Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Growing Up

This past Sunday I finally got a chance to visit a friend of mine that had just had her first baby. Just, as in 4 months ago.

Yeah, I know I'm a lousy friend, but at least I did finally see that sweet little baby! There are other people I know that have just had their third and fourth babies (three years ago and six months ago, respectively), and I have yet to visit them. Of course, the mother of these two babies is actually my cousin, and not just a friend. For some reason, I feel like that is explanation enough...

And so I was able to hold this little guy on Sunday, and watch him do all those sweet little baby things, like babbling and laughing and hitting himself in the face with a toy. I watched my friend nurse him (well, it's not like I just sat and watched her, but I was there), I watched her play with him on the floor, change him into cute little jammies with puppies on each foot... Every possible thing that a "maybe-I'm-done-having-babies" person could ask for.

But you know what's really strange? None of it made me wish for another little one, or even made me completely nostalgic about my own little ones that are now big ones (uhh... I mean my kids).

I'm usually pretty predictable about desperately wanting another baby after I've been around a new one. But, even though this little guy was definitely the cutest little Stephen I have ever seen, I was perfectly content knowing I am past that stage with my own kids.

Does this mean that I am finally ready to accept that I have three kids - and will always have just three kids? No. After all, I may change my mind tomorrow, or even later today. I think this just simply means that I am learning to enjoy my own kids as they grow. It seems that every new age and stage they reach is more fun than the last. I can actually picture Daniel and myself with three older kids - and there is no baby carrier next to us in that picture.

Of course, all this came at the same time that Abby became an adult (or rather a b-dult, according to Abby). Today, after I asked her to stop banging her feet against the floor while she was coloring, she simply responded, "Sorry! I'm just so used to doing my own thing." You know, like paying rent and cooking dinner and heading off to work every morning...?

She then followed me around the house for the next 50 minutes while I cleaned and she rambled - I mean talked to me. She talked to me about ice skates, and how her doll needs some, and how she likes to pretend her knee-high socks are ice skates. She explained to me what a stranger is, and how to react if I come across one. I promise to run, and tell my mom or my teacher right away. "Umm, Dr. Wilson? Some stranger just talked to me in the hallway. What should I do?"

And Abby has also grown socially. She has lots of friends - best friends, even. She is invited to birthday parties a lot. While I sit in the van waiting to pick her up from school, she stands outside with her friends, their arms around each other's shoulders and laughing. Abby thinks about what would be the perfect Christmas present for her friends, or what would make the perfect tea party to which she could invite her friends. She has, on several occasions, asked for a nice couch of her own to place in her bedroom, so she could have friends over and offer them a place to sit.

But with all the growing up that Abby seems to be doing, I don't feel that same apprehension about her leaving babyhood behind that I used to feel. I'm sort of excited about this growing. Every day I'm reminded of just how little she knows about life. I get to literally teach her something new about life every day. Just today, for instance, I taught her what a tongue-twister is. A tongue-twister. When is the last time you had to be taught such a thing?

So we've spent part of the day coming up with tongue-twisters for Abby to try to say. This was all started, of course, by Punxsutawney Phil. You know, the groundhog? We heard a DJ on the radio ponder the relationship between groundhogs and woodchucks, and then proceed to do the "How much wood can a woodchuck chuck..." thing. That brought on a whole slew of other tongue twisters between Abby and me, and the rest is history.

I will tell you that Abby is not so good at creating her own tongue twisters just yet. But I leave you with a good one that the radio DJ came up with:

"How much hog can a groundhog ground, if a groundhog could ground hog?"


Blogger design by suckmylolly.com