There I was, freaking out that my daughter was about to turn 2.
It was the day before Colette’s 2nd birthday. I felt like it was hitting me harder than when she turned 1. Maybe because back then I was busy being stressed out and excited about planning a big first birthday party for her, while this year it was a low-key celebration.
So on that day, just a few weeks ago, I made it a point to refer to her as my 1-year-old. I sent text messages to several of my friends saying: “This is the last day I can say I have a 1-year-old… Isn’t that sad??” How dramatic am I? I was just not ready to have a 2-year-old. I wondered, would it be too awfully weird if I referred to her as a 24-month-old instead??
I knew my parents would understand. I dressed her up and took her over to their house, so they could see her one more time before she turned 2. As soon as they opened the door, they too got emotional, especially since Colette is their only grandchild. When my husband got home from work, he said he had spent all day thinking about how she’s growing up too quickly.
Memorializing the Day
Of course, I had to do something crafty and sentimental. Just in the nick of time, we wrapped up – ok, we started it that day, too – a craft I had wanted to do all year. I saw a cute project on Pinterest where your child stamps her handprint on a colorful canvas each year. So you can see the progression of her hand growth throughout the years. Well, I saw this, oh, like a year ago. And kept putting it off. Well, she was about to turn 2, and I had no handprint of when she was 1 so the project would be defunct before it even started. But, WAIT. She still WAS a 1-year-old. So, I grabbed some pink and blue paint and off we went! The cute little painting was complete (and even dry!) before she turned 2. That counts, right? Now… I’m going to have to wait a while before we work on her 2-year-old handprint, or they will look suspiciously the same…
I took all sorts of photos of Colette that day too. I felt like I had to document everything before it slipped away. And when she went to sleep, I took a picture of her peaceful, angelic face and spread out limbs. I shared it on Facebook saying: “Going to sleep as a 1-year-old… Waking up as a 2-year-old.” I took a photo the next morning, too, of course.
It’s like I thought she was going to change overnight and wake up wearing makeup and talking about boys.
Facebook is Always Adding to the Drama
I continued to scroll through Facebook while she slept. And I saw all these photos pop up of my friends’ kids, posing with cute chalkboard signs on their first days of school. Some were entering middle school. Some are seniors and planning for college already. Many had started pre-school or kindergarten. I’m freaking out about my toddler turning 2, but she’s still (practically) a baby. I wonder, what must be going through the minds and hearts of these moms?? Especially the ones whose kids are leaving their homes for the first time, to enter their first school, to sit in their first classroom, to meet their first schoolmates. And doing all those firsts without mom to share in the experience.
Suddenly, I was picturing my almost 2-year-old (remember, she was still 1!) all “grown up” and walking into a big school building full of strangers, with a little Elmo backpack on her back, a little SpongeBob lunchbox in hand, and wearing the darlingest dress worthy of a first-day-at-school photo. Now I was a real mess. I’m not ready for that. And I feel like it’s coming way too soon.
Thanks, Facebook. There I was freaking out about my daughter’s first day in kindergarten. And she wasn’t even 2 yet (for a few more hours!).