A week ago we took Owen shopping at the Lincoln City Outlets. It could have been a disaster since he hadn’t napped in hours and had already spent the morning running around the Oregon Coast Aquarium. I was very concerned about his energy storehouse. Plus, shopping with Owen is always a gamble. He seems to be on his best behavior when shopping with just Jeremy, but add me to the mix and we have a crazy child on our hands. I wish I knew why. Oh the mind of a toddler. I’m happy to report that our shopping experience with Owen was delightful. Minus a tragic fall in the Old Navy Outlet that caused his mouth to bleed and Owen to wail loudly for some time… That was the low point, but it happened early on in the outing and Owen moved on from the whole ordeal fairly well.
I decided that Owen’s next wardrobe would be made up of clothes sized 2T. I compared and contrasted 24 months to 2T and decided that we would make the plunge into 2T. This meant shopping in a whole new section of most stores. My little boy’s clothes are now defined by years, not months. It really feels like he is no longer a baby even though he has been very a much a toddler for sometime. Transitions always have a way of reminding me how quickly time is flying by and how fast this little human is growing. Shopping with an almost 2 year old could have been a nightmare. Instead, Owen was quite helpful and carried items around the store for us. We would pick something like a jacket, pair of jeans, or pajamas and he would proudly walk around the items in hand. Just another reminder that he is big boy. Cashiers gave Owen small little bags that he could carry out of the store himself and he was as pleased as punch. It was the cutest sight.
Now I fully I expected all these 2T clothes to be HUGE on Owen, but for fun we tried a few on this week. They fit fairly normally which breaks my heart in a strange way. He is bigger than I expected. Owen also loves his new clothes (many of them have bulldozers and dump trucks on them). He begs to wear them and cries when we try to take them off. Since when did this kid ever care about fashion? He has suddenly developed an opinion on what he wears. I knew this was coming, but it’s a small thing like 2T clothes that make me realize we have a big boy on our hands.
This last week I’ve read a couple of sappy parenting articles on Facebook. Lord, help me. I am pregnant and hormonal and I should not be reading these. The water works have been insane. One article was about how older siblings might never remember a time without their younger sibling, especially if they are born close enough together. My sister and I are just a few weeks shy of two years apart and I don’t remember life before April. My memories have always included in her. I suspect that Owen will be the same way. He is will always remember his little brother. He won’t remember these days as a family of three. He won’t remember my transition to being a stay at home mom. He won’t remember the long days spent in our pajamas or the diaper time struggles. He won’t remember my joy over watching him learn words, shapes, sounds, colors and animals. In a lot of ways, I have begun to mourn the fact that it won’t always just be Owen and Mommy at home. I’m sure little brother will bring a whole new dynamic of fun and love, but things will never be the same. It was a good reminder for me to cherish in my heart the time that I have had with just Owen. I have grown and changed so much in the last two years. I guess I’m trying to keep up with Owen in more than one way. He is changing me as he changes and grows and develops. What a sweet period of time. I will remember it even though he won’t.
The other article was about how someday you will realize that your kid has passed a series of “lasts” and you might have missed it – last time building a fort with blankets, last time needing your help washing their hair. While Owen is still very much young and dependent on me, I am reminded that he won’t always be. He will continue to grow and mature through the different stages of childhood and into adulthood. I want to make the most of these moments and not let them slip by. I’m so amazed at how it’s the small things that seem to make the most impact in the long run. I am blessed that I can be present in these moments and enjoy them for their simple pleasure. I certainly have my days when this parenting gig seems like no fun and I wonder what I signed up for. It’s no walk in the park and my kid is hitting the terrible twos. But it won’t be this way forever. Someday I will have a quiet house and it will probably be clean and I will be an empty-nester. The family years will go fast. As the quote goes, the days are long but the years are short.
I think being pregnant around Owen’s 2nd birthday (about a month away from that milestone) has made me even more sentimental and emotional (aka hormonal). Maybe I would feel the same way about things if I wasn’t pregnant. All I know is that I want to remember this time. I want to remember shopping for 2T clothes at the outlets with my proud, big boy. I want to remember the family of three days with fondness. They have been so good and so hard and so worth it. I know that being a family of four will be awesome in a new way and I am excited to discover that. I am also excited to see the little person that Owen is becoming. He is funny, smart and creative. While I mourn the fact that he is no longer a baby, I wouldn’t want him to stay a baby forever. He just keeps getting more amazing with time. I love watching him become more and more himself as he discovers the world. It’s been an incredible journey and I am blessed that we get to start the process all over again with kiddo #2. However, I am not excited about the newborn sleep schedule that is right around the corner. I guess Owen has been a good guinea pig kid, because now I can remind myself that this to shall pass. I have survived life with Owen thus far and I am sure I’ll make through all the ups and downs with #2 as well. Plus, hopefully, I’ll have a little helper and Owen can show his little brother the ropes. I’m sure he’ll have some good brotherly insight into surviving life with their crazy parents!