Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Bye Bye Baby Stage


I've been clinging onto the baby stage for a while now, but last week I had to admit defeat.

First of all, I switched from carrying on my front to carrying on my back. A small thing to some, but to me it was an admission that Ezra is really quite big now. Too big to fit on my front any more.

Then we moved him to a bigger car seat. We'd held off as long as we could but it was getting harder and harder to squeeze his broad shoulders into the Stage 0+ seat, so we switched to an extended rear-facing one that will hopefully last him until he's 4 or 5.

Then his faltering steps, which for two months had been stuck at a maximum of six in a row, became suddenly more confident. He managed 11 steps. My arbitrary baby-to-toddler threshold is 10 steps. Then a day later he walked across the room. I couldn't deny it any longer. My lovely baby is now a toddler.

I feel very wobbly about it all. Firstly there's the fact that Ezra has just been a wonderful baby. Yes, he's a rubbish sleeper. Yes, he would regularly puke up all his milk for the first eight months of his life. But he was so darn calm. He barely cried and was easily consoled. As soon as he knew what his hands were for he'd happily entertain himself for a few minutes. He learned how to hug - and I mean proper arms-round-your-neck HUG - when he was three months old. He was snuggly and affectionate and laidback. After dealing with a high-needs, often-crying and attention-hungry baby first time around, it was bliss. (I do, of course, love them both equally. But there's no skirting around it - Eleanor was a HARD baby.)

And of course he still is most of those things by and large, but toddler-ness is creeping in. He prostrates himself on the ground crying if you take anything off him. He won't stay still. If you leave him for half a minute he will likely have climbed onto something, or wrecked something, or chewed on something he shouldn't. He's still a fairly easy toddler but, let's face it, all toddlers are exhausting.

Then there's the fact that I know he's my last. I'll never do the baby stage again. I've always wanted more than two, but realistically I know my body can't take another pregnancy. And our finances probably wouldn't stretch to a third child either, especially if I continue to stay at home. I know that this is the right, the practical decision for us. But at the same time I can't quite believe I'll never give birth again, never hold a seconds-old baby, never spend hours just snuggling with a little person.

Eleanor, knowing I'm struggling with this change, has helpfully reminded me I can look at photos of Ezra as a baby, and has said I can play with her baby doll any time. She's said she'll have a baby one day and then I'll be a Grandma. She's even suggested we could keep calling him a baby until he's two. Bless her heart, she wants so much to make it right for me.

But for now I'll just have to console myself with the things that haven't changed. He still gives amazing hugs. He still wants my milk (he's even learning to sign for it now). He still sleeps in a cot adjoining our bed so I often wake up to find he's snuggled up to me. And he's still my baby really. Always will be.

2 comments:

  1. Aww this is so lovely, you're making me all teary! I'm in denial too about Ethan growing up, it's making me so clucky for no2!

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    1. I think it's the fact that he IS no2 that makes it so hard, I can't believe I'll never have a baby again! But then if I did have another one I'd just feel like this all over again I suppose. I'd have to stop having babies sometime!!

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