It happened. Just like that, I saw your looks resemble a toddler more than a baby. That moment always shocks me: when the realization hits that my baby isn’t so much a “baby” anymore. It’s too soon! You’re only seven months old, hardly crawling, tiny for your age, with a head that still kind of wobbles because it’s ginormous. But when you finished nursing tonight and rolled away to fall asleep on your own without needing to be rocked, I saw it. I saw a glimpse of what you’ll look like in a few months, when you turn 1 and officially leave behind the baby stage.
Of course you will be the most handsome little man ever, but I took a moment to feel the pain of you no longer being my baby. I let myself imagine you as a small newborn again, before I give in and accept your inevitable growth. While the toddler years bring so much wonder, learning and giggles, it also brings it’s challenges: potty training, tantrums, and lots of broke things. So as you drifted off to sleep and I carefully studied your not-so-infant features, I reminisced. I thought of your birth, your first smiles, and all the excitedly snapped pictures that consumed my phone storage. All over again, I appreciated your first giggle and your first babbling that turned into constant “ma, ma’s” making my heart melt. I’ll miss my little boy, and that’s an okay stage to miss. It’s okay to mourn all the good parts of babyhood that we are leaving behind.
I don’t want to be told, “Just wait until…” I don’t want to look ahead yet. I want to drink in the last of your baby months, even if that means continuing my breastfeeding struggles and appreciating the nighttime interruptions, because at least those bring calm snuggles, too. I’ll cherish your toothless smile and I’ll be grateful for how light you feel as I carry you, since you’ll be mobile and independent all too soon.
The time will come for toddler games, new discoveries, speaking in full sentences and serious decisions about screen time allowance. And when that time comes, I’ll try to enjoy every minute of it as well. But for now, I’m not taking the last little bit of baby time I have left for granted.
Stay little and innocent forever, my sweet babe.