I was wasting time on Facebook earlier today when I really should’ve been working (and not just in a “gosh, I should probably be working” kind of way, but in a “OH MY HOLY HELL I HAVE A DEADLINE AND I’M NOT DONE AND THE ONLY CURE FOR THIS PARALYSIS IS MORE SCRAMBLE!” kind of way), and —like everyone else in the world—I’ve been reconnecting with people I haven’t seen since childhood, and I came across someone’s picture of her toddler and commented on it that I miss toddler bellies.
Because I do. There is nothing quite like the proud pot-belly of a toddler. My lips twitch with the urge to zerbert such abdomens whenever I see them.
My children have bellies that I will still occasionally zerbert—I’m not made of STONE or anything—but my daughter can wear my shoes and my son’s mouthful of braces sets off metal detectors within five miles. (Let’s not discuss the smell issue. Ahem.) In short, their baby days are long gone.
Anyone who knows me knows that I ADORE babies. Mine, yours, random strangers’, whatever. I’m drawn to tiny people. And sometimes I become overly nostalgic for the old days, when my babies WERE babies and I could scoop them up and make the whole world better with a graham cracker. It was a simpler time, sure, plus they were just SO CUTE.
And then sometimes I realize that as much as it gets harder, it also gets so much better.
Like, three years ago my son had a sleepover and it was a complete disaster. But last night he had a sleepover here with a couple of buddies and it was delightful. Yes, DELIGHTFUL. It helps that I adore his friends and they’re sweet boys, but mostly it helps that now they are older and really good at entertaining themselves, even if most of that entertainment does consist of jumping off Monkey’s bed or playing Mario Kart until I turn off the television.
It’s true that I had to go upstairs at 3:30 this morning and use my best Don’t Mess With Mama voice to announce that I was CERTAIN that there were no small boys PLAYING at such an ungodly hour, and that I must’ve been woken by SOMETHING ELSE, sure. But on the whole it was a very minor imposition, and you really can’t place a value on watching small boys grabbing for FISTFULS of bacon at breakfast. Heh.
And while I would’ve preferred that my daughter hadn’t won a prize for her last-minute science project, the fact that she went on to take first in her division in the County fair today makes it pretty difficult to be annoyed. Actually, the fact that she totally RECOGNIZES that I want to be annoyed but can’t makes it difficult to be annoyed.
Plus, you know, as much as I miss having babies, it was pretty cool last night when I was looking for a way to get Chickadee to leave the boys alone, and discovered that she’s totally up for watching “What Not To Wear” with me. We couldn’t do that back when she still thought I was coolest person in the world. And there’s definitely something to be said for those cuddled-up moments of discussing someone’s hemline as being even more precious, given that 98% of the time these days I’m the stupidest stupidhead who ever lived.
I guess I’m saying I’ll always have a thing for toddler bellies, but I’m definitely learning to appreciate the finer points of big stinky feet, too.