We got our family photos back a couple of weeks ago, and in my absence, I forgot to post them here. We worked with Andrew Thomas Lee again as we did last year and the year before that. Like I’ve said before, if you are in Atlanta and looking for a great family photographer, he’s perfect.
I thought for sure there’d be no way he could capture all four of us together without a blurry toddler or a crying baby or some sort of mishap, but he did.
Norah was three weeks old when we did the session. She’s already grown so much that I feel nostalgic looking at these tiny newborn features from the beginning of the summer.
And Jude lit up the camera again and gave us lots of personality.
It’s funny looking at professional photos of your own family and knowing the nuances behind them. This summer has been great, and Norah is the “easiest” baby I could ask for. I love the cuddly baby stage, and I could have a dozen babies if they were eternal newborns. I love it.
But toddlerhood? Oh my. I’m so exhausted at the end of the day lately that I cannot even begin to describe it for you. He’s wearing. me. out.
Just yesterday, I tweeted this.
And today it was followed by this.
And really there are a million more where that comes from. It’s all happening at once lately, and it’s not letting up. He’s fighting bedtime which he has never done before. He’s completely regressed on potty training to the point that I feel like I shouldn’t even have started months ago, and it was all wasted effort. He’s given up naps. He never stops running and he has to be busy at all hours of the day. My only saving graces are that he’s sweet as pie to little sister and never aggressive at all with her and that the new no-nap situation brings a 7:00 bedtime without the fighting we’d had recently on napping days. But still. Toddlerhood is no joke.
And I’d like to be that mom who prepares three gourmet, organic meals with my children each day and doesn’t allow television in our home and photographs my toddler playing independently all day with a handcrafted wooden toy. Because I feel like I see that everywhere I turn, and if they can do it, then why can’t I? The internet is an inspiring place in ways, but sometimes it just leaves you feeling like shit, if I’m being honest.
I used to read Dooce years ago before I had kids, and then I stopped reading when I had Jude because I felt I just couldn’t relate to her in any way. I felt like she was too whiny and sarcastic about the miracle of motherhood, and I didn’t have a desire to read any longer. But now I’ve grown tired of my usual online reads with perfectly dressed children and moms who wear lipstick everyday and always do crafts with their kids. Because I am probably at home with my toddler in his underwear eating boxed macaroni and cheese as they are somehow finding time to make things perfect. I just don’t get it sometimes, how people have time to do it all.
I don’t want to rush things, but in ways, I really look forward to the time when I don’t have to come in contact with my kids’ poop – or even know anything about it. When I don’t have to dress them. When I don’t have to wrangle them through parking lots and into car seats. When I don’t have to bathe them and brush their teeth and perform elaborate bedtime rituals to bring sleep. I’m pretty sure this post just became a rambling mess that went in a different direction than I intended. I am not complaining about my life. I have lots of things I am eternally grateful for.
I just need to remember that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” (Thanks, Teddy Roosevelt.) And there might be mothers whose homes look like a glossy magazine and whose toddlers never have tantrums. But I am not one of those moms at this moment in my life, and that’s okay.
The grass is always greener, I think. And we always romanticize things- especially when looking at a photograph or reminiscing and daydreaming about another time. I’m doing it now as I look years ahead to when my kids develop a little independence, and I’ll do it then as I look years back and remember these chubby feet and charming mispronunciations and tiny grins.
They are beautiful little people who offer such sweet moments when you get past all the work and exhaustion. Perfection is an unattainable quest.