Dominic finally started walking at 16 months, an event accompanied by much rejoicing in our household. He weighs in at over 30 lbs and this pregnant momma was desperate not to be lugging him around anymore…which of course I am still doing whenever we need to actually go somewhere.
But, as when any baby starts to walk, there were consequences.
In the weeks since he left behind butt scooting for walking Dominic has developed 2 overwhelming obsessions: playing in the toilet and digging in the garbage. It doesn’t matter what I do or offering him. Toys, books, siblings be damned. For him, it’s all about the potty and the trash.
If he’s not splashing in the toilet he’s pulling meat wrappers out of the garbage. Then we head to the garage and he’s trying to drink windshield washer fluid or pull a shelf on himself. Back in the kitchen he’s digging in a drawer I didn’t think he could reach and pulling out a butcher knife. I run after him all day as he stumbles from one death mission to another.
He has entered the seek and destroy phase of toddler-hood and although I adore my big boy Dom more than words can express, I’m not ashamed to admit that I hate this phase of development.
I hate this phase when they can do everything, without the slightest clue that maybe they shouldn’t. The phase when they can climb, but not get down, grab and rip and dump and throw with not regard to their personal safety.
The phase when they are still a baby…but can do the things of a toddler.
But, Dommy is still a baby. And I’m his mom, the person he looks to when he is hungry, sad, hurt, scared…and tired.
And despite the mess and constant health hazard, there is one luxury in this life of mothering a wild little baby boy.
Each day after lunch I set up Gus and Bernadette with books in their room. Then I grab Dominic and his special blanket and we rock in his quiet room with the sun gently streaming in through the light curtains. Sometimes I sing to him. Somethings he pulls my hair or yanks on my necklace but eventually he starts to rub his eyes and settle his head into the curve of my shoulder. I listen to the swing of the rocking chair and the slowing of his breath. And he falls asleep in my arms.
That is the luxury of life with Dominic right now in this tiring phase. Those moments, maybe 5, that I allow myself to sit and hold my big sleeping baby, hugging his body to mine, those limbs relaxed and curled around me.
In those moments, despite the craze of the morning, he is my little baby and I am his mother. That is the whole world, it seems. And it is a beautiful little world.
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