There was a baby or toddler in a crib in my home for a continuous 3 years and 7 days. Yesterday, that ended. My youngest son graduated to the transitional setup of his crib. And it makes me very sad.
With my oldest son, we had several failed attempts to transition him before he permanently moved to a toddler bed around 22 months old. Then little brother took over the crib. Now little brother, at not quite 17 months, transitioned in one day. Not a fight, not a tear. *sigh*
I’ve mentioned before that I feel like I rushed through my oldest son’s ‘infancy’ and those early wobbly toddler months. I enjoyed them thoroughly, but being a new mom I was always waiting for ‘what’s next’. I haven’t done that with my youngest. I don’t think about milestones and when he’s going to hit them, it all sneaks up on me. One second I’m enjoying cuddles with a squishy baby, the next second he’s telling me he won’t eat without a fork.
I want to cling to his baby days so badly. With my oldest, I knew I was ready for my second child before was even one. With nineteen months between the two of them, I really love how close they are. I’m not ready for my third yet. It’s not because I feel overwhelmed or worry about having them so close together. It’s just a feeling. Our family is complete for now. I do want a third, I just want to wait for when the time feels right.
Knowing that another baby likely won’t grace our crib for a few years is bittersweet. My children have both been sleeping through the night for well over a year. I haven’t washed a bottle in almost seven months. Baby food is long gone. I don’t get to buy tiny outfits now, it’s all toddler stuff. But I enjoy one son who always talks to me about everything and one who is starting to pick up lots of words. They both like to help me cook. I get two little boys who play chase, tag, and ask me to read 100 times a day. I can let them play independently for a small amount of time.
I’m embracing motherhood and all these ‘stages’. They’re best enjoyed when you don’t even realize what stage you’re in or what’s coming. I will still be that mother who is a crying, blubbering mess on the first day of school. I will be so sad to see them leaving our little nest even for a few hours. I will be told to enjoy the freedom…and perhaps I will. Likely I will sift through photos and stare at the clock. Arrive an hour early and be the first one in the pick up line. I will pray they had fun, made a friend. And I will hang on their every word as they tell me all about.
The days fly by…enjoy them.