This is one of the last pictures of Penny sleeping in her crib. She’s 19 months old, and has started climbing out of the crib. It won’t be long now before we need to put her in a toddler bed.
It’s also one of the first pictures of her sleeping in her crib. I’m realizing, as Penny is stepping firmly into her toddler years, I’ve missed a lot of her babyhood.
With a 3 1/2 year old and a 19 month old around when she was born, there simply wasn’t time for me to savor those little moments like I did with my first two.
I missed her first smile. Of course, I saw it, I just didn’t get a picture of it. In fact, I didn’t manage to get a picture of her smiling for 2-3 weeks after the first one.
I missed those times when you go into their room and just watch them sleep. When she was napping, no way I was going in her room or I would have two tag-alongs following me, sure to wake her up.
I missed those times when you’re nursing, you look down, and your baby is gazing into your eyes. You smile, and she smiles with her eyes and for a few minutes it’s just you two in the whole world. I was constantly doing something else when I was nursing Penny. Mostly, trying to keep the other two from destroying the house in the five minutes it took to feed Penny. I was in a hurry always. No time to just sit and enjoy the moment.
Even more sad, I’ve forgotten them; the first tooth, her first steps, her first words, I don’t remember. I completely missed her crawling phase. She started crawling around 6 months and started walking at a little under 9 months, so it wasn’t a long period, but it seems I should remember it a little.
To be honest, the first 18 months with three children kicked my butt. Not just a little, a whole lot. I went into survival mode and I’m just starting to crawl out of the bomb shelter and survey the wreckage. During that time, Penny was almost an afterthought.
I do infant well. I’m really good at taking care of infants with very little effort. I can take care of a baby while really focusing on something else. Like two toddlers.
I’ve lost a lot of special moments with Penny, but now that I’m able to breathe again, I’m trying to refocus on Penny. Starting by sneaking into her room during nap time while the other two are busy watching television, and just watching her sleep.