Oh Baby: 2

Well its official, my daughter is no longer a baby. She turned 2 last week. Of course she will always be my baby but to everyone else she is a full fledged toddler complete with her own plans, desires and wills.

Looking at her, my heart is so very full.  It's terribly cliche to say such a stupid thing but its true.  I've been so lucky that my motherhood journey has been mostly a joy. Dare I even write the word "easy"?  (Everything except the first 6 weeks - that was HARD with a capital H!) Not everyday of course but overall, a lot easier than I imagined. (That probably means I'm in for the toddlerhood from hell but I'm ready.) I'd like to believe it had something to do with my fine parenting or waiting until the time was right to have her or being a generally cool well rounded person but the reality is I simply got lucky.


I was never one of those women who knew she wanted a child.  In fact, I was in the no children camp for a long time.  I admit that part of me (probably a bigger part than I would have ever realized before) felt like my lack of burning desire to procreate meant that I would struggle to find the joy in it or that I would not feel the heart stretching love for a child that a mother should.  And more importantly, I never in a million years expected having a baby would be fun.  I had hoped it would be positive and rewarding and all that junk but it is honest to goodness the most extended fun I've ever had!  So saying goodbye to her babyhood makes me sad mostly because I doubt I could ever have that much fun again. Like the end of a great party.

Which of course brings up the topic of having another.  A concept I can't quite wrap my mind around. As much as I have loved it so far, I can't quite figure out how the logistics of two ever works without feeling overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. And that prospect doesn't seem too appealing to me. (Maybe you mothers of more than one that aren't always harried can explain it to me?)  But my biological clock is ticking loudly in my ear (another thing I would have never believed) making me feel a little pressure to be more decisive about it.

So for now we are a party of three and loving it.  Happy Birthday my darling.

ps: sorry to disappoint but due to scheduling conflicts we ended up not having a big birthday bash for her but rather a birthday playdate without all the usual trappings.  She was in heaven but it killed me not to do a proper party (yes, I have a sickness!) Rest assured my lack of fete for her this year will give me carte blanche to do something much more exciting next year.




32 comments:

  1. She is so sweet!! Happy birthday to your sweet girl!!

    I hear you on the fear (if you can call it that) about having a second - just when you get used to the routine of having one, it seems CRAZY to go mess with that to have a second, right? Ultimately, for us, the decision was based on my 20 year from now Christmas table. When I thought about who was sitting around that table, I knew it included more than one child. And to accomplish that...well...you know...I kind of had to get back in the game. If you want to chat about it send me an email!!

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    1. I love that quote about picturing your 20 year Christmas table. Silly as it seemed, it played a part in our decision to have a third so I reference it often ;)

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  2. Happy birthday baby girl!!!

    I have 4, so I'm probably not the right person to talk about this ;). I have 3 older boys all in a bunch (they're 13, 11, and 9 right now), and then my bonus baby, who'll be 2 in a few days (I always love seeing what Aggie's up to, since Abe is so close to the same age). Sometimes we say he's like an only child with 5 doting parents :). I love my pack of older boys and how close they are, but I'm enjoying/ looking forward to doing all the kid stuff again with just one to focus on, too. So, you know, pros and cons all around. I do think, like the first commenter said, that it's important to think about how you want your family to look 10, 20 years from now and not just about how life with 2 preschoolers will be (crazy and overwhelming much of the time, but also really fun). I love the idea of a big extended family of grown up kids for holidays, lots of grandchildren (knock wood), and, more somberly, watching friends my age start to deal with aging parents has really made me appreciate the value of having siblings to go through the tough parts of life with.

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    1. I have 13 and 11 boys and 8 and 1 girls - so similar!

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  3. I have four so I can testify to the easiness of two children. You can totally do it! Please do it! The world needs more happy, well cared for children. Also if you only have one then you will have a child like some of the singleton neighbourhood kids who show up at our house the second school is over looking for excitement and chaos. We have one neighbor kid who shows up at our house 7:30 am on Christmas morning every year looking for some excitement. Do your daughter a favor and gift her a sibling please!

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  4. I found it very difficult when I had my second daughter. Of course it didn't help matters that she was so demanding while my older daughter was so easy to care for. I always say that God said I had it too easy the first time so now I had to pay. When my third daughter joined our family it was fairly difficult in the beginning because of what was going on during this time span but by 6 months later it went fairly smoothly. The time goes by so quickly so enjoy every minute.

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  5. I have one and love it! And just know that as great as this stage is, it only gets better!

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  6. It's hard and easy at the same time. You're confidence is there with #2 since you've already been through it once but managing two under two (mine) on your own is a juggling act. Sometimes someone has to be left to cry and it's not always the same one. I think it would be harder if you don't have a good support system as well.

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  7. <3 You know how I feel about it! My experience is that the people who are harried and have no control tend to not have control over any part of their lives and I can't think of anyone in my circle of trust that applies to any LESS then it does to you ;) Plus, as perfect as Aggie is you would be doing the world a severe disservice by limiting us to one Limestone baby :)

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  8. Happy birthday to little Ms. A! I have an-about-to-be-three-year-old and I find myself in the same boat as you. Do I *really* want a second? The first year was so rough! And we're also going to do a simple birthday this year. So many of our friends are in the Navy and moved late last year and took their little munchkins (about a dozen of Charlie's friends) along with them. We'll go big again next year ;)

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  9. She is absolutely precious! And don't kick yourself too much for the no big party blow out. I'm sure she enjoyed what you did! We had two...2 years 9 months apart...so I'm thinking maybe you need to get in gear! :) I do remember the stress of two children, but my first was a jabber box, hyper little thing that didn't sleep all night for a long time, and thankfully, my second was more quiet. I just recommend not having them too far apart in age. They need to be buddies! Good luck!

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  10. She is beautiful! so very beautiful. :)

    I was/am a very lucky mom too. My son will be 22 in a few weeks, our only, & he was such an easy child. Not that we didn't have rough spots but looking back I way over stressed on so many things. I'm so grateful we put the time in when he was small to build strong relationships with him. It really helped us all through his harder middle school & teen years.

    Every stage was so much fun! Just choose to live in the moment. Remember the past but don't spend so much time thinking of it you miss the present...that's especially important when they leave home, I am learning.

    I wanted more than one child but my husband never really wanted any. He has been the most amazing dad in spite of his fears. He loves it. How many 21 yr olds go in to see their dad a few times a week at his office? Especially if they're married? That's our son & it shows what a great dad he has. He has a great job, is married & they bought a house with a sweet yard last summer. We're so proud & happy to have them close by & still have so much to look forward to with them.

    Happy birthday to sweet Miss Aggie & you!

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  11. What lovely pictures of her. I was in the same camp as you. An unsure prospective mother but ended up with three. What I have found is that brothers and sisters entertain each other. Only children that I have noticed need a lot more parental entertaining. I m all for an easy life!

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  12. Happy birthday! Reading your view on having kids sounds like me, I wasn't sure i wanted them for a time. We have one, an 8 year old girl and I have to say I wish we had a sibling for our daughter. One close in age. We host lots of sleepovers and excursions with a friend and its always so nice, my husband and I even get to have a real conversation! Lol From my observation with friends and their kids it's easier with two. Either way its great!

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  13. Happy Birthday, Miss Agatha! May every year be blessed with joy and love.

    Coming from a 51 year old woman who has never wanted kids and can't imagine how y'all do it...I say PLEASE have another, if not two! I have never in my life heard anyone say they regretted having their children. Women have managed to have gazillions of children since the dawn of time, with none of the benefits of modern life. My paternal great grandparents had 24!

    This love you feel for your beautiful girl...that indescribable, over-flowing heart filling love....wouldn't you like to double it? :o)

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    1. One of my cousins who reads your blog but is too shy to post wanted me to post this... she says that she loved first child so much that she was positive she'd never be able to love another one as much, and almost stopped at one.

      She wanted me to assure you that you grow another heart!

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    2. I totally agree with Ian's Girl. I have never heard anyone say that they regretted having another child, but they do regret not having more. Your heart will grow and grow and love and pride for your children all fill you. I have five children 16, 12, 10, 8, 4 (3 girls & two boys). I have an open heart to have another, but if it doesn't happen then I will look forward to being a grandparent!

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  14. Awwww..... I loved reading this. I relate to it a lot. I never really felt the "maternal instinct" and never really imagined myself as a mom. But, being a mom is really so darn fun. Crazy and scary and hard and FUN. ;) Happy 2 years to you both.

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  15. Can I just tell you that I am soooo glad that I had 2 kids and would do it again in a heartbeat. Yes, the first year was hard, with a baby and toddler, but let me tell you that they were great friends and there are things you learn best from/with a sibling. And at 20 and 22 they are still great friends.....with each other and with us, their parents. So if you are on the fence at all, I say GO FOR IT! You will never ever regret it. And you kids will thank you. Happy Birthday Aggie!

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  16. I never wanted children, but I had one so that I wasn't the "cat lady" someday-haha (no offense to cat ladies:)) I fell instantly in love, and I just knew that I needed to give him a sibling. I had baby #2 for HIM, not for me. So that one day when I am gone, he is not alone...he will have a brother and a best friend:) Today they ARE best friends and it was the best decision I ever made. I once heard the quote: "You never regret the children you have, only the ones you don't have." :) You can message me if you want:) GL

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  17. One wAs great, 2 was even better. Seeing them play together and be buddies made it all worthwhile. My 2 are going to the same college next year on purpose. They are still great friends. My son a sr and my daughter a freshmen. They can't wait!

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  18. Having 2 has been a bit crazy for me (I too had a very laid back 'easy" first), but I had my kids 20 months apart so the craziness is expected. My daughter turned 2 in August and she's already giving me a run for my money. I think she thinks she turned 14 ;). I have to agree with the commenter above though that seeing them play together is pretty awesome. Enjoy toddler-hood with one. It's amazing.

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  19. I admit that I was another woman who didn't feel destined for motherhood and I am surprised at myself and how much I really truly enjoy it- granted, not every moment (especially not those middle of the night moments...) but the balance falls largely in favor of fun. After much hesitation, we had a second and now I tell people that one of the greatest things about having children is seeing them play together. Its such a special bond and to see them laugh together and share little secrets and comfort each other, there is just nothing else like it. My girls are now 5 and 9 and I need to decide IMMEDIATELY if we want a to try for a third. This has been the best comment thread for me to read. I have often referred back to the image in my head of the dinner table, twenty years from now, and it was a big table full of people. Its funny to see that I am not the only one who does this and I am definitely encouraged by the advice about thinking long-term rather than obsessing over the difficult first months or years. Most of all, I hate the idea of making a decision based on fear (of lack of sleep!). Good luck making your decision!

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  20. Happy birthday sweet Agatha. I've always suspected she's been easy-going - you manage to get her in the sweetest mom-approved outfits! That stopped for me with my, ahem, strong-minded toddler about four years ago ;).

    On the topic of second children... we had wanted another desperately but luck and my 43 year old body were just not working with me the last three years. So if I could say one thing, if you have even the slightest inkling to have another, don't wait. The road to a second child might be longer than you anticipate.

    Now on the flipside of that, I have finally become happy and in love with the idea of having just our little family of three. We took a big trip (to Paris) after we finally stepped off that baby-making train and I learned how great it is with one. We get to lavish all of our love and attention on her and its nice to be able to spend on bigger trips and such because we don't have the expenses of a bigger family. A very nice new friend yesterday told me that she had the most wonderful childhood as an only and that she has the closest relationship with her parents, they're also her best friends. I'm really looking forward to that part.

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  21. Happy Birthday, Agatha! Stefanie- she is the cutest, and I can imagine her being the greatest big sister. I'm just 16, but when I babysit, I love going to a family of more than one just because of how much they love to play together.

    Can't believe she's two. She's doubled her age since I started reading! :)

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  22. Wow Happy Birthday to your baby! I hear the toddlers ages are a blast. At least that is what I hear so have fun!

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  23. Happy Birthday to the sweet girly! Regarding more than one child - the most wonderful thing is seeing your kids be friends and have fun with each other. I remember thinking there wasn't 'room' in our lives or hearts for our second (and then our third) and I was so wrong. It's been very rewarding to see them become best friends to each other. And to see that my heart is bigger than I thought - able to love more than just one child. That being said, if you decide to stick with Aggie as your one and only, that's more than find too : )

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  24. http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/case-just-one-child/

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  25. I just know you are going to be having the second baby in the near future. Your heart just expands. I can't wait to see all of the big sister posts that will be coming our way. Two girls sitting on your front steps! So cute!

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  26. Thanks for being so open about your feelings on motherhood. I often find myself in the no children camp and am struggling to come to the decision that's right for me. It's wonderful that it's so fulfilling for you. You and Agatha are both lucky.

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  27. I love that you talk openly about your fears and joys as a mother. I am a mom to one beautiful 3 year old boy and he will be our only. I highly recommend this book to you as you're working through the decision to have another: "One and Only" by Lauren Sandler. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you do read it!

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  28. I can't believe she is two! I'm right there with you. I was never one to say I needed to have a child thus why it took us forever to have one because I wasn't on board. I love how you share your feelings so openly! I feel you logistically on managing 2 children. And like you I'm still very very indecisive 75% leaning toward the one and done.

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