Saturday morning we go to the coffee shop where Aaron and I met. My old boss is there and says “hi.” My mom is saving a table. I am grabbing our order and trying to reign Gabbie in. She is only interested in running around and saying “hi” to people, who would rather stay lost in their book or conversation. I spend more time chasing her around and trying to get her to cooperate than sitting and chatting. Having a toddler is exhausting.
Gabbie sleeps for the whole 90 minute drive from my parents’ house to home. She rouses slightly as I get her out of her car seat, but then continues to snooze, her sweaty head resting on my shoulder. I didn’t think it was possible to miss her when she was just feet away, but it happens to be the case any time we’re on a long car ride. I just want to cuddle her like this all the time. Having a toddler is wonderful.
She is patient as we wait for a table and then for our food to arrive, a process that takes over an hour. The only thing she demands is more teddy grahams, which I’m thankful were in her diaper bag. She sits and chews, watching all the different people crammed inside this small diner, already an expert people-watcher. She smiles and acts shy when they pay her any notice, reaching out for me for security, but she loves the attention. Our food finally comes, but she’s already eaten her fill, so she plays quietly in the high chair while we eat and chat. Having this toddler is amazing.
She struggles with me while I’m trying to get her to go to sleep. She wants things to be just so before she’ll submit. Sometimes it’s an extra binky to hold on to, other times the blanket is not wrapped around her just right. This time it’s that she wants to be in the rocking chair, not on the couch. Once I’ve done the dance and figured out what will work tonight, she’s asleep in minutes, but it doesn’t last. She wakes up again four times during the night, and at quarter to six in the morning I finally give up and take her down to cuddle on the couch. She’s back asleep in seconds; this is what she wanted. Having a toddler is confusing.