Ups and downs


I hear her voice through the tiny monitor speakers. It’s 7am. Right on schedule. The first words I hear her say every morning: “Hi Mommmeeee and Dadddeeee!” She is happy and excited and so full of cheer. That is how she starts her day. And mine.


I open the door to her room and greet her. “Good morning, my love.” At this point, it could go either way. “I want Daaaaady.” So THAT’s how it’s going to go today. From full of cheer to full of whine.


I rise above. I propose a thrilling, pajama-clad trip downstairs to collect some laundry before we get her dressed. It’s an offer she can’t resist. Extra pajama time is a sure smile-maker. I scoop her up and down the stairs we trot. Cheer once again.


It’s time to get dressed. Pants are the enemy. She aches to wear her pink shorts. I ache for shorts too but it’s going to be a cold, rainy day today. Summer is over. Long pants are a must. And so we battle.


Somehow pants are on and it’s breakfast time. We share breakfast. We chat about what her day might hold and I know that this will be the most precious moment of mine. A small interlude between getting ready for the day and the day actually starting. Happy, peaceful.

Up, up, up.

Nanny and neighbors arrive and it’s time for me to leave. I ask for a hug and kiss. Then I linger. Then I ask for another round. She obliges every time. She’ll miss me too, of course, but she knows my mornings need extra hugs and kisses. I close the door behind me and walk quickly to my car.  I don’t want to hear her settling into her day without me.

Down, down.

Back home again and I haven’t even opened the door but I can hear her inside. “My Mommy! My Mommy is home!” Her greetings lift me up above the low points of my day. She is happy to see me and she doesn’t care who knows it. That’s pure, baby love.


We settle into our afternoon. All is going well. Until it isn’t. And the tantrum erupts. It spews screams and tears. It refuses to be controlled. It resists comfort. There is always a secret word that will distract the angries and make it all stop. But, oh it’s been a long day and I just can’t think.

Down, down, down.

Somehow, the tantrum stops erupting. We’re eating dinner.  SHE is eating. On her own, with her own utensils, without having to be reminded put food on the fork and return it to her mouth. Family dinner. We made it happen.

Up, up, up!

And now we play. For 45 fleeting minutes each day, we get to live in the worlds she creates. She gives us a check up with her replica stethoscope. She makes us pancakes with her miniature spatula.  We drink ‘tea’ out of tiny, purple cups. It’s a beautiful little world. I don’t ever want to leave it.

Up, up, up, up!

But leave it we must, and off to bed we go. Bath time is 90% fun and 10% don’t-you-come-near-my-hair-with-that-cup-of-water-because-if-I-get-one-tiny-driplet-of-water-in-my-eyes-I-will-SCREAM. And SCREAM she does. Like we’re hurting her. I worry the neighbors can hear and are calling authorities. Screams and tears are spewing again. Every trick in my bag of tantrum stoppers is powerless against a wet baby.

Down, down, down.

Dry her off and let her run down the hall. Then it’s pajama time again. Group hugs at the end of our night. She snuggles as we squeeze her between us. We say goodnight.

“Goodnight, Baby. Sleep well! See you in the morning!”

“Goodnight Mommy! Sleep well in the morning!”

Up, up.

Before succumbing to sleep, I sneak into her room. I rest my hand on her back and feel the rise and fall of her breath. Quiet. Peaceful.




  1. that was really really sweet and so true….even though my baby girl is only 5 months I can relate to the ups and downs of the everyday!!!
    thanks for sharing!!

    • The ups and downs do seem to be universal, don’t they? I suppose we’ll still be noticing them when our little ones are all grown up 🙂

      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I love this post. I kept smiling through the post because it reminds me of my daughter. Buggy also cries when she gets water in her eyes during tubby time. I too sneak into her room and put my hand on her back to feel her breathing and tell her again how much I love her.

    New MBC follower.

  3. I have a 13 month old daughter. Your day is so similar to mine! I cherish those special moments, especially all the ways a baby will excitedly show the world how much they love you. New follower from the blog hop 🙂

  4. Yes the ups and downs continue but some of the scenarios just change, at least they did for me …This post made me think back to the early years. How time flew by. Despite the downs I know none of us would trade being a mommy for anything besides, I think the ups make up for the downs and the downs help us to appreciate the ups so much more 🙂

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  6. That was absolutely beautiful.
    michelle @ this little light recently posted..Keepin’ It Simple Summer . Week 4 : Neighborhood QuietMy Profile

  7. What a wonderfully written post. This is exactly what days with a little one are like. My goal is always to come right back to the present moment so that I can enjoy the “ups” and not linger in the anger or frustration of the “downs”.
    Katie recently posted..Time For An Adventure: Come Along!My Profile

  8. Love it. Beautifully-written, evocative and heartbreaking for those of us whose children are way beyond that precious baby stage. This post will be a treasure for your daughter to have when she’s older!
    Louise Ducote recently posted..I’m Sorry, Stranger!My Profile

  9. My daughter will be 5 in September and dressing her is a struggle everyday- so I can relate to your clothing woes.

    Morning has always been my favorite time of the day with my kids. Hearing those little voices calling out my name is the best sound I ever heard.
    Tara @ recently posted..Sunblock tips for childrenMy Profile

  10. What a sweet post! Mother’s everywhere can relate. Happy SITS day!
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  11. Beautifully captured.
    misssrobin recently posted..Why Doesn’t the World Stop?My Profile

  12. My kids are older(7&9), and I can tell you you experience more ups than downs as they grow. Life is joyous!

  13. What a beautiful post and great reminder for us to accept the down moments and appreciate the ups – and they transition from one to another so quickly! Happy SITS day!
    ilene recently posted..The Power Of Goals: The Weekly ChaseMy Profile

  14. That was so pretty. Mine are 9 and 13 and so much like that,too lol
    mom2kmjx2 recently posted..Log Cabin PurseMy Profile

  15. {Melinda} Beautiful! My “little” girl is 15 now and I can tell you the Ups and Downs just keep coming! Parenting is a roller coaster and the dips and curves seem to be steeper and more mindbending as they get older. It only makes me cherish the “Ups” more. Because soon I know, she’ll walk out the door and be gone.

    Such a sweet post … hold her close for as long as you can. Visiting from SITS! Happy SITS Day!
    Mothering From Scratch recently posted..wait until i’m the mom!My Profile

  16. LOL!! The roller coaster ride of parenthood. My first son was pretty mellow and relaxed. He’s now 26 and STILL pretty mellow and relaxed. My second son, who is now 3, was incredibly active in the womb and STILL is. We have days where we think he may be schizo because he’s be laughing one second and crying the next, happy one second, screaming bloody murder the next. I was expecting something similar to my first son when I agreed to have another child, this was unexpected and sometimes frightening, so I’m awfully glad to hear I’m not the only one whose child makes you feel like you’re on a rowdy ride at a carnival!
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  17. So precious. Those down times really make us appreciate the ups all the more.
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  18. I’ve so had those days. lol It’s pretty much an everyday thing.

  19. How beautifully written! Staying at home with my daughter, I experience all the same ups and downs: the tantrums, the kisses, the lessons learned, the battles. Thanks for sharing your story with us, and Happy SITS Day!
    Evanthia of merelymothers recently posted..Why the “Terrible Twos” Aren’t Terrible….for Parents.My Profile

  20. Lovely! You and she will be so glad to have these little moments written down as the years go by and so many changes happen.
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  21. I love the way you use up and down to direct the pace of the piece. I also love the way you value all the time you spend with your little human.
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  22. I have a ten month old and I can really relate to this. It’s so sweet, and so true. I sneak in to watch her sleep and can’t believe how much I love her. This was such a lovely post!
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  23. I am so right there with you.
    You could almost be in my house a year ago.
    Thankfully, Bunny enjoys washing her hair now. And my mornings are my best, and my bed times are my favourite becuase we cuddle with story time and we cuddle with early morning tea, and I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she loves me as much as I love her, and there’s nothing better in the world.
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  24. Oh bugger! In from Sits! I keep forgetting that.
    Student Mom (Jenn) recently posted..You Know You’re a Mom when…My Profile

  25. Oh, those ups and downs! I am so familiar with them!
    Especially the bath time – don’t get the water on my hair bit.

    But, for those hugs, that love, hearing them so excited to see us….

    Happy SITS day!
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  26. Aw, I remember those days (slightly wistfully). Here’s to more ups than downs. 🙂
    Miz Dinah recently posted..And So But Then What Happened?My Profile

  27. Beautifully written!
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