Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I'm Big

Growing up is hard.  It can be scary.  It can be hard.  It can mean more work.  It can mean facing unknowns.  I am always encouraging my sons to "be big boys".  I remind them that they are not babies and we celebrate each time they achieve something that shows that to be true.  There are things about them growing up that are nice: dressing themselves, no more diapers, getting their own drink, playing well together without constant supervision, helping with chores, being able to follow directions, fewer temper tantrums, interesting conversations, longer attention spans, and did I mention, no more diapers.  At the same time, watching them grow up is terribly hard.  Their fat, baby, leg rolls are disappearing.  They are not content to sit on my lap and cuddle for an hour, or even 10 minutes.  They are turning into little boys, which means my baby boys are gone.  Our job as parents is to teach our kids not to need us anymore.  And even though that is hard, it is one of the best gifts we can give them.  

The last month has been a big growing up time for William.  He has struggled  since Lilly arrived, trying to find  his new place in the family.  He's not the baby anymore, but he's not quite a big boy like his brother, so where does that leave him?  The transition has been rough on all of us.  There have been days when my prayer was, "can he turn 3 soon, Lord, because I don't think I can take the 2s much longer."  Thankfully, we didn't have to wait for 3.  2 and a 1/2 seems to be pretty nice
It began with potty training.  I was dreading it.  Potty training just seems dreadful, even if you've done it before and it wasn't even that bad.  I dread potty training more than labor.  But, I was running out of diapers, didn't want to buy anymore, we were stuck at home for a few days, and he was definitely old enough.  So I made myself do it.   Here is something I learned about William: that kid will do anything for a piece of candy.  He had his first accident, peed on the floor (thank goodness for wood floors) and was so mad that I wouldn't give him a jelly bean that he ran to the bathroom and made a poo so he could get 2 jelly beans.  I could just see his little brain saying, "she thinks she won't give me any candy, I'll show her." 

After that, we had less accidents than I can count on 1 hand.  He just got it.  It took 2 days.  That wasn't painful at all. So I was flying high on this whole big boy thing, and William really needed a haircut.  "Well, you're a big boy now, so let's go get your hair cut."  I have been "cutting" William's hair since he's needed haircuts.  I use the term loosely because it is more of a snip here and there when he begins to look like a sheep dog and the bangs are never straight and he looks pretty raggedy.  I wanted a real cut.  He didn't.  He would have nothing to do with it.  Not even for a lollipop. He'll do almost anything for candy. It makes no sense.  James was terrified of the big potty and took months to use it,
but had been getting his hair cut since he was 8 months old.  William was on the big potty by day 3 but would not go near the barber chair.  It is almost as if they are kids and what they do often makes no sense.

The next day Aaron took William to get his hair cut.  He came back with a lollipop.  And I was suddenly sad because William had a big boy hair cut.  His little baby curls were cut short (they are growing back!) and he looked like a boy.  A big boy.  And I missed my baby.

William is pretty proud of his accomplishments as a big boy.  He will do something big boy like and strut around proudly.  "I'm big," he'll say in his tough guy voice.  At the same time, usually bed time, when we tell him he needs to go to bed by himself, because he's big of course, he'll respond cunningly, "no, I can't.  I'm just a little baby."  That's pretty smart for a baby.  

I am glad that he is growing up.  No more diapers.  But, as I was cuddling with him at nap time today, I found myself holding him just a little bit longer because I don't know when he'll decide he's too big for cuddling.  I hope it's not too soon because I love my big baby boy.

1 comment:

Erin McDonald said...

I tried to comment last week on this post but me internet conection failed! Soo can I say you have the cutest middle child! All the pictures before this one were of him laughing or smilling and like you his eyes disapear and I was so amazed at how adorable his face is when he is just plain William not squinty eyed. all your children are sweet but he is a jem!