and randomly burst into dance, sometimes incorporating your favorite motions from Wheels on the Bus.
You still find farts hilarious.
And, most wonderfully, you still nap-trap me.
I live for our weekend naps.
As someone who really sucks at slowing down, ever, for anything, I savor golden afternoons with your little face all smashy-sleepy against my chest.
You always wake up with everywhere hair, like it’s punctuating I had the best nap ever!!!
Weekends are when I get to dive full fledged into what it looks like to be present to the magic that is being your mom, and really, truly see who you are becoming as a little person.
And little love, let me tell you what—
you’re pretty phenomenal.