Then and Now

What a difference a year can make in the life of a child.  To you and me, a year is virtually meaningless in terms of our growth, development, and our appearance.  Of course there are the exceptions of illness, pregnancy, weight gain/loss, etc. but you know what I’m saying.  To an infant/toddler child, 12 months is like a lifetime.  I have seen this happen with other children, but for some reason I think that it won’t happen with my own.  I mean, I see Ella every day but it never seems to process in my brain.

This weekend was big for us.  We turned Ella’s seat around in the car so that it now faces forward.  I know, I know–all the literature out there says to wait until they’re 2 years old.  But I am following the guidelines of the car seat itself.  Forward facing is between 20-40 pounds.  She’s 27 pounds, 35 inches tall, is less than an inch from the top of the seat, and her legs dangle far below the seat.  I also looked up Colorado automobile child riding laws, and she is within the confines of the law.  After much deliberation with my husband, we decided that it was time.

We took our first drive on Saturday with the new forward facing arrangement, and the kid was in heaven.  She could see the road in front of us and she could see us.  More importantly, we could see her.  I kept looking back at her to make sure that she was happy and enjoying her new ride.  I also look back often to make sure she isn’t choking on her nacks ( fruit snacks) or cwakuss (crackers).  I’m kind of paranoid that way.  When I looked beyond my concerns and fears, this small grown-up child looked back at me.  I kept noticing how damn beautiful she is… and how big she has become.  It freaked me out!

The other day I was posting new pictures on to my Facebook albums and I ran across of some photos of Ella from last summer.  Oh my goodness–how time has changed this child!

Here are some of the changes:

  1. Last summer she was only crawling.  Now she is walking and running and holding the bannister as she walks down the stairs.
  2. Last summer she ate mushy baby food.  I remember making food for her and trying to come up with fun ways of combining fruit and meat so that she’d get enough protein.  Now she uses a fork and spoon with toddler precision and grace and actually tosses food back at ME that she doesn’t want.  In fact, I don’t think she had more than a tooth or two last summer.  Her mouth is almost full of teeth these days.
  3. Last summer she really didn’t say much of anything.  She laughed and giggled and I think she may have said mamma and dadda here and there.  Now she is singing the ABC’s and Happy Birthday (?).  She tells us what she wants and doesn’t want.  She says, “hi kids” to every child she spies at Wal-Mart.  She says, “hi Papa” to every gray haired man we pass on the street (so far it’s happened 3 times and once the gray haired man was a woman!).  She knows and says her own name and the names of all 4 of our dogs.  She knows the names of all of her dollies and she even knows some of the words that appear on the pages of her favorite books.  Oh yeah, and she says “I love you.”  Talk about the power of language!  She says so much more, but I want to move on.
  4. Last summer she boogied and shook her fists when music played.  Now she dances.  She dances and tells us she’s dancing as she does it.  And the girl has mad moves too.  She will be enrolling in dance classes as soon as she’s old enough.
  5. Last summer she couldn’t care less as we dumped her off at the gym daycare or with her auntie or grandparents.  Now she cares.  She has separation anxiety.  Before I became a parent, I viewed that as clingy or overly indulging your child.  Yeah–that’s not true.  Turns out, it’s normal and it’s what you want to see. Children that have strong attachments to people and things are kinder adults.  It’s true–do the research!  It sucks when she cries when we leave, but it’s really heartwarming to know that our baby girl loves us.

Here are a few pics to prove it:

Mother’s Day 2011

Mother’s Day 2012

June 2011

June 2012

June 2011 (nearly bald!)

May 2012 (running with sharp objects)

Life moves very quickly, my friends.  I never saw this so clearly until I had a child.  I’m so grateful that I have been able to create such a wonderful little human being.  She reminds me of how many years of my own life have passed.  She also reminds me of what a busy and rewarding future I have ahead of me.

xoxox ~Marisa

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One response to “Then and Now

  1. Yep, our little ones grow quickly. Suggestion: Keep her a toddler as long as she’ll have it; don’t push her into a teenage mode as so many mothers do. However you may always see has as your little girl for the rest of her life. Oh, the joys of having our lovely sons and daughters—from children to productive adults. Nana

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