Ruben Studdard had “Sorry (for) 2004,” Here’s Mine for 2011

Babywatch 2014.

As a life-long baby enthusiast and Elmira (“I want to hold you, love you, kiss you and squeeze you tight!”), I still get at least three rounds of goosebumps and shivers when I see a birth announcement on Facebook. A new life is among us. I think about the family’s first moments and naturally reminisce about our own in 2010 and 2012.

My favorite part is the first picture and the Name Reveal. It is so Lion King.

I no longer have babies. At 22 months old and 3.5+ years old (44 months old if you wanna be gross), they are full-fledged toddler and soon-to-be preschooler.

As I reminisce about the first few months of my firstborn’s life, I would like to take this time to officially apologize for 2011.

When Micah was a newborn, our Thanksgiving 2010 baby, there were times when I naively thought this motherhood thang was cake. After a whole year of getting showered with platitudes in various forms of “Oh, get ready for your world to be rocked!” or “Life will never be the same as you know it,” it wasn’t as bad as all the hype. I was nursing, cuddling, and falling in love ’round the clock. Most blissful I’d ever been. I didn’t give one crap about losing my freedom or no longer accessorizing.

I then began to hear some tales from the trenches, some confessions from mamas with older kids. About something called tantrums. And how their kids have the uncanny ability to stoke the fieriest fireball of anger within them. I honestly could not imagine my sweet angel baby, bursting with cheeks for days, EVER displeasing me, much less angering me. I even worried, “At this rate, I am going to be so attached to this sweet little human that I don’t think I can rejoin the work force. Ever.” My mama laughed at me and told me to give it a couple years.

This naive former self flashed into my mind today at Boston Market. My boys and I were going to stay out all day so I wanted to grab a decent lunch for them between events, while packing my own lunch to save money.

They were getting too riled up, egging each other on while standing in line with me so I seated them at a small table right in front of the line where I can keep my eyes on them, Ellis in a highchair and Micah in a regular chair. They were cracking up and squealing with delight.

What’s wrong with laughter and delight? Who am I, the Happiness Police?

Nope. I’m Mama and I know that the laughter was getting too amped up. I saw Ellis trying to climb out of his highchair, one leg already swung over, and reaching for the pepper. Micah was already out of his seat, reaching for the paper menu pyramid of today’s specials. I’m no fool – even a good thang like brotherly excitement can lead to nekked sumo wrestling on asphalt in about 90 seconds flat. I rushed back and yanked the pepper and menu out of their little hands and brought the boys back in line with me.

Ellis started to gag like he had swallowed wrong. The moment passed.

Until he actually hurled seconds later. The line quickly dispersed and no one could look me in the eye as I caught his vomit in my hands. Whatever I could not catch, I wore. It was a very NYC moment as no one dared to offer up a kind word or a few napkins.

“Keep it moving…moving away from Throw Up Mom and her two Littles.”

I waved down a cashier and said, “Hi, I’m so sorry but my baby just threw up while we were in line,” so that they could properly mop up that nastiness immediately.

Fortunately, Ellis was not sick at all. He had either had too much (green) breakfast smoothie and scrambled eggs a couple hours prior or I had been holding him too tightly around his tummy when holding him in line after he and Big Bro had gotten all riled up. So, Dude was still a ball of energy.

In the bathroom, the Li’l Kims still wanted to play with everything. The door lock, the door handle, the trashcan, the toilet handle, my dress. Micah wanted to engage me in deep conversation.

This is the exact moment I got overwhelmed, not the vomiting in line.

“Mom!? MOM!? *I* didn’t throw up right? Only Ellis, right, Mom? Mom!? Mom? Do you know what? Do you know what? I had a nightmare. I did. Last night. I had a nightmare about four giraffes dying. Did you hear me, MOM? Do you love me?”

He then went on to try to hug Ellis when they both had Vomit Feet and I was trying my best to clean up. My patience was wearing thin. I stank. I had to repeat myself over and over again before I could wash off both of them in our makeshift public sink shower. They continued to get attracted to the trash can with the fliptop lid.

We continued with our day and all was salvaged.

Not the worst parenting stress moment BY ANY MEANS (chile, please!) but I just remembered how I truly could not imagine even getting ANNOYED by my beloved offspring in his infancy.

I am sorry for my smugness and naivete of 2011, and tail end of 2010.

As I type this, I can hear Kevin getting frustrated with them as he tries to corral them to bed. Never have I heard a more comforting sound.

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