Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Stop it, stop it, STOP.IT. Just STOP.

 - Gretchen Rubin
"Please, please just stop growing up. PLEASE. STOP."

This was me pleading with my 14-month-old this morning, after she had lovingly placed a drooly kiss on my cheek, and then slapped me in the face with both hands. As you do.

Despite the slapped cheeks - or possibly because of them? - I found myself looking at her with tears in my eyes and trying to stop time by hugging it out of her: if I hold on tight and squeeze, maybe I can stop the growing up. Please, honey. Seriously - please stop.

That goes for your brother and sister too.

I see them changing before my eyes and I don't like it. Not one bit. They're getting bigger. They're getting those "big kid" eyes - the ones that one minute are laughing because you said "boogie" (I didn't mean THAT! Oh nevermind.), and the next they're looking at you sideways because you said no treats after supper. The big kid eyes that tell you they know stuff. They're starting know some stuff that I don't know. The balance is shifting. I don't like this growing up business AT ALL.

It's the little things:

I no longer need to unfold The Girl's socks for her, or button up her one pair of button-up PJs. I don't know when this started.

I pull jeans out of the dryer and don't immediately know whose they are - mine or theirs?

The way The Boy asks if I can play Mario Kart with him, and when I tell him I can't right now, he shrugs and says, "That's okay." Wait - what? It's okay? Like, that's cool. Whatever mom. I'm cool. *shrug* No whining? No tantrum? When did this start?

The way The Girl brushes her hair away from her face while she's drawing.

The way Baby Girl nodded and said "Yes." when I asked her if she wanted another cracker. Excuse me? Since when do you nod and say "yes" like you're a teenager or something? (I was so distracted, I didn't even do the requisite parental "Yes... please?")

The time The Boy was telling a story and added, laughing, "It was so random."

You don't even notice these things evolving, just one day they are happening and it's all around you - your kids growing up, having the knowing eyes and shrugging and tossing of the hair - and you can't stop time the way you'd like. They just keep doing their thing and getting bigger and it's just... it's not cool, okay?

So, I'll take those slobbery kisses (baby drool does have that faintly sweet smell that you never thought you'd love, but you do...) and even the double chubby-hand face slaps. And I'll just keep trying to hug the growing up out of them. It's worth a shot, right?