Tuesday, October 12, 2010

You mean you won't just decide that for me?

What happens when your kid doesn’t make decisions for you? That’s what I’m facing right now. I always thought that there were a few things that kids were supposed to just decide for you. Things that were just going to happen on their part and I would just go along with it when it did. Things like when they’re going to potty train, stop nursing, or move out of their crib. Boy was I wrong!

I always figured that my daughter would let me know when she was ready to move to the next step with all of those things I listed above. I figured she would tell me when she was ready to potty train but she doesn’t really seem like she’s too keen on the idea. I’m alright with it though, she’s only two and she does at least attempt it. As for nursing, I had no idea that she was going to still be nursing at two. Again, I’m totally alright with it, but now I’m starting to wonder if she’s ever going to choose to stop. Will she ever decide she’s done or am I going to have to gently suggest that she stops? When will that be? I honestly thought she would just make that decision for me too.

The biggest one for me is her sleeping arrangement. I always assumed (silly me) that kids just eventually learned to climb out and that’s when you put them into a “big kid” bed. I figured that by now she would have flung herself out, forcing me to convert her crib. But no. Now I’m faced with the dilemma of when and how we’re going to get rid of the crib. I never thought I’d even have to consider it! Part of me thinks she’s ready to lose the side rail, but the other part still thinks she’s so small! Is she really ready for the responsibility and freedom of her own room? How will she handle being a free range toddler? How will I handle it? 

I’m not sure what I’m really worried about. Maybe part of me is just hanging on to the last few things that are keeping her closer to “baby” and farther from “big kid” for now. We all love the milestones, and we get to see so many good ones in a short amount of time. From smiling to sitting up, crawling to walking, babbling to talking. We welcome these milestones with open arms and video cameras. But what about the ones that mean they’re forever leaving the baby stages? Once they begin to “do it myself!” or pick their own outfits, tie their own shoes, and sleep in their own big room, what’s left for us to do? 

There are always going to be moments in my daughter’s life that I’d like to hold off on for a little while and there are always going to be moments that I’ll miss. There’s always going to be a give and take to watching her grow up. Some days I think that I’d love for her to stay small and safe in my arms forever. I worry about when she’s older and dealing with things like best friends and boys. I worry about when I’ll have to drop her off for her first sleepover or let her go to the park without me. But thankfully for me, those days are a ways away. And right now there are a lot of days where I love watching her grow up. Seeing her grow from a 7lb 9oz squishy newborn to a 28lb walking, talking toddler has been amazing. Watching her turn into an adorable and caring little lady makes the worries just melt away. For now.

So what do we do when our kids don’t make decisions for us? Do we wait a little longer? Just dive right in and hope for the best? There are some things that we just have to figure out. Parenting is all about trial and error. What worked for one mom might not work for you. For me, I’m still milling around the idea of losing the crib. Part of me wants to do it yesterday, but I just can’t shake that tiny bit wanting to keep her a sweet smelling baby forever. Until I remember the not so sweet smell of spit up. In my hair. Oh and the late nights. And…well you get the point.


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