Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The End of an Era

Maybe, without really knowing it at the time, I've already changed Alex's last diaper.

I hadn't really thought about potty training Alex.
Maybe it's because he's the third kid, I don't know.
With Gage, my first, I had given potty training a great deal of thought and consideration. I read about it, talked about it, bought sticker charts and pull ups and gotchies and training pants and potty chairs.
With Alex, I was a bit more laid back about it.
When he's ready, he'll basically train himself, I thought.

But honestly, I wasn't expecting him to be ready just yet.
I still look at him and see a baby.
A baby that can tell you shut up and throw a soother at your head, but a baby nonetheless.

But, yes, there were signs.
The day he climbed into bed with me in the morning, shimmying his little but up against me.
"Where's your diaper?" I asked him, sleepily.
"I took it off," he said.
"Why?" I asked, kissing his head.
"Because I pooped."
My eyes snapped open.
Oh, I know- eyes don't really snap.
I'm just saying- that'll wake you up in a hurry.

But over the weekend, he insisted on wearing gotchies.
All right, I thought, rolling my eyes, envisioning a day of heavy mopping.
But he actually didn't have any accidents.
I wasn't sure what would happen at daycare yesterday.
But when I picked him up, he was still sporting his Backyardigan gotchies.
"No accidents," Tassia reported.
"It can't be this easy," I said, feeling- almost disappointed.
I had just bought a case lot of diapers.
He could at least be more considerate and use them up first.
And there was something else nagging at me.

"Now all we have to do is get rid of his soother," Geoff said.
"I wouldn't do that just yet. It'll be too hard on him to give it up and potty train at the same time."
Geoff looked at me.
"I'm thinking of him," I said, feeling defensive.
"You're thinking of yourself," he said.
"Why would I...even want..."
My voice trailed off.
I guess, there is a part of me that doesn't want to let go of these last vestiges of baby hood I have.
It seems like so much of my identity has been consumed with either trying to get pregnant, being pregnant, or having a baby on my hip.
Who am I if not a caregiver? A nurturer?

Sometimes, Geoff and I think of this while watching our children grow.
I project myself into the future, see myself watching the children, in turn, children graduate from high school. Help them fill out college applications (hopefully not applications for bail or probation), go wedding dress shopping with Payton, all that stuff.
So ya, there are more milestones to come.
But I will still miss the baby days.


ma said...

As long as you are "mom" and a nurse you are a caregiver and nurturer--You could be nothing else..you are awesome at all you do! Alex ,will always be your baby! "I will love you forever, I will like you for always, as long as I'm living My Baby You will be!" XO (Don't look- a gift horse in the mouth, or No more shitty pants -in sadness!)

Joann Mannix said...

Mom never leaves. Trust me, my college girl still calls every few days to talk to her momma.

And so now, it just leaves more time for writing!

That third kid pretty much does it all themselves. As my youngest is out in the kitchen, making herself a grilled cheese. My oldest wouldn't have even considered pulling out the pan at 12. It's funny what the birth order does to them and us.

Lorrie said...

WOW - good job Alex! Even at night???? G still pees the bed every night...my G, not yours I hope!! That is amazing!
How about when it's time to train B you can head up the process?

nikki said...

Oh...that is so sad! I know what you mean about the end of an era! Jay keeps putting off getting the snip, and then I think..."maybe one more?"
Very good for Alex, though! Wow...he is just over 2!!