Aside from feeling as though I need a PhD in baby gear to put this stuff together (and breaking two thumbnails in the process), I was met by the shock of my life when I plopped our 22+ lb child in the high chair.
He looked tiny. Like a little, itty-bitty baby. Sitting in a big boy chair.
I need to preface this by saying that for the most part, I've been 100% okay with milestones and growth. In fact, I feel as though I'm looking forward to future milestones (table food, crawling, etc) and haven't really mourned any major moments of his growth. Probably the most emotional I've been is when I was packing up his 0-3 mo. clothing and it hit me that he would never, ever wear these little clothes again. I teared up for a moment, then promptly closed the lid on the tupperware container and shoved it under a bed, not spending another minute thinking about it.
But this - seeing our little bear in his chair - seriously made me grab him out of the high chair and squeeze him as tightly as I could. He's getting so big! He's like a real boy now. Where did my little snuggle bear go? It seems like just yesterday that we were deep into the throes of SwaddleGate or his refusal (inability?) to poop. It's such a surreal moment to see my child, the same one that entered this world at 8lbs, 6oz, sitting upright, ready to eat real food.
And yet while he looks so old, he looked so tiny and little and fragile. I feel like I've really been torn between feeling lucky that I get to stay home and absolutely detesting my current lifestyle, but seeing him sitting there, blue eyes huge and surprised, made me realize how lucky I am that I get to witness these moments. He's never going to do this kind of stuff again; just like those 0-3 mo. outfits, these moments are here but for an instant. And I feel so honored to get to experience them with my little guy.
Again, I feel like I mention this a lot, but my whole frame of reference before becoming a parent was being a cat owner...and as much as we loved Emma (and the challenges she presented), she also never changed. Her life was static; she never grew (except to lose a pound or two), never met milestones, and was ferociously independent. I guess I (very naively and very stupidly) thought being a Mom would be similar...and while it's 1000x harder than being a catMom, being the Mom to the Bear is about 1,000,000x more rewarding.
So yeah, I'll stop bemoaning my decision to become a stay-at-home-mom. Although there are challenging days, I'm starting to realize that the benefits of staying home isn't because your life is easier, but because your life is richer.
I'll take richer over easier any day.