It’s birthday season, so that is probably the reason why I am increasingly thinking of the loss of babyhood as my babies are growing into people. In a little more than a week I will have a four year old and a two year old under my roof.
Julian is a smart, stubborn, musical, kind, funny boy. He loves bike riding, everything about trains, his brother, music, and his Mama and Papa. He loves going to school, and I can’t wait to hear about his day as we ride the bike home through Brooklyn. He is so much more talkative on the bike than on the subway, where my mere presence is an interruption, because: trains.
The other day, as he was playing in the kitchen, and I was telling him something or other, he said, “Mama, sometimes you get on my nerves when you talk to me so much.” Thanks, son. I wasn’t aware that you were a teenager all of a sudden.
This week everyone was sick. Julian brought a cold into our house, where it made the rounds. Of course Arthur was hit hardest, and his asthma really kicked up. Since the boys weren’t feeling well, I got a lot of extra cuddle time in. One night I was lying next to Julian after a bad dream or a coughing fit, and I was smelling his hair… It was a mixture of big boy smell who’s been running around outside and that very faint smell of baby. I stayed a little longer next to my boy than I really needed to.
I’ve been thinking about all the things I will never do again. Swaddling a baby. Wearing one in a wrap. Nursing. Having one sleep on my chest. But I also think about the things I won’t miss as much. Baby food. People who can’t communicate needs in ways other than screaming. Poop up the back. … I’ll just leave it at that.
I have been getting up in the night again with Arthur now that he isn’t feeling well. When I go to him at night, he jumps into my arms and drapes himself around me like a heating blanket. He nuzzles his head of wild hair into the crook of my neck. Even though I miss my sleep and the feeling of waking up rested rather than grumpy, I do love those snuggles.
Arthur gives the best kisses. He takes my face into both of his little warm hands and pulls my face into his for a kiss. I’ll take those kisses for as long as he gives them, because I know that at some point I will talk so much that I will get on his nerves, too.
I think four and two will be amazing. I think we will have so much fun. Julian is learning new things every day…about flowers, the world, space, how to read and balance and (soon) how to ride a real bike.
Arthur is navigating his way into the world of language. Slowly, but surely. He is still behind the curve with his language skills, but he has somehow found a way to make his every need and wish known. A request for a specific song (Uptown Funk is still going strong), book, toy, or showing us things he sees outside. He is such a sweet, gentle boy who strikes me as somewhat indestructible. He falls from scary heights and doesn’t even have the patience to let me comfort him, because “Mother, I’m fine. Just stop.”
The boys are are so wonderful together. They miss each other when Julian is in school, and they play together all day. Arthur always runs to Julian when he sees that he is upset at the playground or out & about, and Julian has started to stick up for Arthur, too. I love to hear them talk in their beds after we’ve said good night, or early in the morning sometimes.
The other day they were climbing up and down the slides at the playground, and I overheard Julian say to Arthur, “We’re best friends.” They truly are.
While I miss some things about babyhood, I wouldn’t want it back. Kids are awesome, and I am so excited for this next year with my (almost) four and two year olds. The adventures we’ll have!
P.S. These were my thoughts last year.