This is a new one to me. My first two children, born three years apart, always relished being "the baby," and languished in the care and devotion we gave them. I realize now that instead of loving them in a way that was best for them, I was actually smothering them, inhibiting their independence. I know I did this for two reasons: one, it's just plain easier to put a child's shoes on, rather than wait forty-five minutes for them to do it themselves; and two, I couldn't possibly imagine my sweet little baby being anything but a baby. I couldn't make myself see them as independent, growing children.
I'm doing a heck of a lot better now. My kids have probably more independence than is good for them. I know a lot of people disagree with my parenting practices, and that's okay. I know my kids are safe and loved and, most of all, developing into amazing, interesting people.
But this new Beastie-ism is just too much. I've never heard it, because I was such an overprotective mom in the past, and it makes me a little sad and reminiscent to hear her say it. And say it she does, a hundred times a day - "I not a baby! I a big girl."
I call her my baby - "Come here, sweet baby girl"; I dote on her like a baby - "Did that mean Daddy say no? It's okay, baby doll"; I even dress her like a baby. But she's not a baby. She's a big girl. She's two, which is a tenth of the way to twenty, which means the next time I blink, she'll be in college, calling home and asking for money.
Beastie and I always cuddle together at night, and talk about our day. I hold her in my arms in the recliner or on the bed, and I rub her beautiful wispy strawberry blonde hair, and she tells me what we did. "We went to Gwamma's," she says. "We saw Gwamma's doggie. I saw a mouse... he so cuuuute!"
"He was cute," I agree. "And it was so funny when Grandma's dog ran around outside."
And then it slips out. "Remember, baby girl?"
The moment is ruined. "I NOT A BABY!" she informs me, sternly. "I a BIG GIRL." She shows me with her arms just how big she is.
"Yes," I tell her. "You are my big girl." And then, inside, I whisper, But you'll always be my baby.
My Mom Body (aaay_macaroni)
4 days ago