Saturday, March 26, 2011

Day 82: Growing Up

As I write, I'm listening to a rousing rendition of the national anthem over the monitor that would give Christina Aguilera a run for her money.

Setting up books for Max
So far going paci-free hasn't disrupted bed time, but Jackson has yet to take an afternoon nap. Yesterday he spent three hours singing, talking, and apparently enjoying some restful alone time, but definitely not sleeping. Today seems to be going the same direction, but I'm sure in a few days he'll learn how to bring himself down and fall asleep sans pacifier.

But missed naps aside, he's very proud that he's growing up. It seems like so many changes are happening in such a short time, and I'm struggling to keep up!

All of a sudden he has an interest in standing up to go potty, being potty independent (he had previously requested help with his pants, but now wants to do it himself), dressing himself (one successful shirt attempt and lots of backward underwear thus far), washing himself up after a meal, washing his own body at bath time, and rubbing on his own coconut oil at bed time.

I can only imagine this relates to the homeopathic remedy we last gave him since it's all coming on at once and because it's such a radical change in his mental state - from wanting help despite the fact that he's capable, to wanting independence and even to stretch his capabilities.

Along with independence, I've seen so much budding responsibility in him. He's more vigilant than I am about Maxwell's safety, keeping him from cords, small objects, and stairs. And he's more interested than ever in helping, whether I'm cooking, cleaning or working, even when it comes to cleaning up his own toys and books.

I made a broccoli snail!
It's been so much fun to watch him swell with a sense of pride and accomplishment when he does something for himself or someone else. But I have to admit, it's bittersweet to hear his precious voice saying, "Mommy, I don't even need any help because I'm growing up!"

As I look to the future and all the joys and struggles that will come with the next stage and the one after, I feel excited and hopeful. But with that comes the realization that he's never going to be this age again. Once we've passed it, it's gone except for a few pictures and memories. And while I'm more than happy to let sleepless teething nights and experimental food throwing lie in the past, I'll definitely miss the grin that spreads across his face when he's becoming one of his many characters and his sweet voice saying with brazen honesty, "Mommy, I need some affection."

But the fleeting nature of these stages is precisely what makes them so special! Were he to spend his whole life charmingly enunciating words in the same sweet, high-pitched voice, it wouldn't stir the deep emotion that it does in its brevity.

So I enthusiastically welcome these spurts of maturity, and even the kind of growing up that eventually moves him further into the world and away from me. Because without this, I couldn't treasure the present so dearly.

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