My ‘baby’ will be 3 next month. In January we booked some vacations and my husband said to me - no diapers, no bottles, no strollers. Yikes. I decided to tackle the diaper thing first. Thanks to his big sister, my son was very interested in the toilet. One week of being naked, and a second week of underwear only and BOOM! He was ready.
The bottle was much harder. He loves that darn thing. It provides more comfort than anything else. He doesn’t have a special blanket or toy or stuffed animal. He just looks to the baba for a moment of peace when life gets hectic. I tried to get him to ‘give’ it to my nephew over Christmas. He happily handed it over to Baby J (and I hid it in my purse). He later cried for me to ‘call Baby J and get my baba back...’ so, I broke it back out. After that I thought he would enter college with his baba. He became even more clingy to it. And I kicked myself for pushing him too hard. I dropped it. But then with the looming vacation plans, I would mention it here and there …. no more babas on vacation. He would repeat me and shake his finger and laugh. But then, the other day we broke out a new Mickey Mouse cup - his favorite character - and he was hooked. Three nights (and days!) of no baba. I have also really focused on his meals and making sure his belly was full so his baba wasn’t a way to cure any hunger pains. And it has worked! He even told me that the Mickey cup is better than a baba.
My last looming thing - the stroller. Let’s be honest here, this is 90% my issue and 10% his. For almost 5 years I had this awesome purse on wheels. It could hold tissues, and coffees, and snacks and even groceries! Oh yeah, it also held a child! I love a stroller. You can obviously put a lot of stuff in there. And, you can move fast. You can plop a child in and rush down the street. In the fall, when my daughter started school, both kids were riding scooters to school, and I was pushing an empty stroller with my purse. I finally downsized and just put some wipes, tissues, drinks, snacks, and a small coin purse into a lightweight tote, left the house ten minutes earlier, and stopped pushing my purse. But then winter hit. And man, it has been a brutal one. I have both kids wanting to ride in the stroller because they are too cold to walk. And now my baby has gotten used to the stroller again, and I have gotten used to leaving late and rushing places again. But now it is spring! Now my son is riding his scooter again. And now I find myself back to using the big purse and pushing an empty stroller. So, it’s time to pack it away.
But wait! When I pack it away that means I won’t have it. That means I have two children. How quickly it went from a baby and a toddler…. to a toddler and a preschooler…. and now I will have two children. No babies. Its a freeing feeling…. I no longer need a diaper bag, I can go back to my stylish bags, I no longer need to bring special bottles and cups and snacks…. I have two mini people with me that can eat and drink and use the bathroom and walk….. bye bye baby land. I enjoyed my visit. Maybe I will be back again, till then I'll enjoy kidville taking this amazing stage of their lives in.
Erica Young has a MA in Early Childhood Education from New York University. She is currently a stay at home mom to a 4 year old pony loving ballerina and a 2 year old metrocard holding bus driver.
Photo source: iheartfaces.com
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