My baby turned 3 this week. I’ve been using the term “bittersweet” to describe my emotions. Mostly it’s been really fun celebrating. 3-year-olds are so fun and I am looking forward to what not being a toddler anymore means. I feel like turning 3 is some sort of rite of passage; he’s no longer a baby or toddler, Ev is a full-fledged kid.
In many ways, I have seen Ev as a kid for several months now. His verbal skills are excellent so we have “real” conversations regularly. It’s a bit refreshing having a dependent who can articulate his needs, likes and dislikes. When I give a choice for dinner or what to put on the TV, I get an answer that I understand. I look forward to more conversations and even taking them to a deeper level of thinking.
Ev is also pretty independent. I enjoy being able to get ready in the morning, knowing that Everett is safe and content in his room. I don’t miss having to get up extra early to be able to get ready before Ev woke up or getting ready while entertaining and regulating a toddler. (The thought is laughable at this point).
There are new experiences that I am looking forward to now, as well. One obvious milestone is Ev being potty trained. We aren’t quite there yet but I believe it’s just around the corner. I am also thinking being 3 means a bit more rationalization; that when Ev is demanding something out of the question, when I give a rational answer he won’t have a mini-meltdown. Plus, Ev is just going to keep learning new things and adding more words. Watching him grow and develop has been more fun than I could have ever guessed.
But I’m sad. I don’t have a baby anymore. I miss having a baby. I miss holding a little bundle and smelling that sweet baby smell. I miss the noises babies make. I could listen to cooing all day long. And although I do enjoy Ev’s independence, let’s be honest, there are times I miss putting my baby down and he stays where I put him because he doesn’t have the ability to get up and walk away. Or climb the dishwasher.
Some of you who will say, as some already have, that it’s time for another baby. I’m just not quite sure that’s the answer. In the past month three people I’m quite close to, including my twin sister, have had babies. Even after holding day old infants, I don’t have “baby fever.” This is surprising to me, especially because I’m feeling a bit down about Ev turning 3. I think it’s because he is just so enjoyable right now and it’s not a baby I miss. It’s Ev being a baby that I miss. But I’ll have those memories and will cling to them as Ev is taking on new adventures. Eventually, I want another child. For now, I just want to reminisce about Ev’s infancy and toddlerhood while making new memories.
I have a kid. A kid who likes to dig for worms and pretend to be a tiger. I think I’ll just relish in that for while.