Sunday, May 2, 2010

You Are Still Our Baby

Why do we rush childhood? Doesn't it go fast enough on it's own? I mean, we don't do it on purpose, of course. We are eager. We get excited to do new things, learn new things, do the big Disney family movie night, let them experience all the things we did or didn't do as kids. And then there is our agenda: get them potty trained by the time they go to pre-school/camp/day care,  move them into their own room so WE can feel more comfortable, get them off the bottle or binkie or whatever because they are "supposed to" at this age. We worry they won't learn enough, do enough, hit the milestones they are supposed to enough by such and such a time, etc. Ha, and by "we" I mean "me". I have fallen prey to worrying about most of these things from time to time and tonight it just hit me. Why? Why not embrace every single minute of it? Let her be a baby awhile longer.  No, I don't mean to baby too much or hold her back in any way. But to let the sweetness linger a bit longer...let her take her time. These moments won't last forever! 

She was so fun and cuddly this weekend. Instead of running around we spent the greater part of the weekend just hanging out in the back yard. She was SO happy to have Daddy home! Clutched on to his leg and followed him around the first night. She was like his shadow. It was so sweet. We had a real nice weekend just being home together. We were outside a lot cause the weather was gorgeous. Ruby's a TOTAL water baby! I think we changed her clothes 4 times yesterday cause just when we thought she was done playing in the water, she'd jump back in again! Today we were smart and just let her in her swim suit all day. We bought a blow-up pool with an elephant sprinkler thing and she was in heaven! Also played with her water table a lot. What fun to watch her splash and play and squeal with delight! And how relaxing for Jeff and I to just kick back with an ice tea and watch! Potty training has gone down the toilet. Haha. Except not literally. She was doing so good, then had a few accidents, then just decided one day that she wasn't interested anymore. I found myself pushing the issue too much which only made her protest more. So you know what? I am letting it rest for now. She is also still on a bottle at night and I still sleep in her room. Sometimes she wakes up in the night from a nightmare and wants to sleep with Mommy. But you know what? I love that I can be there for her. I can sleep when I'm dead! (My mom hates when I use this phase - sorry mom!)  But for now I can embrace those middle of the night wake-up's and excuses to hold her close.

Tonight I had an epiphany. We were all on the couch snuggled up. Ruby in between Jeff & I as we watched  "Charlotte's Web". We were all snuggled close and I thought to myself, man, THIS is what it's all about. THESE are the cuddly moments I waited so long for and I am gonna enjoy them for as long as they last. She is bright and will soon go to school and figure out that the other kids use the potty. She's not gonna be ten and still taking a bottle. She will phase out of that soon I am sure. She is gonna grow up WAY TOO FAST and right before my eyes. So what the heck am I worrying about if she isn't potty trained yet? She's gonna get it eventually! Why do I want her sleeping alone in her room when these special moments of holding and singing her to sleep could be gone in a year or two as she becomes more and more independent? As she got sleepy tonight and snuggled close with her Momma, I - again - realized how precious these moments are. She still needs to be a baby sometimes. Holding on to the diaper, the bottle, her mommy, etc. may be her way of holding on to the nuturing that goes with all of those things. She waited a long time for those things. I'm not gonna take that away from her until she's ready.  So instead of worrying about getting her being potty trained by my own deadline, I'm gonna cherish all those "baby" moments we have together for as long as we have them.  

To Ruby - Take your time, sweet girl, to grow up. We'll be right here by your side every big and little step of the way. Mommy and Pa love you soooo much. You may not be a baby for long, but you will always be OUR baby.


rosemary said...

Yep, thats what we are doing too!! I figure that we missed so much of his real "babyhood" that we should just enjoy this now and not get hung up on pushing him to proceed into anything until he wants to. He will want to do what all the other kids are doing all too soon anyway.

Jessica said...

I think it's western culture that encourages us to "rush" from babies to childhood to adulthood like it's some kind of a race. Ruby still sleeping in your room - that's just the Thai way!

Anonymous said...

I think you said this perfectly, because the truth is each child develops that their own pace. The amount Ruby has overcome in six months is remarkable.

Maci Miller said...

Thanks, ladies! I really took my time with things in the beginning. Was in no hurray to change habits, diet, sleeping, etc. Only in the last month or so did I feel like I was rushing things a bit. I felt that pre-school thing was hanging over my head so I HAD to break the bottle, potty train, etc. Now I am back to relaxing about it. She'll be ready by Sept for school and all the rest is just gonna have to wait!

Megan said...

I love this post, Jen! It is so true that we rush things with our kids and it does go so fast anyway. Enjoy it all!! She hasn't been home all that long really!