I'm mostly a work-at-home-mom, but I do a few hours a week at a client's office. Last week, I was coming back from there in my work clothes (sans kids) and stopped at the grocery store. I was in line behind a young mom, likely a first timer. Her baby was about five months old and happily chilling with a squishy toy. Nonetheless, the mom was constantly chattering with her and shaking other toys, trying to distract her from... I'm not sure what. But she was doing the newbie thing where you're afraid a crying fit is always a split second away and you try to head it off instead of the third-time-around mom who seizes any moment of calm to reheat your tea and poo in privacy.
I suddenly had to fight the urge to tell her "yesssssssss, enjoy this, it goes so quickly." I almost said it! WHAT IS HAPPENING? Like two hours ago, my oldest was born, and moms everywhere infuriated me with that exact phrase everywhere we went. But then you have other kids and you can't enjoy the tiny baby stuff because you are also overjoyed by the toddler milestones and then the writing and the spelling and the reading and the generalized knowing-of-things that amaze you.
How did I blink and switch sides? How was I (almost) the unsolicited advice giver instead of the unsolicited advice receiver?
It does go fast, darn it. Google Photos has this hideously charming feature where it automates a video every few months of your kids and sends you a link to watch a video they set to sappy music and call "They Grow So Fast." HUSH IT, GOOGLE, I ALREADY KNOW!
I'm potty training Lil Man right now (I mean, he's not participating in any way, but you know, we sit him on the toilet several times a day) -- and I'm recognizing that it does change. I will be the mom who can take my kids to an amusement park and have fun. I will be able to play a board game with my children that I also enjoy. I will someday proofread an essay! I cannot WAIT for that. But I also want to remind myself to "enjoy this while it lasts, it goes fast."
I will kiss that tiny chin. I will sniff that bummie to see if it needs clean pants. I will smoosh those cheeks. I will build Legos endlessly. I will play Star Wars for 6,974 hours a day. I will hot glue the heck of out the Lincoln Memorial model my second grader is making.
I will enjoy this beautiful mess. It does go fast! They were all right. All those moms at the grocery store, grandmas at WalMart... Annoying but right.