For the better part of the past 6.5 years we have had a baby in our family. In less than two weeks, however, that is all going to change forever. With Hannah’s first birthday just a few days away now, we are about trade in babyhood for toddlerhood…and then toddlerhood for childhood…and I’m just not ready to think about what comes after that. And, since this is our LAST baby, these are my last days of experiencing the day-to-day of babyhood. I’m going to miss this stage of babyhood, and here are (more than) a few reasons why:
- You are literally their whole world.
Their world starts and ends with you–if parents weren’t so stinkin’ tired all the time, we might develop a god-complex. As it stands, anything and everything they want, need, or perceive as wanting/needing is provided by you. Food? Check. Clean diapers? Check. Midnight cuddles? Check, check, and check.
- They can’t talk back.
No sass, no attitude, no problem.
- …Or get into mischief.
At least when they’re really little and immobile. Then they start moving and all bets are off. But those first few weeks? Pure bliss!
- They eat FREE food!
I’m talking about breastmilk here. Yes, I know that not all families can or even want to breastfeed their babies and that’s totally fine! For those that do, however, there is a non-stop source of free baby nutrients available 24/7, no special equipment or preparation required. There have been days that I’ve fantasized about being able to feed my whole family with the same ease–no grocery shopping, no food prep, no cooking dinner during the witching hour, nobody complaining about what’s been prepared or throwing their food on the floor/ceiling/dog, no dishes. What kind of a magical world would that be?
- …and they feed the dog!
Our dog’s favorite place in our house is directly under the baby’s high chair during feeding times. Our dog was also advised at her last vet visit to go on a diet.
- They are super easy to entertain.
Who needs play dates or iPads when peek-a-boo is the greatest past time ever invented and a box of Ziploc baggies can provide 30 minutes of piqued curiosity?
Yeah, diapers are kinda gross. But do you know what’s grosser? Potty training a toddler. Toddler poop in undies, toddler poop on the bathroom floor, toddler poop smeared on the walls, toddler poop in the carseat…you get the idea. Thank God for diapers and their swift and secure containment properties.
- Their clothing is precious.
All the tiny shoes and tiny hats and sweet little things. Hannah wore a baby bikini last weekend and I about died, it was so cute. It should be noted that I also tried wearing a bikini last weekend. I just about died, but not because it was so cute.
- Pinching those cute, chubby cheeks.
Both sets of them.
- Baby laughs.
If someone were to record a bunch of babies giggling and put it all together into an album, they would win all the Grammys. True story.
- Nap time.
I’ve been lucky enough to have three excellent nappers. Now that neither of my boys naps anymore, I realize the value of a solid naptime (for baby’s health and Mommy’s sanity). I heart you, nap time–don’t ever leave me!
- The softness.
Everything on a baby–their skin, their hair–is just so soft. This softness is in sharp contrast to my “big kids” who are quite often covered in literal sticks and prickles.
- The wonder.
Everything a baby sees is new and amazing. I wish I could see the world through a baby’s eyes.
- Ease of transport.
Babies just go with you wherever you’re going–they don’t have any choice in the matter and, for the most part, they just roll with it. No 5-minute warnings or hour-long shoe hunts before you can leave the house: Just get up and go. Try doing the same thing with a toddler or a preschooler or a teenager and you may meet with some resistance (i.e. temper tantrums).
- They’re small.
Babies are compact enough to sleep in a drawer or a spare closet, which definitely comes in handy when you’re hosting house guests or trying not to pay for an extra bed in a hotel.
- Bath time.
Also known as “bathroom exfoliation”–after bath time I wipe down all of the surfaces in the bathroom that got covered in water splashed out during baby’s bath. The result: a sparkling clean bathroom, every bath day (because we all know that I’m not cleaning any bathrooms on my own precious time).
- Bedtime routine.
The 10 minutes I spend rocking the baby before bedtime are often the only quiet 10 minutes I have during the day. I relish this time, and may continue sneaking into the nursery for “bedtime” long after the baby has moved out.
- The Sickies.
When babies get sick, it’s sad…and sweet. Because when babies are sick, they cuddle and snuggle and make you feel needed in the best way. When other people get sick (ahem…husbands…) their pleas for attention are somehow not quite so sweet and endearing.
- They bring out a different side of us.
People can not help but to behave differently around babies. They are more tender, more gentle, more protective. Watching my sons and my husband interact with our baby this year has shown me a different side of them that makes them even more endearing to me. Babies make everyone better.
- – 101. This is the only time they’ll be babies.
I will miss babyhood simply because it is babyhood. This is the only time in the entire span of their lives that my children will ever be in this stage. As they grow and mature, they will become new people–fantastic, amazing, bigger people–but they will never be these people, these baby people, again. And for that reason alone, I want to remember these moments and capture them in my heart and my mind. These are fleeting moments, and I will cherish them.
So, to my baby and my not-so-babies-anymore, I love you. I love who you are now, I love who you once were, and I love who you are becoming. I’m so excited and proud to be on this journey through life with you, no matter what stage we find ourselves in.