Out With the Old

4 Jan

I threw out my last diaper on New Year’s Eve. I’d call that starting the year off in a big way.  We’re a couple weeks into four years old, and so far I must say it’s awesome.

My girl got the overall potty training thing a couple years ago, but hung in there on the overnights. On New Year’s Day she told me she wanted to wear underwear to bed so I decided to go with it. Three nights in, we’re in good shape, and I’m thinking this is it. We are officially diaper free for the first time in 6.5 years.

We are also on the verge of getting rid of the harness car seat and becoming a two-booster family.  And I’ve been systematically getting rid of sippy cups over the last year. If you have young kids, you know all of this is watershed stuff.

I’m still kind of blown away by the fact that my  baby is four.  I believe I have already confessed in this space that before she was born I was secretly hoping for another boy.  When I remember that, I have to ask myself what the hell was I thinking.  This little girl is a gem. I’m fascinated by her rich internal life (my son’s inner world seems less complex, but he has other qualities) and the elaborate conversations she generates between inanimate objects.  I’m intrigued by her fixation with tiny things and the small dresser full of her treasures (although I’m kind of alarmed that she may have some of her father’s hoarder tendencies). The truth is, she’s his girl through and through (sometimes I think she was put on this earth to laugh at his jokes). They share a contrarian streak which drives me nuts in both cases.   Also like her father, she’s often happiest just hanging around at home.  This is kind of alien to the boy and me who would usually rather be out there doing stuff.  I try to respect her pantouflard tendencies, and we have lots of lovely quiet moments when the two of us are alone in the house.  She loves books–not just being read to, but holding them, examining them, poring over them.  She doesn’t actually read, but she likes to go to bed with five or six and sometimes falls asleep under a pile of them.

For sure, the fading of my kids’ babyhood gives me the blues just a little. But I have this glorious feeling that our little family is at an amazing point in its evolution. I like babies, but I like kids better. I totally dig the independence and the amazing self expression.  I love not having to do everything for my offspring and not having to worry about them sticking keys in sockets, swallowing magnets etc. They can operate the DVD player, get their own glass of water and (most of the time) wipe their own bums. I feel comfortable leaving them in the tub for a few minutes.  The other day, they both went to the kitchen sink and washed their hands before supper without being asked.  I wanted to drop to my needs and shout hallelujah.

The four of us have been playing board and card games lately. We’re at the point where I can share some really good literature and media with them (although they’re still resistant to many of my choices).  We all hunkered down and watched Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams together over Christmas break (Coco lost interest fairly quickly but Henry was genuinely interested). I love the stroller-less outings. I love not being tied down to someone’s nap schedule. I love assigning chores and sometimes having my assignments carried out.  Not to get ahead of myself but I’m totally giddy at the idea of sending Henry out to mow the lawn in a few years.  They entertain each other and sometimes even help each other.  Only a couple years before I’m one of those moms reading a novel at the swimming pool…I’m not in any way wishing away these last years of little-kidhood, but I think that’s going to be all right.


One Response to “Out With the Old”

  1. Stasha January 13, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

    I love the dynamics of your family. And I feel the same way. It is exciting to start getting to know the people our childen will become.

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