I’m a teacher, wife and mom of a very proud soon-to-be big sister. My blogs highlight the happy and humorous moments of parenting. I love music, writing, the outdoors and mommy-ing and I enjoy sharing how kids have a magical way of making favourite past-times like these even better.
I lovingly stared down at my three month old munchkin in my arm as I breastfed her and then looked over to the wide-eyed toy doll with crayon streaked across her cheek staring back at me from her position tucked in my other arm, also supposedly getting milk from a “real boog”. And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t exhausted from caring for a newborn and a toddler. I was exhausted from caring for a newborn, a toddler, and a doll. The toy who underwent an extensive humanization process after the birth of our second daughter, and took on an uncanny resemblance to a very needy, always hungry, and ever stinky child, was now draining my last bit of energy. That was it, I thought. That’s why I’m exhausted.
This doll was a Christmas gift from Little G’s great-grandparents. And Happy Baby, as Little G affectionately refers to her, has come everywhere with us since she came out of the box. She’s Little G’s security blanket and that’s just fine. But it was when our real live newborn came along that Happy Baby became much more than a tag along toy. All of a sudden Happy Baby needed Mommy to change her diaper, not only every time the new baby needed one, but also any time a diaper was in view, a diaper change was mentioned, or anytime Mommy’s hands were generally tied up. Not only that, but Happy Baby began to have her most stinky poops and became most urgently in need of changes whenever Baby G’s most stinky urgent diaper changes came along.
Happy Baby also needs her clothes changed twice for every one time my real kids each do. But unlike how I generally have pretty good luck finding my girls’ clothes in their dresser drawers, the specific outfit Happy Baby is after is never anywhere to be found. Never mind it being the middle of July, Happy Baby will undoubtedly be after her black toque on a +35 day.
Most recently I spent our family photo shoot largely tending to Happy Baby while my hubby maneuvered our two munchkins into their poses. Happy Baby had, of course, tagged along for our family photos, and with the encouragement of Little G, was determined to be in every single picture. At last, when, at my suggestion, the doll became “hungry”, I was able to wiggle her out of the photo and find her a snack out of the diaper bag to feed her while Little G kept a semi-smile on her face for some solo pics, all the while watching me to make sure I was feeding Happy Baby “real snacks”.
Honestly, I adore my two-year-old’s mothering nature, especially as the oldest child in our family. The care she practices even with this floppy, rubber faced security item is a sign to me that she’s learning to care for other people and as a mom, there’s not a whole lot more you can ask for from your little ones. So I’ll continue to track down Happy Baby’s bathing suit all winter long, I’ll make her a morning bowl of Cheerios along with Little G’s, and I’ll hug her every time my toddler’s little hands hold her up to me for a feel-better-hug. Because in doing all these things caring for Happy Baby, really I’m caring for my daughter. And that right there is the number one reason I love being a mom so darn much.