Your yogurt smoothie is questionably balancing on top of your toy truck. It's only a matter of seconds before the whole concoction falls apart and you'll either belly laugh or face plant on the dirty rug in total despair.
My sock is on the mantle, chocolate is smeared all over your chair that I just washed and 9,000 colorful straws are currently decorating the floor. You just recovered from a meltdown because the dog ate the food you gave him (okay, more like shoved at his nose) for the seventh time today.
I stare into space—totally and completely overwhelmed—on the verge of losing it.
You go scurrying through the house, a 2-year-old pantsless ball of energy, as I slowly rock your newborn baby brother. You begin telling me a story, something about snakes, rocket ships, peanut butter sandwiches and lightning—and my mind shifts from the (almost hilarious) mess.
I start to think about how just weeks ago, you and I were two inseparable best friends taking on the world together. We raced, played race cars and made Target runs like it was going out of style.
Then I brought home your baby brother, a tiny and perfect little boy who I was immediately immensely in love with—just as I was you when you were born. But, to you, he's probably more like a screaming alien that just popped into our home and zapped 75% of my attention away from you. And you're still probably trying to figure out why the heck you're supposed to love him.
So I sit and I rock and I let all the guilt creep in as I watch you play alone—something you never used to do. Something you never used to have to do.
Sometimes I feel like all I've said to you lately is, "Hold on, I'm feeding your brother" or "In just a little bit" or "Not right now" or "Maybe later."
These feelings make me feel inadequate—like no matter what I do, I'm neglecting one of you. You see, when your baby brother was born, my heart didn't split in half in order to love you both—it doubled. But my arms, my lap and my time? None of that doubled.
I wish there was a way to clone myself so I could give you each 100% of me all the time.
You crawl in my lap, smothering me, hitting your baby brother in the head with your knee. You both start crying. I breathe in deep and hold you both so close.
Eventually, our day draws to an end, the sun goes down and the world is quiet and dark. I sit in silence feeding your brother, and just like I've always done, I replay our moments together in my mind.
Today might have been long and messy, but it was perfect.
Today I was your "best boy" and when I tried to explain that maybe I could be your "best girl" instead, you cried. So today, I was your best boy.
Today I was your "superhero" and your "best sweetheart."
Today I was your "best friend" and for months now you haven't let 15 minutes go by without making sure I know.
Today, you even told me that I'm your "best pizza." And that's everything.
Today, you loved me in the middle of all the mess—regardless of the lack of attention that I gave you. You loved me when I gave you Goldfish for breakfast, forgot to brush your teeth, made you wait 76 hours for your milk and didn't race around the hall with you like I said I would.
Today, you loved me when I lost my patience, put you to bed at 6:30 pm and failed to take you to the park. Today, just like yesterday, you loved me through my failures as if you didn't even know I'd let you down. Because, to you, maybe I didn't let you down after all. To you, I was still the "best" everything.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your 2-year-old unwavering grace.
And for the record... you're my best pizza, too. Forever.