The Little One is Two – A Parental Reflection

Fair warning- this post got away from me a bit. It snakes and turns and changes direction multiple times, but I liked where it ended up, and couldn’t see any other way to get there than the one I took. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

Mini-Me had a birthday yesterday.

We did not have, and are not planning on having a birthday party for him which is a point of contention with his grandparents, especially the ones who are looking for an excuse to come visit.

The reason we aren’t hosting anything this year, is simply time. The work week is no time for a birthday party, especially with The Narrator in school, and my living, breathing work schedule which often sees me pulling double duties between IT and PD, and the nighttime question marks that are the ambulance shifts.

This weekend is also out. Why? Because it is the first and only few days this month where I do not have ANY work scheduled. None of the three jobs require my services for a change, and I plan on spending as much of that time as possible with my family, and I’d rather not have to worry about hosting anything or the logistics and expense of planning a party. Especially since Mini-Me doesn’t really give a damn. He’s two. He doesn’t care.

So, yesterday we had a quiet little celebration. My wife made cupcakes, we took the boys out pumpkin picking after work, had pizza, and he got his present from us.

For a two year old, I can’t imagine anything more than that as being necessary, and would just provide an opportunity for a pissing contest for family members.

All of that aside though, I cannot believe that the baby is two years old.

We have decided against having any more children, so yesterday marked the end of our having very little ones around. Now, he’s been walking, talking, and making us happy and annoyed for some time now, but when they hit two, it seems to me to be the end of a developmental era. Babies no more.

To be perfectly honest, I’ll miss having a baby. The Narrator’s growing independence and self-sufficiency is staggering, and his little brother will not be far behind him.

I know that there is a lot of parenting left to do for the both of them, but I really, really enjoyed having a baby around. Yes, the work was intense, the nights brutal, and the pee, poop, vomit, and other, unidentified messes…but there was something about having a tiny little creature around that completely depended on us that was comforting, along with being completely terrifying, and I’ll miss both sensations.

The other thing is that I am having difficulties remembering what life was like without children. Honestly. There are very few instances of the past that readily come to mind that don’t involve the kids- either good or bad- in some way. It is almost like whatever there was before, doesn’t matter now, and my brain is shifting to take full focus on life with the boys.

It really and truly seems to me like we all have the capacity to live two different lives. As soon as we have children, the first life ends. The day you stop living for yourself and realizing that what you do has tremendous bearing on the life or lives of others, there is no possible way you can continue that first life, and to try….

Well, to try, I think creates more problems than solutions.

Neither life is ‘better’ than the other, they’re just totally different, although for me…I’d choose this life over the old one, any time.

Yeah, I don’t get to go out to bars with friends as much any more. True, I haven’t had the time to climb a high peak in almost two years now. Yep, I picked a rental car the other day that would have more room in the back for car seats over the one that looked cooler and was probably faster.

But I’m also treated to tiny little grins of happiness when I come home from work. I get held tightly when someone is afraid or sick or sleepy. I have an excuse to play with lego again. And the laughter. Ear-splitting shrieks of laughter over anything at all. I can’t say that I ever had a night in a bar where the noise was more to my liking than that.

No, I’m not perfect at being a dad. I screw up badly on a regular basis. But in all honesty, no matter how hard it gets or how poorly I perform the duties as father-man….I cannot imagine going back to the way it was. I don’t want to. I like it here.

And if I’m trading in my bar days with dingy glasses filled with expensive beer for afternoons in a pumpkin patch chasing a two-year old as he gleefully rolls every damn pumpkin he sees into the aisle, or sitting at the kitchen table with a five year old as he does his math homework….

Yeah. I’m totally cool with all of that.


3 thoughts on “The Little One is Two – A Parental Reflection

  1. I think that is the shocker- the speed at which it happened! Also, best of luck with the “Terrible Twos” – which I learned from the first child is absolutely NOT just something people say. Its real.

  2. Sigh, this makes me miss having little ones around. Like you say, there is something about it. Our sons are 8 and 10 now and their independence and self-reliance makes life a lot easier. They are in what Steiner calls ‘the heart of childhood’.

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