Things They Can’t Say: Tiaras and Trucks

This week’s featured blogger is one who writes from the heart. Please welcome Angela from Tiaras and Trucks.
He rested in the curve of my elbow, his hair sweet smelling in the nook under my chin.

Five months old, easy with his grins and gurgles and eyes wide open.

Five months old, utterly content in his fleece-blanketed bouncy seat but eager to be held at your hip, part of the conversation and the action at adult height.

Five months old. Almost nineteen months younger than my baby.

Spending three days and three nights with ten adults and seven kids, ranging from six years to five months, meant there were always climbers to stop, snacks to dole out, and babies to pass around like snuggly, smiling candy.

Abbey was thrilled to traipse around the house with two friends, playing dolls and scattering Polly Pockets and beads all over their “treehouse,” the loft at the top of our rented house.

Dylan made up half of the Dynamic Duo, running around with his recently-turned-two buddy, pushing trucks and scaling various pieces of furniture.

Even bedtime went smoothly.

Chilled wine sat in my glass at New Year’s Eve dinner, kids off playing after an earlier meal, and I realized things are shifting in our lives, that some of the difficult parts of having two very young children are fading into the past.

Nursing and pureed food and sippy cups with countless parts are memories.

Hopefully 2012 will be our last year of diapers.

Abbey is morphing into a little teacher, coaxing Dylan into her pretend games and helping with his socks and shoes, though there are still moments of frustration and sibling battles over important toys like old buttons or Mommy’s favorite scarf, dragged from the closet without permission.

Sipping Vouvray, I realized our lives, in some ways, are getting easier.

I should have felt elated, and perhaps accomplished, like I feel when I hit a certain point in a race, knowing I have hit my stride, turning up my music and enjoying the beat and the smiles of the runners around me.

But instead I remembered the feel of five months perching weightlessly on my arm, meeting my eyes in a wide, toothless grin.

The days of curling my babies into my arms and creating a universe of contentment on my hip are gone.

Each day that passes leads me from those moments into a time when they seek my arms mainly when their tears have already begun.

Their moments of contentment are busy and fun and perhaps leaning against my side to have a book read before running off to something new.

This phase is glorious; I could spend hours listening to Abbey meander through her imaginative adventures with the fictional Mit the Mouse or watching Dylan’s dinosaurs oversee his construction trucks.

But tears pricked at the back of my eyes, blinked back before falling.

For more than a moment I wished I could live my life in a split screen, moving through their childhoods into their own future adventures while keeping them safe and warm and under twenty pounds in my arms.

But instead I sang an extra song at bedtime, made sure their turtle nightlight was projecting the moon in a place Dylan could easily see, and softly closed the door before walking back to the laughter of our friends.

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Please leave Angela some comment love here and then go follow her blog Tiaras and Trucks. You can also find her on twitter and facebook.


  1. says

    I know I have a baby on the way, but I’ve thought about how you’re feeling right now, often. Yeah, I’m my own killjoy. I know this is going to be my last baby, and yes, that makes me sad. I hope I can embrace all the beautiful moments the baby will give me, and still enjoy my firstborn’s toddler antics, with no regrets.

    So glad to see you here, Angela.
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..Tasty Thursday: Chocolate Sea Salt CookiesMy Profile

    • says

      That is what I am trying to do, too, enjoy both of them so much. I think no matter how many you have, there’s always a little part that wants to hold onto those first, baby moments and months, when they are so snuggly and don’t ever tell you no 😉

  2. says

    Thank you so much for having me here, Shell! I know I am not the only blogger who appreciates having PYHO to spill my thoughts, and you have always been so generous with your blogging wisdom. xo

    • says

      I think so, too :) I love watching them grown and change and become their own little people, absolutely, but one day they won’t want to sit on my lap. And that’s a little sad, too.

    • says

      No diapers by the end of 2012! Let’s do this. And then lament over the fact that our underwear-wearing kids are getting so big 😉

    • says

      I don’t think anyone prepared me for the bittersweet emotions involved in this parenthood gig, not that I am complaining. And thank you :)

  3. says

    Angela, That New Year’s celebration truly was perfect and the way you put it into words…even better. I had tears at the back of my eyes that fell quickly too while reading this. Time is precious but it is OUR time and you captured it beautifully!
    Hi Shell! Love Angela! As usual I found her through your blog. You are in the company of many good people!
    Kristen recently posted..An Obsession From The Past…My Profile

  4. says

    I can so relate.
    My friend who is a teacher reminded me that JK registration started at the end of this month. My son, my baby will be starting school in Septemeber and I am devastated. Seriously. It’s like everyday I have to hog him to myself because before I know it, I won’t be the center of his universe. Gah…
    This is beautifully written by the way
    Kimberly recently posted..Time Out For MomMy Profile

    • says

      Oh thanks so much :) We are considering enrolling D in a 2 1/2 year old preschool program, which we didn’t do with Abbey. There will be many tears when I send him to school, whenever it happens.

  5. says

    And I’m sitting here bawling. As a mom of 4, now an empty nester, I wish I could go back, back to the times we would go to the library and need a rolling crate to carry all the books out. Back to the time when we would snuggle up to read a chapter out of our ongoing book. Back to sitting at the softball field for hours watching their games. Sometimes I even miss their messes.
    Enjoy them while their young, even when they drive you batty.
    Successful Woman’s Resource Center recently posted..Make an appointment with yourselfMy Profile

    • says

      I didn’t mean to make you cry! I will try to drink up as many as these moments as I can. Even the batty ones :) It’s all flying by so quickly.

  6. Duffy says

    You made me realize that 2012 could be our last year of diapers too. Wow. And you captured the way I feel every day. I can’t wait until you can put on your own shoes, but don’t grow up so fast!

  7. says

    Just beautiful, Angela.
    These days pass so quickly, don’t they?
    But, knowing you as I do, you will never look back and think that you took any of it for granted.
    Because you’ve been present…for the big and the small moments.
    Nichole recently posted..Where Is That Written?My Profile

    • says

      Thanks Nichole! I like to think I try to be present, but it can be difficult sometimes in the day to day. I hope that the little moments each day really add up and imprint themselves on their hearts, the way they’ve imprinted onto mine.

    • says

      Thank you :) There’s such a balance to be found between past, present, and future with kids. It’s all bundled together in their little selves, and I want to remember it all. Every day.

    • says

      Well, catch me around dinner-preparation time 😉 I’m sure I could provide the flip side of this post. (I do appreciate their littleness so much, though, kidding aside.)

  8. says

    Angela, this is so lovely, so touching. Having those moments frozen in time are so special and so needed as you watch them grow up. This brought a tear to my eye as nostalgia swam over me with my own frozen memories.

    • says

      Thank you so much. Part of what I love about blogging is having these snapshots frozen, so that I can comb through them like a photo album.

  9. says

    Oh boy. I can so relate to this, Angela. In every respect. Soon we will be a diaper-free and tiny sippy cup-free household. While I look forward to the new stages being easier I also mourn the fact that I might never hold a newborn in my arms and nurse them to sleep. It is tricky to navigate the new with the old. I just try to be happy for the little men that they’re becoming. And know that I helped shape them and will continue to do so.

    p.s. YAY for the feature :)
    molly recently posted..Our Christmas MorningMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks for the Yay! I’m so happy to be here.

      I do love seeing their personalities take shape and watching them navigate the world. I will have a niece or nephew soon; hopefully that will help with the holding and the snuggles.

  10. says

    Yep– so can relate. There is something nice and closing about moving past that stage and knowing that my family is complete- but every once in a while when I notice how much older my baby is looking or take an out-grown piece of clothing out of his closet to donate- those little moments my heart skips a beat.
    Emmy recently posted..A 365 err is it 366?My Profile

    • says

      Dylan’s hair is getting so long, bu I am dragging my feet about cutting it. I know when I do he is going to look like such a little boy, and I want to hang onto the baby curls as long as I can.

  11. says

    That image of the split screen is so apt. I feel the same way. Longing for moment of the past, while loving the present.

    And being aware of the moments. Always.

  12. says

    Oh yes. The older my two get the more I want to hang on to the baby side of them. The other day I asked my three year old, “Are you momma’s baby?” Normally he says no, that’s he’s a big boy, but this time he looked at me and read my heart and replied, “yeah… but not a little one.”
    Jennifer recently posted..Bloggy Business and Share Your AwesomeMy Profile

    • says

      I am sure that I’ll eventually feel like that about so many of their stages, but there’s something about the baby years that’s hard to let go of.

  13. says

    Awww! This was so sweet, and so well written. I often lament the contradictory feelings motherhood brings. On one hand you are utterly in love and the other you need a break; you would die for your child and you could wring their little necks. And their growing….you feel pride and sadness at the same time. Jeez!
    Just Jennifer recently posted..TGIF: Happy Hobbies EditionMy Profile

    • says

      You’re right, there are so many contradictions in our emotions. Always the love, of course, but so many backs and forths.

    • says

      We’re so done, but there are still moments when I long for a third. Of course, if I had a third, I’d probably feel like that about a fourth…then a fifth…;) Good luck with your growing family!

  14. says

    What a beautiful way with words Angela has. Thanks so much for introducing me to her… there is such an overwhelming serenity about this post… It makes me think that the best is yet to come :)


  15. says

    How absolutely precious Angela. Every word and feeling depicted, vividly paints the picture for all mothers and their babies. Memories that we will cherish forever. Their baby soft skins, no doubt, will thicken as they mature and we wish we can protect them forever. Thank you for this tender post.
    Sela Toki recently posted.."Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"My Profile

    • says

      It’s pretty crazy how quickly the time goes by. Everyone talks about that, but until I started living as a mom, I didn’t really understand.

  16. says

    Oh, wow. How beautiful and utterly true. Especially this: “For more than a moment I wished I could live my life in a split screen, moving through their childhoods into their own future adventures while keeping them safe and warm and under twenty pounds in my arms.”

    A split screen. That’s exactly what I wish for but never had the words to describe it. Thank you for a beautiful post!

  17. says

    You just wrote what is in my heart and on my mind almost daily. Seems like we’re at the same stage of life with our children. It’s wondrous and a little painful with realization that they’re growing fast. So fast.

    And I do the same thing with my little one’s Twilight turtle – he loves to see the moon.

    Such a beautiful, heartfelt post.
    January recently posted..Fulfillment – A JourneyMy Profile

    • says

      Oh, they’re little twins with the moon, huh? I love that he doesn’t even really care what color it’s on, as long as he can see the moon.

  18. says

    there are so so so so many times I actually long for those baby moments. Just for one more day…But then I see my boys play together, not needing me for every single thing. Of course they will still want things from me, but they don’t NEED me to be there everything.

    Great words, girl. Incredible.

    • says

      A time machine, where we could use it to return to the baby stage for one day each year. That’s what someone needs to invent. That shouldn’t be hard, right?

  19. says

    It really is bittersweet watching them get bigger. I love how my kids are at the ages they are (7&9) but a part of me mourns the late night cuddles & nursing. I find myself wanting to give chubby babies who don’t belong to me a little squeeze. Sigh. On the other hand… I love not knowing ANYTHING about my kids current bowel habits :-)
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    • says

      Giggling so hard at your bowel movement comment.

      I am going to be the woman at the mall, waiting to pick up my teenagers and gawking at all the babies :)

  20. says

    Hi sweetie….and I know how you feel. I felt every snuggle and wisp of “wishing for that time again” with you. In my case, I didn’t even have time to savor it or sink down into it..because I was always just juggling one or the other and wishing for no diapers and kiddos that were a little less “needy”.

    sometimes when one of the boys is curled against me or talking to me…singing me a song or acting out a play for me..I wish for that…I sigh with the revelation that that brief time is over and my hip is empty too….

    yep, felt it all with you…something else we can DISCUSS at Blissdom right??? xoxo
    Kir recently posted..Proud Mommy Moments: Elaine from The MissElaine-our Life is Sharing the Corner TodayMy Profile

    • says

      I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do the baby/early toddler stage with two. They ARE so needy and require so much energy and attention. I already feel like I’m in a bit of a haze, and there’s only one of him.

      We are going to be chatting all night, I just know it.

    • says

      Thanks Cheryl xo

      I do try. Even the moments like the one tonight, where I soaked half of their bath water into my previously dry socks 😉

    • says

      I believe you. I do.

      There are just moments where I wish I could press pause and just soak every inch and breath of them into my memories, so that I can really, truly remember these days.

      I sometimes worry that I will look back and only remember a caffeine-tinted haze of days!

  21. says

    Aw, Angela, you just brought tears to my eyes. I wish my baby days weren’t over yet, but I am also enjoying some of the independence that comes with older kids.
    Wonderful post!!
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..MeltingMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Jen. There really is a give and take there; it’s nice to be able to run out without an aresenal of supplies or to let them play in their playroom without continual supervision. But still, that baby smell…

  22. says

    Your writing is beautiful – even if I’ve never been much of a baby person myself. The moment I get them in my arms they cry. I think they can tell that I’m nervous I will do something wrong.

  23. says

    I love (and understand deeply) every single word of this.

    Every. Single. One.

    I have said (through every stage) THIS is the best age. And then again when they’ve moved into the next phase I’ve said, “Now wait. THIS. I love this the most.”

    And it’s always true.

    And yet.

    I miss my babies. I miss every phase and stage and age. I want access to all of it always.
    That’s what makes the memories so precious. Because they are simply memories. And I can’t have it back.

    So yes. I try to appreciate each moment that is rather than longing for what was.
    But I long.

    Oh how I long.
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    • says

      Julie, you always know just what to say to let me know that you hear and understand what I’m saying while reminding me that there will always be something lovely on the horizon. It is a little surreal to me that today Dylan turned two. Where have those 700+ days gone?

    • says

      I know there are crazy moments, too, with them so young. And there are so many wonderful things about watching them grow. There’s just something about the sweetness of babies…

  24. says

    Love this post! Really captures the feelings you go through as the kids move on to different phases. I Mine range from 17 down to 6 and I am often catching myself noticing the way my younger kids are moving into stages that my older kids have left behind and how I feel about that.
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    • says

      It must be fun to see them go through each stage like that. Mine are pretty close together (23 months apart,) so now that my son is two, they seem to be in similar place in some ways.

    • says

      Thanks Natalie. I remember bringing Dylan home, and suddenly Abbey just seemed so grown up. There was such a tine of sadness to that.