I have just managed to wean my baby boy off the breast. I nursed him, just as I did with his sisters, and then around a year I felt that it was time for a change. So I offered him a bottle of milk and he gulped it down as if it was the most delicious thing on Earth. In the last few weeks, a lot of things happened. He learned to sit down. A few days later, he could stand. I am already observing him and wondering when he’ll start walking.
A part of me somehow thinks that I should be sad. I can logically and consciously count all the reasons why I should be sad. You know, slowly but steadily, the cuddles will stop and his head won’t smell like a baby’s head anymore. But I can’t bring myself to really feel that sadness. I feel at peace, even excited for this new stage of life.
Sometimes I think that the mommy sad is the parenting equivalent of a first world problem. “My child is growing up too fast!”. “He’s walking and talking already. It’s soooo early and I’m not ready for this!” No, it isn’t too early. It’s just right.
With this third child, I find myself enjoying the baby stage much more. I take extra time to smell his head, to feel his little hands around my neck and revel in his baby smile. Yes, there is no doubt that babies are cute.
But the reason I am not sad for his growing up are his big sisters. I am actually able to have a whole conversation with them. Not the “what would you like to wear today” kind of conversation. The “let’s talk about meaning of life, the Universe and everything else” kind of conversation. You know, the real kind.
And sometimes I can’t wait till I am able to hold the same kinds of conversation with my baby boy. My mom once said: “And soon he’ll be big and you will wonder how on Earth he ever fit into the crook of your elbow”.
I know what she meant by that. Already I am thinking: was he really that small once? I have memories and pictures to prove that oh yes, he was. Small and adorable. He is now bigger and still adorable.
People also say: “Small children, small problems, big children, big problems”. And I also know what they mean. There are some tough decisions to be made when they’re older. But even tough decisions are easier to make with some more sleep and when the children are actually able to communicate.
I wonder whether I’ll miss the baby stage. Maybe, but I don’t think so. You won’t be likely to hear any “they grow up so fast”, or anything like that from me.
I’m so over the mommy sad. No, wait. That isn’t 100% true. To be over something, it implies that you had it in the first place. No, I’m over feeling obligated to be “mommy sad”. I’d rather spend my time being “mommy glad;” glad for each and every day, each tiny step towards a future of first after first after first.