Last week I had a brief moment of temporary insanity where I considered that I might want a third child. My baby is crawling, pulling up, and walking with assistance. He drinks from a sippy cup and eats lots of real food. As far as I'm concerned, he's no longer a baby and must now be considered a toddler. I'm feeling a sense of loss that my baby days are over.

As a culture, we put a lot of effort into celebrating our children's "firsts," probably because of those darn baby books that we all feel like we have to complete. We take pictures of our baby's first bath. We write the date of his first smile and laugh. We tell everyone we know about his first tooth. Even his first vacation, trip to the library, visit to the zoo, and afternoon at the movie theater are momentous occasions.

But how much thought do we put into our children's "lasts?" What about the last time your baby needs your help to get from here to there? When was the last time you had to rock your little one to sleep? What about the last time he wore those cute little baby clothes? Do you know the last time you had to cut your toddler's slice of pizza? or, the last time he needed you to push him on the swing? When was the last time your son would give you a hug in public before he became "too cool?"

I need to commemorate some of my children's "lasts" to give me closure on one stage and allow me to move on to the next. Although we orchestrate some "lasts" (i.e. the last bath in the baby tub, the last nursing feeding, etc.) the tricky part about most "lasts" is that you don't always know when they're coming. Sometimes your children develop faster than you're ready! (Who am I kidding, most of the time your children develop faster than you're ready!)

During these times of transition between babyhood and toddlerhood, or toddlerhood and childhood, I find myself cherishing every moment I can. I hug just a few seconds longer, I rock just a few minutes more, I read the extra story, I tickle instead of fold laundry (like I need an excuse) because I don't know when it might be our last.

And I remind myself of two things: 1) although the joys of one stage may be mere memories, the hopes of the next stage are on the horizon; and 2) my sister and my sister-in-law still intend to have babies, so I'll be able to get my baby fix without the midnight feedings!
1 Response
  1. Tinkerbobbi Says:

    How true this post is. My husband always make fun of me with my lasts. Although usually they aren't with our children, because it really is hard to know the lasts. I wonder if I can still claim temporary insanity - we have three boys and a baby on the way - we are definitely out of our mind. This is the last though and I am trying to enjoy every moment of the pregnancy because it is my last. Beautiful post!!!