This week two photo albums I'd ordered arrived in the mail- a Keepsy album of my favorite instagram shots from 2011, and Quinn's 365 photo book (of his first year). Flipping through Quinn's book brought up interesting emotions...or rather, really, a strange absence of emotion, like a detachment from the photos. Maybe it's partially because I spent so much time looking over those photographs when sorting them, editing them, and putting together the book. But part of it is I think (and I'm having a hard time thinking how to put this without sounding like a horrible mother) almost wanting to distance myself from what was a really rough time for all of us. I have zero nostalgia for Quinn's (or Donovan's) babyhood. I enjoyed many parts of it, I have tons of pictures and posts about them, and I cherish all those dearly...but I do not long for those days. I feel like that almost makes me a freak among women, especially mothers, but I guess I lack that baby-lust gene or something. Even before I had kids it was never babies that made me long for motherhood, but toddlers. And as expected, I'm having so much more fun with Quinn now as a 16 month old than I did during his first year.
Not that it's easy, of course. Yesterday we went to a bbq at a friend's backyard. It's a great yard, big open space with plenty of room to run and play in. Donovan had a grand time pushing his fire truck around and "fixing" it when it "broke down." Quinn? He was drawn to the steep staircase, and the gardening tools that had been left out, and pretty much every other thing that we didn't want him getting into.
At one point he took a fork and was actually using it to grab chunks of dirt from a flowerbed and eat them. I don't mind him eating dirt, really, but this flowerbed had probably been recently fertilized with who-knows-what, so.
So yeah, he's still often incredibly exhausting. But he's also incredibly adorable and irresistible. I love how he's learning new words pretty much every day, and how he plays with Donovan and imitates everything he does, and even better how Donovan will share back with him and help him (at least some of the time). I spent a lot of the first year after his birth strongly reconsidering my decision to stay at home, wondering why I was still doing it when I hardly enjoyed it anyway. Lately I've been remembering why I still want this job, why I do want to be around day in and day out to watch him learn and develop as a toddler. He may be infuriating at times, but holy cow is he also just FUN.
(I miss writing posts like this one, where I start writing without having a clear idea of what exactly I'll write, and the post goes in a direction I hadn't expected at all. I read something today that reminded me of how I used to write almost all my posts like this, then lately I've started feeling more pressure to write more "polished" and "coherent" posts, for whatever reason, which inevitably leads to less writing in general. And I don't really like that. So, here's to more random musings and whatnot. )