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 My baby daughter smells like freshly baked bread lightly misted with unicorn sweat. I spend most of my day inhaling her while she sits on my lap, gently nuzzling my cheek against hers so I can feel the insane softness of her brand new perfect skin. I’ve had to stop myself from nibbling her earlobes, because they look delicious. This must be what it’s like to have a drug problem, as I’m clearly addicted to Baby. But what happens when my stash runs out?

No matter how hard I try to keep her on my lap, this particular baby, at 21 months, is rapidly outgrowing her infancy. Though her hair still barely touches the top of her ears, and her chubby foot still fits in my palm, she’s started running. And jumping. And singing “Happy Birthday,” regardless of the occasion.

She’s also been having these tiny tantrums when things don’t go her way (we have this crazy rule about not playing with steak knives), tearing across the room with her arms above her head until she flops, sobbing, onto a bean bag pillow.

How much longer until she goes full toddler, insisting on choosing her own clothes, refusing to eat vegetables and melting down when it’s time to leave the park? And from there it’s just a hop skip to snarking that I’m “the worst mom ever” when I deny her use of my lipstick. I know this, because I have a 6-year-old who might as well be a teenager.

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