You know those weeks where you are holding on by only a thread– well this week has been one of those. Actually, it’s been more like two weeks. We’ve had coughs, colds, viruses, cavities, mucus, sneezes and tummy aches going on during our back to school scramble. We survived the first week back to school for the Big One, and I am counting down the days until the Monkey can return to his school. The start and end of every school year always feels somewhat bittersweet, no? I’ve got a tall, gangly tween (who will be a teen in just a few short months!) He’s in seventh grade, and just starting his growth spurt. He sweaty and has the beginning of acne, and his voice cracks. He’s taller than I am. He’s closer to being an adult than an infant now. It’s so cliche, but it did happen in a blink of an eye.
Some beginnings and endings are definite and well-defined.
The end of a school year.
The start of a vacation.
Most of life does’t work that way. Ends and beginnings slowly transition into each other. One of the things that hardest about being a mother is that you don’t always know when something is going to change,
When the Big One used to have nightmares, he’d crawl into bed with me. I never knew when it would happen, but I’d hear him pad into my room, climb into bed, and snuggle his head under my chin. Then one day he stopped doing that. It was several years ago, but I never realized the last time he snuggled next to me after a nightmare was the last time until much later.
It’s like the day that he stopped holding my hand. It faded out gradually and without fanfare.
For the Monkey, it was that way with nursing. We did child-led weaning, which I didn’t think would actually work. It did. One day he just stopped asking to nurse.
The thing about that is that I didn’t realize the last time that he nursed, that it would be his last time. Maybe if I had, I would have paused to reflect and enjoy the moment more.
Right now, the Peanut is starting solid food. He is the only baby who has never had any formula. (Both of the other boys had formula during the first month of life.) He is also my only baby who didn’t start solids until he was 6-months-old.
I haven’t been in any rush to start solids because he didn’t seem interested. And honestly, I love babies, and their first year of life is such a whirlwind of firsts, and lasts.
With the Peanut, I’m trying my darnedest to enjoy every moment of his babyhood. I know that endings are sneaking up on me all the time.
So we started baby food.
And guess what?
He doesn’t like it.
Look at that face! He’s clearly not enjoying himself.
Both of the other boys couldn’t wait to start food. The Monkey literally dove into a cup of frozen yogurt. The Big One loved every fruit and vegetable that I introduced.
This little one spits the food out.
He makes faces.
He arches his back.
He makes it very clear that he’s not in any rush to eat real food (with the exception of butternut squash.)
So twice a day, we play a game where I tempt him with baby food, and try to get him to eat a tablespoon or so. And he tries to get as little into his mouth as possible. Sometimes I win, and sometimes he does.
I do this because I know that he must learn to eat real food, but secretly, I’m a little pleased. I’m hanging on to every minute of blissful babyhood that I can.
And I know that one day food will win out, and he’ll change his mind.
Until then, I’m going to enjoy every second of this struggle.