Today, you grew up. Right before my eyes, you transformed into a boy.I wish I could say that it was beautiful but it wasn’t. It was terrifying.
You see, today, you outgrew your cot. You climbed over the edges and made your escape. Strategically, you sussed how to manoeuvre over the bars and jaunted to the floor.
Joy filled your face as you landed gleefully and rolled into position. To you, it had become a game – your newest adventure. To me, it had become a death trap – the next phase of worry.
Worst of it all, I wasn’t ready. Worst of all, I just wasn’t prepared.
I wondered then if I’d ever be ready to let you grow? Don’t get me wrong, watching you grow is exciting and thrilling. I instinctively feel so proud of the intelligent little boy you’re soon turning into. However, I feel as though recently, you’re learning something new every day, developing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up.
Now, you’re one step closer to needing me no longer…and that’s what I’m not ready for.
You’re becoming so independent. You no longer require me to feed you a bottle. You no longer require me to hold your spoon, your toothbrush or your cup. You can pull off your own nappy and tell me when you don’t want to do something. You know your own mind for crying out loud. You have your own likes and dislikes, your own thoughts and feelings. You’re no longer a baby.
I feel panicked, I need you to slow down so I can comprehend what is happening. I’m enthralled for your future but I long for just one more day of my baby boy. I’m starting to forget what it ever felt like to have you sleep on my chest, to rock you to sleep, to hold you as you drifted off into slumber.
I can’t forget, please don’t let me forget.
On that note, I don’t want you to forget either. I see the way you look at me at times. My nerves and anxieties take the fun out of your adventure. I’m forced to take on the role of ‘baddie’ and hider your fun whenever I sense danger. You don’t know that though, you haven’t yet grasped that the word ‘no’ is only used for your own good.
Tonight, you scowled at me as I tried to get you to stay in your new bed. Please remember that I also lay beside you cuddling you to sleep. I stroked your nose, the part between both eyes just as you liked me to as a tiny baby. I comforted you as you screamed.
Now that you’re growing so speedily, I urge you to recall our special moments. As you clamber into you ‘Big Boy Bed’ please remember the nights I’d stand for hours cradling you in my arms until you fell asleep. My muscles would shake, my back would ache but I wouldn’t relent until you were ready to be placed in your cot. I’d sing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Hush Little Baby’ over and over until your eyelids became heavy. Never once did I show you how tired or drained I was feeling.
As you eat your tea so calmly, please remember the times I’d sit patiently at mealtimes, rhythmically feeding you the spoon. I’d make chugging noises and repeat aeroplane moves as I tried to get you to take the bait. I’d be covered in food that you’d chuck in my direction. I’d force a smile as I shot back the sloppy mushed up food you’d taken from your own mouth and pushed into mine. Never once did I show you how I hated feeling so filthy, how the food in my mouth would make me gag and feel sick.
As you take your bottle in your arms and ascent the staircase towards your bedroom, please remember the nights I’d snuggle you in tight and feed you a bottle. Some nights, you’d have me up every two hours yet I savoured every bottle. I’d scoop your crying little bones from your cot and hold you tight. I’d sit, sometimes for 45 minutes at a time, rocking in our chair as you sucked harmoniously. Pausing, I’d wind you until I heard that beautiful burp. The nights you’d keep it from me pained me with worry that your colic would hurt. Never once did I show you how exhausted I felt, never once did I rush you to finish or pull the bottle away until you were satisfied.
As a Mother, these moments were so precious. I feel so privileged that I had the pleasure to experience them with you. People tell me that by the time you’re older, I’ll be ready to watch you flourish but I can’t promise I’ll ever be ready to forget the way you made me feel. That flutter of love each time I was needed made me feel special, so important.
If I promise to remember that, will you promise to remember too?
I love you, my beautiful prince, my pirate, my crazy little boy – no longer a baby.