Eighteen some months ago, Josh and I became the proud parents of The Baby. An infant. A tiny human who only thought about food, sleep and poop. Because of his apparent helplessness and tendency to use tears to communicate, we aptly dubbed him “The Baby”, as in, “What is that Baby doing?” when the house falls eerily quiet, or “Is that Baby going to be in his diaper all day or are we going to clothe him?” The Baby has been a Siders’ House staple for quite some time, and we’ve grown fond of him.
But during the past month or two, a very sad thing happened in our house. The Baby left. There are still diapers, there is still crying, there are still tired, sunken in eyes in my head some days. But The Baby, he’s gone.
Today, there is a Big Boy in John’s crib, a boy with slimmer thighs, longer curls, and a much more childlike, not baby-like, face. This new little person is capable of running (into the street, gasp!) and sharing his desires with words, actual words. He can shimmy up and down furniture while stashing a toothbrush in his mouth and an electronic device in his hand. If it weren’t so death-defying, I’d be impressed.
|The Big Boy, with Big Boy Juice and a Big Boy plate, sitting at the table.|
chucking himself on the floor in a heap of despair.]
Just to be safe, and so as not to draw attention from the child protective authorities, we call this Big Boy, “John”, although the resemblance between him and his helpless, infantile self can hardly be recalled. Except in pictures.
|When Dad’s gone, we let John park his car in the garage.|
Saying bye to Baby has been a rough transition for me. I enjoyed calling him The Baby for so many reasons, partly because the generic title made me chuckle, but also because he will forever be “My Baby” and calling him something else, like a Big Boy, meant growth, meant driver’s licenses and curfews and college. Can. Not. Handle. It.
But a while ago I committed not to stunt my child’s growth by treating him as younger or more incapable than he is. If he is a toddler, with words in his mouth and spoons in his hand, alas, I must grow up too. So Big Boy it is, despite the internal battle. But for short, I can call him B.B, which sounds a lot like Baby, and I’m okay with that. [De-ni-al.]
The Big Boy enjoys a variety of artistic endeavors, but he’s really putting most of his focus into music and dancing at this point. He can scarcely be around rhythm without moving and shaking to it. Here he is with his latest choreographed piece by Jock Jams, “Ya’ll Ready For This.” My sister, Holly, is also an experienced dancer and selected this piece for the performance. Enjoy.