Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Upright Citizen

And... he walks!  Well, kinda.  A few days ago my baby, now a one year old, stood up proudly and took two steps forward.  And then he did it again.  And again.  My littlest boy, my last baby, is walking.  Oh dear god.  He has yet to take more than 3 steps at time before collapsing to the ground, but he continues to take every step with glee.  It's as though he can't believe he's actually doing it.  Neither can I, my little Squishy, neither can I.

He's growing up, and I can't help but mourn the last dregs of babyhood in my life.  He is still a baby- not big enough to eat a grape on his own or be trusted near a cord- but he is also clearly growing toward toddlerhood.  (I'm screwed.  TWO toddlers at once.)  He's nearly weaned from breastfeeding, starting on regular milk, and chattering away like a little hairless chimpanzee.  He's an awesome little guy- simultaneously jolly and infuriatingly headstrong.  He has an infectiously throaty little chortle and finds his big brother HILARIOUS.  He bangs on drums (and anything else) with reckless abandon and has freakishly solid rhythm for a one year old.  He is also a recent master of the arching, throw-yourself-on-the-floor, screeching, sobbing fit.  Like I said, toddlerhood is nigh.

What with recent events, watching my baby boy take those tentative first steps is surprisingly bittersweet.  I am absolutely, completely and totally confident in our decision to cease fire on the baby-makin'.  Two children is plenty for us and frankly, some days it feels like too much.  But knowing for certain that this will be the last one... it's a little sad.

Part of me is ecstatic.  In a few weeks when I completely wean my baby from breastfeeding, I will have my body to myself for the first time in four years.  I have been either breastfeeding or pregnant (or both!) for FOUR CONTINUOUS YEARS.  And let me tell you, four years is a very long time not to have control over your own body.  Man, I am gonna get so drunk the day I wean that boy.  (I may or may not be kidding.)  I also will never again have to experience the first three nauseating months of pregnancy, will never have to give birth again, will never again have to watch my belly stretch to the size of a small zeppelin.  So very many things to celebrate.  With lots and lots of beer.

But the other part of me is bummed that I will never be pregnant again.  I was never one of those people who claimed to love being pregnant (and honestly, I think those people are full of it), but it really is an incredible process.  I will never feel a little person doing calisthenics in my belly again.  I will never again experience the amazing, though painful, process of giving birth and I will never look a new little person in the eyes as his mother again.  No more first steps, no more first laughs or rolling over or waving bye-bye.

Now, before you start accusing me of histrionics, I'm not as forlorn as I sound.  SWEAR.  I really am glad that I only have two children.  I am SURE that two is the right number for my husband and me and we are incredibly lucky to have the babies we have.  They are wonderful, funny, kind little people and I couldn't be more in love.  But I think it's important to honor these unexpected feelings of sadness at the end of babies.  Babies are cool little beings, and I'm going to miss having one.  Especially when my current baby starts screaming "NO!" at me and throwing things.  Then I'm REALLY gonna miss babies.

Anyway, the whole point of this post was to say... he walks!  It's going to be an even crazier ride from here on out and I may have to eliminate every item on every surface in our house.  My husband is going to be STOKED.

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