Posted on | January 11, 2013 | 7 Comments
Arlo will be eighteen-months-old next week. I have to admit to feeling pretty sad that this milestone has already reached us. I know that for people who don’t have children, eighteen-months-old still sounds baby-ish. But it’s not. It’s the month in which babies start to look more like toddlers and less like the fresh-faced bundle you brought home just a year-and-a-half ago.
I’m sure there’s some super scientific research to prove my theory, but I’m too lazy to look for it. Instead, I’ll provide you with this evidence:
Okay, so maybe he doesn’t look that different to you, but to me? There is a world of difference. He’s talking so much. He has so many words and expressions. He’s his brother’s best friend, and he makes us laugh daily. And while I am so grateful he is growing up healthy and happy, it’s bittersweet that he’ll no longer be the baby. Sure, he’ll always be “our baby” in a sentimental sense. But we’re only a few mere months away from fart jokes and stinky feet, and those are hard facts to swallow.
I think the hardest part is recognizing that Arlo may be our last. Even typing those words makes my heart hurt. I’m not ready to throw in the towel on babies, but as life changes and progresses, as we grow and learn, as we look at future careers and moves, it becomes harder to find the right time to add a third and final. I know there’s never a “right” time and all those cliches, but it would be irresponsible of us not to consider some of the life changes we have coming up before getting pregnant. Our self-designated cut-off date is thirty. I know lots of women have their babies later than thirty, but that’s just the age I feel most comfortable with when considering my future education and work.
I miss the sweet smell of newborn. I miss the snuggles and the kitten noises and the little onesies. I even, sometimes, miss the late night feedings because they were always so quiet and peaceful. And while I remember the hard parts like mastitis, sleeping for five hours a week, and smelling like baby vomit everywhere you go, those hard parts seem to fade. Because in the big scheme of things, they aren’t any harder than having the flu while caring for two babies, potty-training, breaking up brother fights, or waking up multiple times a night because your toddler is afraid of the dark. It’s never all roses and sunshine and unicorn farts when you’re talking about parenting. There are always the gives and takes.
We definitely are not ready for a third right now. Even in my baby fervor, I can look logistically at the next six-twelve months and see no room for a babe. Not that we would be devastated if it happened, but just, you know. Not going to let it happen. So, today, I’m going to snuggle my growing child whose legs stretch past my knees when sitting on my lap and be grateful for what we have right this moment. I’m going to laugh as my three-year-old says something outrageous in the middle of the grocery store. I’m going to enjoy silence during naptime and zip up a pair of jeans just because they fit. I’m going to have some wine tonight (it’s the weekend, baby!!!!), and I’m not going to crave cheese dip and grapes.
But still….squishy babies are something special.