** While I’m loving what HometoHeather.com has become, I do kind of miss those times were I was just journaling. And so now, once in a while, I’ll do just that. These “Dear Diary” posts will be my simple thoughts. You know, the way I used to blog. Here goes….**
I’m really noticing that the way I parent Nate when he’s alone with me and the way I parent him in a family setting is very different. The way I see him is different. When things are rambunctious, when there are other people around he’s ‘the baby.’ I tell his big sister all the time to give him a break, he didn’t mean to grab your toy, he’s still a baby. But then I get him alone for a while and he blows my mind. He’s 2.5 years old. He can follow instruction, pick out colors, speak in sentences as long as I’m focused enough to decipher them and sit still for story time. He is in a toddler bed and so very sweet, full of empathy and love and concern for those he loves. These are not the babycentric emotions of hunger, pain, tiredness and excitement.
With my first child I was so excited to see her growing up. I was excited to see her learn and change because she was excited to do those things. With Nate, I find that with every milestone he reaches I feel sadness, not excitement. I’m sad that I’m losing him to age. I’m losing this stage of motherhood. I’m sad that he will never be who is is again right now – tomorrow he’ll be grown out of something new.
When we transitioned him from a crib to a toddler bed it was no big deal. He didn’t have any problem switching over, he stayed in his new bed all night and hasn’t given us any trouble wandering the house when he should be sleeping – he knows what he’s supposed to do and he’s doing it. But I don’t know what I should be doing. While he was in the crib his bedtime routine involved a song. I would change him, read him a story and sing him ‘hush little baby‘ only I’d sing ‘hush little Nathan’ to make it special just for him. The day I put him in the toddler bed he refused to let me sing his song. Like he knew it was a baby song. Like he was saying “No mom, I’m big now.”
This has absolutely broken my heart and I still struggle with it. It’s such a simple thing – a song from mother to son. A lullaby to soothe and comfort. But who was being comforted? Him or me? I still ask him if I can sing to him every night. Every night he says “No, sleep,” and lays his head down on his pillow. Sometimes if I ask again, and if I tell him it makes me happy, he’ll let me sing to him. I live for these nights, these nights are an opportunity to seize mothering a baby once more. I smile and scoop him up, holding his warm body against mine as I rock him slowly back and forth. I sing ‘if that cart and bull falls down, you’ll still be the sweetest little baby in town.‘ On those nights it’s like having my small babe again, even if it’s just for a moment.