A woman I passed in the store yesterday made a snide comment to the infant strapped to her chest about how when she was the size of Tallulah she would be riding in the cart.
“I’m not carrying you when you’re big enough to sit on your own,” the woman said [to the baby/to me/to herself?].
Tallulah had started out in a cart, but halfway through our rounds she got tired of that and said she must “hug you.” I tried distracting her but then, as I almost always do, I gave in and picked her up.
She’s getting so big, talking more – and more clearly – every day. (Someone on an earlier errand had giggled as she watched Tallulah carry on an entire conversation with the the owl figurine she had laid claim about whether it should sit or lie down in the cart next to her. And although she’s been pushing her babies in the little pink stroller the previous owners of our house left behind for a couple of months now, she’s really amped up her imagination, bringing me bowls of Legos and insisting I eat them with relish and chasing me with a Slinky she claims is a snake and saying, “He’s gonna get you!”
She just turned 22 months but she mastered her colors and learned most of her shapes at least a month or two ago. (Her fairy godmother may be on to something when she says that’s because of T’s interest in fashion … heaven help us when she’s 3.)
My point is, it’s all moving fast. This time is a blur, really. And woman-with-the-poor-baby-who-won’t-be-held-much-longer, I say this: You’ll miss out. Hold on to that baby while you can because before you know it she won’t want to be in your arms.
I know all too well the frustration of being with a needy kid in a store when you just want to get your stuff and get out of there and go on to the next obligation or go home or succumb to whatever other force that’s pulling you along. (That can be catalogued right next to this: I, too, have felt the agony of waiting for a kid to go-to-sleep-already!/start walking already!/grow up already! so I can finally get around to the things I have needed/wanted to do all morning/evening/my life.)
Frankly, all of this is a reminder to myself as much as a message to that mom. It all goes fast. Life really is a whirlwind, and watching your kids grows up … well, it takes a lot less time than you might think. When I find myself in that hurry-up state of mind, I try to remember – I will try to remember – all the precious times I’ve held my babies in my arms as we make our way through the store. My back may ache sometimes, but ibuprofen is fairly cheap and when I’m really lucky, Matt offers a massage for free. Having Tallulah (and back in the day, Beans) look me in the eye and share a moment while we’re out and about, having Tallulah smush my face in her two little hands and give me a big sloppy kiss on the chin – those moments are, as cliche as might sound – priceless.