By Lord Covington
We have been super busy with work lately. (So busy that we haven't done that Thanksgiving update yet (sorry!) and we are almost through December already! We should be able to get it done shortly). In the intervening weeks, Toddlesworth has done a ton of things, including learn that as well as ice being cold and delicious, it is also "Slipea'ey"
All of these things have led us to consider how quickly Toddlesworth is growing. In fact, he doesn't toddle anywhere anymore. He runs, hops, walks backwards, kicks, and storms his way around nowadays.
We've been trying to cherish all of the aspects of baby and toddlerhood that we have experienced with him. As such, it is with misty eyes that we must begin to mark their passing. Some he abandons on his own, some we feel our duty to usher him out of.
Recently we have been working on getting him to outgrow his bottle. Almost since he learned to talk he has been able to sleepily ask 'bottle?' It was one of the earliest things we used to calm him down quickly, but as he approaches age two, it is time for him to leave it behind. We have switched to sippy cup type cups. When he calls out at night for "bottle" he receives this instead. While he has more or less stopped pouring it on his own eyes, he still does not enjoy the replacement.
As a result, he is calling out for a bottle less and less at night. I feel a wistful remembrance of a time when he needed a thing that I could get. Other things he is moving away from on his own. Toddlesworth has been carried everywhere since he was a newborn. As a result he is used to being held. One of his earliest phrases was "hol'you?" A reply to "Do you want me to hold you?" More and more recently 'hol you?' has become "run?" He occasionally pushes away when I pick him up.
He has always been independent, but at times independence becomes defiance. He tells us to "go 'way" sometimes when he doesn't need the offered help. A couple of days ago he held out a palm to one of us and then the other and demanded "Stay. Stay! I walk." He then grabbed a set of keys off of the table and walked over to the door, attempting to leave. He is often angry at being told no.
Since birth I have been able to comfort and sooth him with a lower back pat or setting my palm on his chest. This would take him from fussing or even screaming to sleeping in under a minute. Alas, this simple parenting spell is only meant to work on the really little ones, it seems. These days, more often than not, he takes my hand and pushes it away. For now I take some small solace in the fact that he general pulls my hand up to his face, usually dumping it over his eyes. Of course there will be a last day for this as well.
Certainly not all of the changes fill me with wistful mourning for a bygone baby. Some just remind me that he is on his way to something so much better: the person he is going to be. He has gone from requesting a certain song, to demanding that song, and singing along with it, as well as adding in his own verses. (One of his current favorites is They Might Be Giants "Triops Has Three Eyes", he will say "Triops? Eyes?" then sing "eagles ha eyes, zombies 'as eyes..." He also adds zombies to Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" "Hey, there gonna get you too!" results in him saying "get you! zombies!"
What it all of this stopping of the old and starting with the new ultimately means is that I will one day look eye to eye with a man I have guided to full size. I don't know a lot about this man yet, but I'm sure my eyes will be wet with pride. All of his behaviors are like falling stars. Beautiful, seen only for a moment and then existing only in memory. I am working on appreciating these fleeting, precious stars, and catching them as best I can.