It hit all at once; 3rd birthday, the letting go of the pacifier followed by the disappearance of the diapers to the most recent giving up of the “nite-nite”. “Nite-nite” was a term given to a “cuddly”. It grew out of our bedtime routine. When we put our son to sleep we would hand him his cuddly and say “nite nite”. Soon after, he started to call his cuddly, “nite-nite”. This term persisted even with our daughter whose “nite nite” was actually a small bunny blanket.
Discarding “nite-nite” was something our littlest did all on her own. She had after all spent the summer with 6 of her older cousins. Did she suddenly feel secure or was she trying to fit in?
Where did the time go? When did she grow up all of a sudden? All of these changes, I tried not to wish away the years. Not this time, especially as it is our last time. But it is easy to do: have those moments where you are tired and just crave for your child to be independent.
I have to keep myself from calling her a toddler or worse yet baby! She is our preschooler now. With a recent illness, body wracked with fever, it didn’t stop me from cuddling her, rocking and shushing her to give her comfort. Mr. Nite Nite reappeared with the illness and I think he is back to stay for a while.
In the past, I would pretend that I wasn’t sad when an era ended. But now, I will let myself feel the sadness. The sadness of saying goodbye to the little toddler who went from quiet smiling, arm flapping infant to feisty determined preschooler. It was only this summer that I chased her around the house endlessly just to see her “toddle-run”. Priceless.
Despite letting go of one era, there is the welcoming of the new. An era I particularly enjoy and vow to savor, as this is my last time to savor this one as well. One where the tantrums subside and the conversations increase. You know the little chats that make your heart melt. The ones that make you feel that your child is so edible and precious.
Before I had children, I used to hang onto every word parents told me: the good, the bad, and the heart melting moments. One of my former and favorite nurses told me that she didn’t have any one favorite time period as “every developmental phase got better and better”. I have held onto this and savored each one knowing it will get better and better.
I miss the sharing with my friends… So I have shared this with you.
Now your turn, what have been your favorite time periods while your children were growing up? Have you ever wished the difficult times away and then regretted it?