I’m not sure how to say this so I’m just going to come right out with it, I officially have a toddler. I know this doesn’t seem like some crazy revelation to most of you but it’s currently blowing my damn mind. When Nathan turned a year old I didn’t really think twice about it. To me he was still just a baby. Well in the last month or so my opinion of my child has shifted dramatically.
Nathan started taking steps on his first birthday but now he walks like a (drunken) pro. He toddles around the house swinging his arms and patting his belly, jabbering along to himself or attempting to give the cats hugs. He says dada, mama (sometimes), and just this weekend he started saying “uh oh” which might be the most adorable thing I have ever heard. He drinks milk and water out of a sippy cup and just last night shared orange juice with my husband from a regular glass without spilling it all over himself or the floor.
Each of these things seems so small by itself but when you see them all in the span of just one day he is instantly transformed into a little boy instead of a baby. He may not have words yet but he does have opinions. He enjoys expressing those opinions loudly. LOUDLY I TELL YOU. He will tell you when he doesn’t like something with the screaming. SWEET LORD THE SCREAMING.
The most heartbreaking development of all though is not the screaming or the walking or even the rudimentary first words. The most heartbreaking development is that he has real shoes now and he walks in them. Nathan got his first pair of sneakers last weekend and this weekend we put them on his little pork chop feet and took him to the mall. Don took our baby out of his stroller and plopped him down on those feet and he just started strolling through the mall right next to Don like a little man. I nearly broke into tears right there in the mall. It was like I was seeing an instant transformation of my baby to a boy.
I always used to wonder what drove people to have more children especially if their first kids were particularly difficult. Now I know why. I already miss having a little baby and Nathan isn’t even two yet, shit he isn’t even 18 months old! The most difficult part of it is that as he gets older he loses more and more of that baby smell. When I sit in the rocking chair with him at night I can barely detect that intoxicating smell that he had as an infant. Now he smells like a boy, which in and of itself is not a bad thing but it’s definitely not the same.
This time is making me feel so conflicted. On one hand I miss that baby smell, I miss that little baby. On the other hand I’m so excited for what Nathan is becoming. I’m thrilled to see him becoming independent. Part of me can’t wait to see what he’s going to become and the other part wants desperately to hold on to the past and to never let my baby grow up.