Baby No More

We were in the living room yesterday – Rich, Ethan, and I. I got up to go into the kitchen, which is still in view, and Ethan—until then happily sitting with Rich—burst into tears. Big, fat crocodile tears to accompany the short intakes of breath that merely served, it appeared, to give him enough lung power to wail.

I sort of knew how he felt.

wet baby hairHe has, quite suddenly and for no reason that I can ascertain, developed a bit of separation anxiety. Always a mama’s boy, he has turned especially clingy. If I had apron strings I’m sure he would tie himself to them. And part of me would like it—does like it—because he is my baby. But not for long.

He will turn one in exactly a month, and the thought causes panic to rise in my chest. It makes me teary. Literally, as in needing-Kleenex-when-I-think-about-his-birthday-as-I’m-driving-down-the-street teary.

I don’t remember feeling this way about Connor’s first birthday. But then again most things feel different this time around.

Ethan gave me the new-mom experience I wanted. He gave me smiles and cuddles and belly laughs. He happily allowed himself to be toted around, whether on day trips outside the city or simply to the mall. He showed me that if you work at it, sometimes babies are pretty good at going to sleep on their own. (And sometimes they’re not.)

first hair cutConnor gave me my mama badge, to be sure, but Ethan gave me peace. He made some of that stuff from last time that made me hate myself feel okay again.

When I go into the kitchen, I always come back to him, the same mama who left only moments before. But every day the baby he was is disappearing before my eyes. The little boy he’s becoming will be wonderful too, I know, but I’m just not ready. So when he cries for me I reach for him and hold on.


 

Comments

  1. That is a bittersweet thing indeed. Hurts my heart a little for you, but is exciting too.

  2. Sigh…their birthdays never get any better. They grow way too fast don’t they? I remember you just being pregnant. Crazy.
    I’m glad that you were able to experience this a second time around. xoxo

  3. I know the feeling you describe. I am always happy to see them grow into who they will be, but I want to hang on at the same time. I get sentimental at birthdays and at this time of year with back to school – so many changes to remind us that they are growing.

  4. The growing? It happens and I wish that I could freeze time to stop it.
    Just for a bit.

  5. Sigh…. I know this feeling and it is bittersweet. Hang in there, mama! xoxo

  6. I’ve never experienced anything as bittersweet as motherhood. It is amazing how quickly our babies turn into toddlers and little boys and then teenagers and on and on. I’m not ready for any of it.

  7. Aw, hugs. Yup, it’s bittersweet for sure. You have your Ethan and I have my Oscar. Except my little man is approaching two. I love watching him come into his own. But he’s really only a baby to me now. He’ll always be.

  8. Gavin does that when I leave a room too.

    Our experiences are so different. I was so glad for 1 to come. Gavin was an incredibly pleasant baby, but I can’t help it. I love the early toddler stage so very much.

  9. I feel this one. My baby’s one month shy of 2. And when she needs extra late-night hugs, I give ‘em.

  10. Yes, yes, hold on! Grab those hugs, you totally deserve them. :)

  11. OH how I relate to this. Eddie gave me my momma badge, but Charlie brought me so much peace. Charlie’s year birthday was hard for me too. And hearing him SAYING STUFF lately is killing me. It’s so cute, but that means one more baby thing is going.

    Sigh.

    I’ve got you on this. :)

  12. Oh my gosh, Robin, I so relate to this, especially when you say that Connor gave you your mama badge but Ethan gave you peace. That is exactly how I feel about my girls. The twins made me a mom, but I wasn’t able to truly enjoy a baby (that I remember) until Zoe came along. She gave me the “Oh, so THIS is what it’s supposed to be like!”

    And for what it’s worth, the youngest stays a baby as long as you want him to. Zoe kept her baby face and all around babyness to me for a long time, while I stopped calling the big girls “the babies” once they turned one. She’s 3.5 and we still slip and call her Baby Zoe sometimes.

  13. I know the feeling. It breaks my heart seeing my toddler (almost 3!!) getting anxiety over going to daycare. She wants to stay at home with mommy so bad, she pretends to be tired so she gets placed in her crib.

    N

  14. I hold on to my youngest too, and he’s four!!!!

    It’s definitely hard to let go at times.

  15. My littlest is clingy too. He follows me around like a puppy. All. The. Time. It’s beyond sweet, and I don’t mind one bit.

    It’s so bittersweet, this growing up thing.

  16. Separation anxiety can be so hard, but yes, there can also be a small sense of satisfaction about it too. I felt that especially with James so I totally get this.