Baby I is 2.5 weeks old and there’s still so many posts floating around in my head. One being about breastfeeding – I’m a total newbie and it’s strange, all the questions I’ve developed about a topic I really knew nothing about. He’s the sweetest little doll and I’m loving take care of ONE newborn, instead of two. 🙂
But this post is about Lil C. And it’s driven by 1) hormones, and 2) sleep deprivation. Times a million. I know this, but yet, the emotions are still there.
C got her first haircut yesterday. She’s almost three – it was more than halfway down her back, starting to become unruly, and all of my children are getting their professional photos taken this weekend, so it was a haircut week for the twins. B’s been getting his haircut every 2 months exactly since he turned 1, so he’s over 10 haircuts in (and now goes with my husband to his place). And when B turned 1, I took him to a place for small children, and I took his before and after pictures, and I got a lock of his hair (which is the only bodily thing I’ll keep of my children’s) and a certificate.
Last night, it was C’s turn. We had been prepping her all week, and she was totally excited. Probably more thrilled about having a “special snack” of marshmallows and pretzels, but still. It was the first thing she talked about when she woke up. “I’m getting my haircut! Yay!!” It was at 6:00 pm, which is dinner time, so in between holding a gassy, slightly fussy baby, and trying to prep something to eat for the twins, and not falling asleep standing up, she ate outside on the deck with her brother around 5:30 pm. A healthy diet of half-eaten chicken nuggets, leftover frozen pizza from lunch and peanut butter crackers.
And suddenly it was time to go. We were going to be late. She wolfed down her pizza, I threw a cracker and a nugget into a baggie and she scrambled into the van. Buckled up, heading down the driveway, and I realized – I don’t think I have my phone. She wanted to hear some Pandora, but easy-going C was totally fine with listening to “Mommy’s radio” since I left my phone in the house. (This would not have been okay with B!) I think I knew where my phone was – but what would I need my phone for anyway??
It was only after we got there. After we snuggled and sang songs in the waiting chair, while my hairdresser finished with someone else. After she climbed up on the chair all by herself, opting not to sit in my lap. After the cape was put around her to keep hair off her neck. As she stared at herself in the mirror, looking so old, blond hair scattered down…did I realize. Oh my god, I don’t have my phone.
I have never, in 3 years, missed taking a picture of a milestone. I have captured every single one, put it in its appropriate folder on my computer, printed it out, or added it to a photo book. I can quickly locate B’s first bath, C’s first ride in a car, I’s first time laying on me right after delivery. I’ve got first trips to the zoo, first time in a mall, first walk in a stroller. First time at playgroup, first time playing in a sensory bin. You get the idea. I’ve captured EVERY first.
And with C’s first haircut – I blew it. I absolutely messed up. A lost event, a missed opportunity. I know what she looked like sitting there in that chair, so big and so old. But no one else does. And I don’t know how long my memory will serve me, enough to remember that moment.
Needless to say, when I got home, and for the following – oh, like 5 hours, I was very upset. Devastated, even. I’m still upset. I’m pissed. I know it’s not the end of the world, I know it’s not a HUGE deal, and over everything else, I know my hormones and lack of sleep are driving this bus. But it’s still – something I truly regret. If only I had run back inside for my phone.
And so, the practical side of me has adapted to this silly little thing, and I’ve told myself – since she really only got the ends trimmed off (a little miscommunication between myself and the hairdresser, and C was starting to get antsy anyway), in two months time, when B is ready for his next cut, C can go back, get more taken off, and I’ll take pictures. And I’ll lie to the world and say this is what her first haircut was, and I’ll put it in a photo book and hopefully in 20 years I’ll forget that it was her second time and that’ll be that. And hopefully, C will still sit in the chair alone and wear the cape, and her long hair will fall down her back like it did yesterday. Hopefully, we can recreate the damn event.
The emotional side of me, which is pretty much the ONLY side of me at the moment, thinks this is about something more. Yes, I missed taking pictures of her first haircut. Why is that a big deal? Is it because I just always take pictures of everything? Well, yes to an extent. But truthfully, in the throes of newborn duty around the clock, sleeping 2 hours at a clip only 2 or sometimes 3 times a night….I feel like I missed my daughter grow up.
I don’t know, I was pregnant and now the baby is here and suddenly she’s about 3. She’s maturing; she’s so darn helpful, kind, patient, accommodating. She’s so sweet. I haven’t been able to give her my full attention. Of all the kids, she gets the least of me, when she’s the easiest (and sometimes most enjoyable) kid to be around. I’m frankly not sure she wants to spend more time with me anyway, she’s a total Daddy’s girl. But I long to spend more time with her. And I’m knee-deep in my own things right now and she’s – she’s just growing up really, really fast. Suddenly. I didn’t realize how sad I was about that until yesterday.
So missing that photo opportunity wasn’t just about the haircut. It was about not capturing her age at that very moment, a moment that’s now gone. She’ll never be that exact age again, doing that exact thing again, and while it was so emotional to see her that way, it’s more emotional that I can’t share that image with her or anyone else.