The Transition from “My Baby” to “Boy”

“Yo waddup mom?”

My head spun around like a top. “I’m sorry, what did you just say to me?” “I said, ‘Yo, waddup mom?'” I very quickly squashed that poor use of something that is supposed to resemble the English language. He is 6.5! I thought I had more time than that!

We always say that our children will always be our babies. They will always be young enough to hug, cuddle, and be reprimanded. But when will us calling them “our babies” go from being truth to being a figure of speech? I think that “when”, at least for me, is now. My 6.5 year old little boy is very quickly becoming WAY too independent. He showers by himself, can fix his own food (thankfully he still would rather I do it), has begun questioning my reasoning when I tell him what to do, and is coming up with weird phrases like “waddup” and annoying things like that. Of course I am doing my best to correct poor speech and actions but it is becoming more and more clear to me that the little baby I used to fall asleep on the couch with in the middle of the night is no longer my little baby.

This is not to say that I won’t hold onto whats left of his child-like dependency with everything inside of me. But it is to say that maybe, JUST MAYBE, I should learn to let go a bit. It’s okay to let them experience life the way they need to, it is okay to let them make mistakes, it is even okay to allow them to leave the house in mismatched socks (oh who am I kidding, all of our socks are mismatched). For now I suppose I will embrace the rapid development of my (not so) little baby boy because the tighter I hold on to him, the more he will push away.

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Sometimes toddlers are like pets…

Lets face it, sometimes our toddlers are the best puppies we will ever have. I’m not saying it to be mean, I’m saying it based on my observations of my own canine-like offspring.

My one year old:

-At meal times, if she isn’t securely strapped in her own seat, she crawls under the table waiting for the other kids to drop food on the floor.

-She will eat quite literally anything off the floor, cheerios, scraps, rocks, poop (oh yeah like you’ve NEVER had a kid poop on the floor), ect.

– She begs

– She tries to climb up my leg

– She randomly falls asleep on the floor

– She slides on the hardwood when she is walking to fast.

My three year old

– Has “marked” literally every room in the house.

– Runs the length of the house, from kitchen to bedroom, back and forth until he runs out of breath.

– Sometimes licks himself

– Also begs

– Has those big sad eyes down pat

– Is fascinated with his “privates”

 

So next time my older kids ask me (for the millionth time) for a puppy my response will be, “we already have two… now go walk your brother.”

Moments for Myself

My morning starts at a (not so) bright and early 6:15 in the morning. I wake up and hit the ground running: getting C on the bus for 7:10, everyone fed, husband out the door, diaper changes, nursing the baby, laundry started, dish washer emptied… mostly done by 8:30. These things aren’t so much a choice as they are a necessity because the rest of my day is full as well with dinner prep, more laundry, bill paying, kissing boo-boos  homeschooling M and M, vacuuming (whoever decided that a dining room should be carpeted should be SHOT… seriously), breaking up fights, ect.

I don’t say all this to receive accolades or sympathy, but more to explain how I keep my sanity. I quite literally schedule moments for myself. Once I get C and hubs off to school and work, respectively, I give M and M free play time in the boys room and put the baby down for a early morning snooze (30-45 minutes). At this point in time silence befalls my house. I turn off the tv, put on some worship music, pour myself a coffee and read the paper/bible/blogs/whatever I enjoy. This time is truly mine. Yes there is the occasional “please go back in that room” or “if you wake up the baby I swear…” but all in all it’s mine to do what I want with.

Mom’s NEED this time. We need to know that part of our day is reserved for ourselves. It is a time to unwind, collect our thoughts, or just be able to hear ourselves breathe. Personally, this “me time” sets the tone for my day. There have been days that I haven’t been able to squeeze it in because of one reason or another and I am a wretched human being for the remaining 11 hours until I go to bed at night.

Maybe morning mommy moments won’t work for you. Your child(ren) are not at the age where they can play by themselves or take a morning snooze. That is ok! But I encourage you to designate some amount of time throughout the day for yourself whether it be nap time, lunch time or right after the kids go to bed. Put down the rags and cleaner, leave the kitchen a mess for a bit, and let the laundry stay bundled in the basket a while longer. A burnt out mom is no use to anyone, but being able to recharge, even for 20 minutes, gives you the emotional and mental stamina to tackle the rest of your day.