Life: When Smalls Grow Up
Watching your little ones grow up can sometimes bring you down. This week my first-born turned seven. I can’t quite believe it. One minute I was sneaking in to see my husband at the art shop where he worked to tell him we were having a baby, and the next I’m lighting seven candles on an over-sized chocolate cake and singing ‘Happy Birthday’ out of tune.
I know I am not the only parent who feels this almost fast-forward through the years. But how did it happen so quickly? It felt like just yesterday Matt and I were giggling in ante-natal classes, rushing to the birthing centre with my sister behind the wheel, right to push-push-pushing out my wee newborn, and mastering breastfeeding. I remember those early days, vividly, although we don’t have heaps of photos, they are imprinted in my memory banks.
Then we had the sleepless nights (plenty of those, a spell in Tresillian) when I was pretty well yelling from the rooftops about the fact I was going to sleep again (and then my mother-in-law puzzled me by saying she wouldn’t tell anyone, as though it was something to be kept hidden. TELL EVERYONE!).
Those toddler years, well they are something special. I don’t know about anyone else, but every stage always seemed to be my favourite, although toddlers. Damn. They are the sweetest, most curious beings. They love cuddles, they don’t so much love sleep, they are inquisitive little creatures and that innocence… it’s never really recaptured. We spent many, many days constructing train tracks, narrating our train journeys for hours at a time. Or throwing a quilt on the ground with all his soft toys and setting up tea parties.
And now we are here. A bigger grown-up version of my newborn. I won’t lie. I am nostalgic for those early days. For when I was an at-home mum, and it was mundane, cutting off the crusts, serving meal after meal. I really do miss that. Because you never get it back. Now he’s bigger and he’s busier. He’s got games to play, books to read, movies to watch.
I guess things slowly evolve. As a parent you’ve got to continually re-learn your job. And that’s kind of sad for me too. Like I’ve finally just learnt about how to do my job… and then… nope! We’re onto the next stage.
It’s a heady adventure. Sometimes we’re friends, and sometimes he gets his grump on. Though I am hoping we’ve left that behind in the sixes.
Seven brings this new maturity, and a new curiosity. I’m constantly being informed how babies are made (nude cuddles), and other pieces of world history that he’s learnt. But my baby, my baby still loves to be wrapped in my arms and loved. He still holds my hand when we’re walking into school. I dread the day he deems himself too old to do that. That will be when it’s time to move on to the next parenting stage.
Are you still holding hands with your kidlet? Did your baby magically grow up?
Pottymouthmama’s Lexi is the Sydney based mother of two rad kidlets. She works, tweets, blogs, pins and is advocate of the robot dance.
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