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.


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.

My 3 year old challenge

All of us with more than one child have that “one” kid. The one that challenges your every nerve and conviction. The one that makes you question reproducing ever again. The one that makes you consider starting on a six pack at 9 in the morning. It’s normal, I understand, we’ve all been there (please Lord tell me I’m not alone in that!).

I have always known that my third baby, Mason, was “that child” for me. He has always marched to the beat of his own drum in every way possible. He talked really late, but walked very early. He didn’t eat purees until he was 9 months old, but nursed around the clock until he was almost 2. But it wasn’t until recently that I really started to take a look at his behaviors and I began to get worried. Daily (almost multiple times daily) I’d say to myself, “He’s so much more than strong-willed, there has to be something more going on!”

Until last week, I’d been putting off getting him evaluated. Part of me wanted to know so badly what I was missing. Why was he NOTHING like my two older children. (I know every child is different, but this was so much MORE than different.) And the other part of me was genuinely afraid because I desperately didn’t want anything to be different about him, he’s still my perfect little baby boy with crazy curly hair and a spunk that I could only dream of.

Wednesday came around and his appointment was here. I nervously brought him in and we talked over a lot of things. All of his behaviors were analyzed. We watched his actions and then the Dr turned and talked to me. “We can’t officially classify him as anything yet,” she said, “but right now we’re going to call him hyperactive with a possible touch of OCD. We’ll reevaluate him once he’s in school.” It wasn’t at all the answer I was looking for. There was no start to make things better, no parental closure… nothing. I was told he needs to get as much activity as possible. If he gets antsy I’m supposed to bundle him up and have him run around the yard for 30 minutes. I need to keep him entertained and his mind moving.

So now, we wait. We do what the doctor has suggested and see what happens. Keep an eye on his development (which is apparently a little delayed) and his behaviors and just… wait. I have to say I’m frustrated that there is nothing intensive that we can do right now. I didn’t want to medicate him or anything, but maybe some sort of behavior therapy or head-start program so that every day doesn’t have to be such a challenge.

I will continue to do my own research and work with him the best way I know how. Through all of this I’ve just come to realize more and more that there is no cookie-cutter kid, even within the same family. Parenting philosophies and “modes of operation” are supposed to be tweaked and altered with each child. So… I will continue to alter… until I get it right! (Whatever THAT means!)