I regularly tell my kids to stop growing up. I feel like my almost six years of parenting have flown by, and with each child, it all speeds up. So sometimes I tell them to stop. They, of course, look at me like I am crazy.
But really, they are growing and changing. That is the strange thing about mothering. You do the same job for the same people every day, and yet those people are constantly different.
Take Q., for example. She was so tiny for so long that I felt she would finally be my child that remained a baby forever. She belonged to Mama longer than the other two did, longer by many months. And yet, recently, she ditched me for Dad. Now, she doesn’t want to sit on my lap while I rock her in my chair. No! She wants to run around being loud. She wants to jump on people, wrestle with Dad.
Mama doesn’t wrestle. You can ask anyone around here and they will verify this.
And then there is A. A. was mute for almost two-and-a-half years. But now she chatters away and I find myself asking her to stop nagging me. She recently reached a stage that I distinctly remember E. being in. When I realized this, I found myself thinking, Now, when did he outgrow that? I didn’t even notice.
Yes, three-year-olds nag. They do! I remember making a rule that no one was allowed to tell E. about any major event until the day-of because he would drive me crazy. I made the mistake of telling A. about the birthday party this weekend. She proceeded to follow me around for 45 minutes saying, I want to go pardy, I want to go pardy. Over and over. I told her to stop nagging, and yet I know she will bring it up again in an hour.
And E.! He has grown most dramatically of all. A few weeks ago, he expressed interest in taking a shower. I was shocked, but tried to play it cool. I told him to ask his dad, who said yes. I think we both thought this would be a one-time thing. But no! Our boy takes showers now. No more playing with tub toys.
And then, we were all getting ready to leave for something and I wandered into the garage in time to see what looked like my boy putting the trash in the big trashcan. I thought my eyes must have been deceiving me. Up until now, he tied up the trash in the kitchen and put it into the garage to wait for Dad because he wasn’t strong enough to finish the process. So I asked him if he had just taken out the trash. He tried to downplay it. He told me it was a light bag this time and so he just grabbed it and threw it in.
I know better. This is all part of the Growing Up Conspiracy that the three of them have secretly agreed on.
This was confirmed when, later in the week, he went down to the curb and brought the big can in after curbside pickup was complete.
So yesterday I can’t say I was surprised when I felt a disctinctly familiar thumping in my tummy. Until now, I have been apt to forget I’m pregnant half the time. I simply think I have a persistent flu. But that thumping was Baby’s attempt to remind me: I’m here, Baby says, determined to grow up one day, too.
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