(NB. I actually wrote this post in early September, but never got around to publishing it!)
I look back at the first few posts I made after Evvy was born and realize what a difference a year makes; not only to my daughter but also to my own life as a mother.
I am beginning to see why many women consider having a second (or, bless my heart, THIRD child). Motherhood, to some extent, becomes more involved, but also more enjoyable with a toddler. Really, I figure that one is an ideal age. Here's why:
She can walk, but cannot yet outrun me.
She is still light enough to carry, but chubby and delicious with baby fat.
She still needs me, but loves exploring her new world independently, too.
She knows enough words to tell me basically what she wants, but not enough to talk back or tell me off.
Plus: She is so darn cute... especially the way she toddles around like a little dinosaur-robot-baby.
These days Evvy is a busy little free spirit. Now that she can walk, that's pretty much all she wants to do... and she doesn't look back. She's always carting things around here and there - both hands are constantly full of toys, shoes, or random objects that she figures would improve Feng Shui if moved to another room. It's a whole new dimension in tidying up the house.
I am glad that I have a confident, outgoing, curious daughter, though. It has made going back to work part-time a bit easier in that she has adapted really well to being away from me and doesn't shed a single tear when I leave. I am lucky in that my family and friends have stepped up to be caregivers - and ideal situation.
Evvy is spending Mondays with daddy, Tuesdays with Grandma T. and Wednesdays with Sam and her daughter, Izzy who is almost exactly Evvy's age. On Thursdays I take Izzy for the day so Ev gets to spend 2 days with her little friend! So far, things have worked out great.
That being said, as the year progresses, I will miss being an exclusively stay-at-home mom. Hmmm... I also miss some other things already, for instance cuddles, which are now few and far between. It's go-go-go these days and Evvy does not want to be held back, or even held, for very long. Diaper changes could be mistaken for a wrestling match with a greased pig. She does still enjoy bath time, though and loves going to the swimming pool, which she will be doing every Monday with Peter.
Evvy eats pretty well and sleeps pretty well now, minus a few glitchy days here and there. She babbles constantly and is learning some new words, for instance "nnnnnnnnnno!" which Grandma T taught her unintentionally while scolding her dog, Tessa. She can say shoe "shhh-oh", fish "ashhh", num-num (for food), kitty kat "ki-khhh" and DVD (ie. Baby Einstein) "dee-dee-dee".
Evvy's birthday was a fun and well-attended event. Lots of friends and family were present to enjoy our home and deck. I spent several hours preparing a completely homemade and elaborately decorated birthday cake - a task that every mom worth her salt should do at least once in her life, just to find out how much effort it takes!
I'm looking forward to seeing the changes that this year holds in store for my little Ev. She seems to be growing in leaps and bounds and I can only imagine that this will continue. I thought I'd miss having a little babe-in-arms as Evvy grew, but I love how I can interact with her more every day and I am amazed at her adventurousness, spunk and sweet disposition. All in all, I couldn't be happier to have a toddler!