Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. Absolutely nothing. When I became a parent, I felt something I’ve never felt before, something that is incredibly difficult to describe in words. I can’t compare it with anything.
My daughter was born 1 year, 9 months, and 28 days ago. On Monday, she’ll be 22 months old. It’s been a roller coaster ride. She’s been a newborn, a baby who couldn’t do anything on her own, a baby who could roll over, a baby who could crawl, a baby who could stand up, a baby who could walk, a toddler who could run, and now a toddler who can speak. She hugs, she kisses, she holds hands. When I come home from work, she smiles at me really big and runs to give me a hug while laughing. When I get her out to the nursery driver, she waves and says “bye-bye.” She loves the nursery. She loves playing, dancing, and singing. She loves talking, although most of what comes out of her mouth is still gibberish. But she does communicate much better now. If she wants me to come to her, she says, “Oide (come here).” If she hurt herself, she says, “Itai (ouch)” or “Ow.” She cries when she doesn’t get what she wants, she has temper tantrums, she has an incredible obsession with Anpanman and seems to really like Mickey Mouse, too. She shouts, “Anmanman!” and “Mickey!” She loves bananas. “Nana.” She loves mikan (mandarin oranges). She calls anything red an apple. “Bappo.” She points at trees all the time. “Chee.”
She loves drawing. She chooses the yellow crayon and hands the rest to me. She points to where she wants me to draw. I go away for a bit and sit at my computer. She comes over and takes my hand, saying “Oide.” She wants me to draw some more. I wonder if she’ll be an artist. I wonder if she’ll be a dancer. I wonder what she’ll do in her life.
My wife was watching a video about a 14 month premature baby, and we both had a big smile. We remember Tomoe as a baby. But we also said that we want another baby. I said, “I want to hug Tommy right now.” My wife said, “Me too.” She had her diaper changed a few minutes ago, and she woke up. It’s nearly 11 pm. We told her, “Love you.” She said, “No.”
Yesterday, I took Tomoe to the playground, and she went on the swing, then we went down a very long slide together. As we were walking, she reached up and wanted me to carry her. As I was carrying her, I had a very brief conversation with her.
I said, “Love you.”
Tomoe patted me on the head and said, “Lub you.”
It is so worth it.