Toddler Birth Art

As I look at these drawings by my older son at ages 2.5 and 3.5, I feel quite a pang. This time has passed. He is eight now. He hasn’t drawn a picture like this in years. I didn’t fully realize at the time that he was drawing them that it was a one shot deal—looking at them gives me that familiar feeling of, but that was SO REAL. That was my life and my toddler and now our life landscape is a totally different one. Obviously, I guess I did have some recognition of the one shot nature, because I did save the drawings and have them to share this much later. In the first two pictures, which he drew before I gave birth to his brother, I love how the baby’s eyes match the mother’s.

I love how the baby looks like it is "floating" in this one.

After Zander was born, Lann got a little older and a little more skillful at drawing. I forget exactly when he drew this one, it was sometime during Z’s first year I think, and is obviously based on Lann’s own observations of the birth, rather than just the idea of “mama’s got a baby in there.”

Love the placenta in a bowl and the baby attached to the mama with cord (yes, I know the two are mutually exclusive, but I love these details anyway!)

I forget if I’ve ever shared Lann’s version of his own birth story here. I asked him about it when he was about two (so, before he’d ever seen a birth). Do you remember being born? He immediately said yes and I asked him what it was like. He said:

Swimming.
Swimming down out of mama.
Crying.
Nursies.
Happy now!

This was a surprisingly accurate thumbnail snapshot of his birth. He cried when only his head was born. I brought him to my chest and said, totally instinctively with no pre-planning of the name, “do you want some nursies, baby?” and he immediately latched on and nursed. 🙂

These pictures and these thoughts are exactly why I write so much and why I have a semi-obsession with storing papers, drawings, writings, the printed word (I joke about being a personal archivist), it is because seeing them or reading what I’ve written later, brings that so real feeling back to me and that life that I lived, those babies that I raised, are vivid again, rather than faded, fuzzy, or forgotten.

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