Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

life with a toddler, the new year’s edition

December 31 is often a day to pause and reflect on the previous year, perhaps set some goals for the following year, or at the very least put on a party hat while watching the ball drop on television. But one thing I’ve learned since becoming a parent is that parenting doesn’t stop even if (or especially if) you want a little break.

Today I am feeling overwhelmed by her two-year-old-ness. I know that this will pass. That, like everything, it is for now. But today, I want to press the pause button, curl up on the couch, watch Friends, and eat all of the carbs in the house. Is that too much to ask?

Two is a great age. I love how funny and interesting my girl is becoming. I love how she remembers conversations from weeks ago and how interested in everything she is. I love her fascination with the moon and her shadow and the constant flow of “What’s that? What’s that? And what’s THAT?” as her curiosity grows into discoveries. Every day is new. Every day is exciting in Toddler Land.

Two is also really really hard. Each new developmental stage for her means a new developmental stage for me and her daddy. As she figures out her power and understands that she can have an opinion about things (which will serve her well), my job gets harder. Getting from Point A to Point B is a string of negotiations, games, and an exercise in patience. Meal time is exhausting for everyone, and don’t get me started on brushing teeth. Her daddy and I often look at each other at the end of the day, fist bump, and say, “We made it.” We ADORE this amazing child we created, but holy moly, it takes a lot of work to grow, feed, and nurture a human being. (Can I get an “amen”?)

Lucky for us, every day is new in Toddler Land. Just as I’m gasping for air, about to make a break for it (maybe escape to the bathroom for some alone time), she leans her head on my knee. In this small gesture, she reminds me that it’s all going to be okay and that we’re in this together. We’re a team, she and I. Even when our signals get crossed, when she is trying desperately to tell me what she needs and I am trying desperately to figure out what she needs, and the language/age/developmental gap keeps us from actually figuring it out, we both know that love is there. Forever and always.

My little Buddha Baby teaches me what living in the moment is all about. A hard day or afternoon or tear-filled diaper change can switch off as quickly as it switched on. And suddenly we are giggling and dancing and singing her favorite song…

“Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”

So today, instead of sharing my New Year’s resolutions, I thought I’d share my reality – in all its beautiful messiness. New Year’s Eve or not, this is our life and writing about it helps me process it and hopefully a few of you out there will relate to this and say, “Me, too!”, and we can all raise our virtual champagne glasses together while we laugh/cry about this hilarious/exhausting/amazing thing called parenthood.

Happy New Year, friends. A thousand fist-bumps from me to you!

baby silas | seattle newborn photographer

Meet Silas. He is three weeks old and as sweet as can be. I love photographing fresh-out-of-the-oven babies and their parents. It’s such a tender time, filled with so many new experiences and emotions. Thank you, Seth and Allecia, for allowing me into your home to capture your beautiful family.