Being a parent is all about regulating certain phases in your kids' lives. For example phases such as nursing to solid foods and bottles to sippy cups, diapers to pull-ups to underwear, walking to running and talking to reading etc. But ever go way beyond a certain phase's time period? Like for example you see your kid's feet hitting the ground while in the stroller, your child is like over 60 lbs and still in diapers, your child is eight and still hooked on the paci etc. Before I became a parent, (by that I mean a child-rearing ignorant) I would have looked at all the above in distaste and judgement. Now that parenting has knocked me off my high place and proverbially smacked me over the head, I realize that when it comes to over extending phases, I am guilty as charged, and I am in no place to judge anyone ever. Between our two kids, I would say we've been far more guilty of this when it comes to my son. Our first born between the ages 0-1 hardly touched the floor, was perpetually held, coddled and adored.
From ages 1-2 pretty much the same thing, always being held, having our 110% of our attention at all times. We sent him to preschool on the first day with a bib and a bottle in tow. The teachers were looking at us like "You've got a bad case of phase-over-extention." I think they were tempted to write me a prescription. This is a picture of him on his first day of Preschool, (they took off the bib):
Yep, I bet he got all the girls that day. My daughter on the other hand has been drinking from a cup since she was 9 months old. When we do give her a sippy cup she looks at us like "You really do love me!" She's never worn a bib, that's what her shirt is for. My son turned 4 in March and I'm seeing that I must bid adieu to those chubbulicous baby days, and the milestone rich toddler period. Now my son is no longer a baby or a toddler, hes a boy. He's become quite independent too. Recently I took him to a play area where I've chased him around many times. While other parents were looking at FB on their iPhones I was ready to play "bear" as usual. I started fake growling (while getting weird stares from other parents) and he said "Mommy you can stop now." And ran off with a group of other 4 year old boys. I joined the other parents, looking at my iPhone, bored, waiting for him to finish. Mom is certainly a last resort play mate now.
With the baby days behind us, there's one habit I can't seem to kick: Carrying him! He's just shy of 40lbs now and growing! He was always heavy but now it has gotten to the point where it looks ridiculous. When we are walking around and Joey gets tired, I'll carry him. When I take him out of the car and it's raining, I'll carry him. When he's running around everywhere and I'm tired of chasing him, I'll carry him. My husband will give me the can-you-stop look as I am carrying our 40 lbs child and I'll reluctantly put him down. I was carrying him the other day at Nordstrom Rack and people were looking at me like "You cray." And I complain that my back hurts, because that's what happens when you perpetually hold a 4 yr old, my lower back especially is not happy with me, and I blame it on the kids, but I know it's all self inflicted. I can't help but think "When will he ever want me to hold him again?" After I stop, it will be over. He'll get too big too cool to ever be held by mom. Ever complain about your child not "getting over" a certain phase, all the while you secretly like it? As if you're vainly trying to keep growth and maturity from taking away those adorable baby years by elongating a certain phase? No? Heh.... just me I guess.
I've said too much.
To save my overtaxed vertebrae column and because it's just plain ridiculous, I must now say good bye to this phase, no more holding and carrying. Despite my attempts at non-holding, he'll always be my little boy, or should I say my little BIG boy....