To reignite the joy of childhood, learn to live on 'toddler time'

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2023-01-25 17:00:07

Almost as soon as our son was born, we got these words of advice from friends and family with older kids. 'Try and enjoy every minute of it, because the days might feel long but the years will go by quickly.'

I took the advice to heart. I was in my 40s when I became a mom — time already felt precious. My pregnancy hadn't been easy. Serious complications in the third trimester had forced my son into the world six weeks before his due date. So, by the time we brought our tiny 4 pound 9 ounce preemie home, I was determined to enjoy every minute with him.

I wanted to remember each precious detail — his scent, the little animal sounds he made in the early weeks, the first time he rolled over and all the other early milestones. I hoped that by laying down these memories, I could slow down our time together, so the years wouldn't fly by quickly.

For example, when he flashed his first voluntary smile at my husband and me, it felt as if the seconds expanded into minutes. I had the same experience the day he turned 2 months old, when we bathed him, weighed him, and heaved a collective sigh of relief because he was no longer the skin-and-bones-preemie, but a healthy, chubby baby. Then there was the time he first army-crawled, elbow by elbow, out of his nursery, months before he learned to do the real crawl.

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