This week we have packed away Knox's infant car seat, the floor gym, his Bumbo and the baby high chair. Most of them because he is simply too... husky to fit in them. I remember Pursy keeping her infant car seat until she hit the age limit because she was such a tiny babe. I wasn't ready for the sudden empty space in my kitchen where the high chair used to be, and I feel a little panic well up when I frantically wondered if I spent enough time looking at both Pursy and Knox sitting in that high chair. Did I spend every second I could enjoying the fact that they were babies who needed the shoulder straps when their little bodies couldn't sit up by themselves? Was I annoyed one too many times when my own dinner got interrupted by a baby bird with open mouth requesting more puffs or mooshed banana? And don't even get me started on that gummy smile... The one thing I can say with certainty is that I have kissed that toothless mouth a bajillion times.
I know I was getting sore at the end of last week carrying Knox around in the infant carrier, but did I care more about the bruises on the inside of my elbow then I did about the fact that I could look down and see his little face right there?? Now that he is in his big boy car seat, he will be picked up and set down more- which means his commando scoot will evolve very quickly into an all-fours crawl and then walking and running and college graduation and his first apartment.
I am excited to think about evenings when everyone can give themselves a bath. Grant and I can linger at the dinner table with a second glass of wine while the kids run upstairs to clean up and put their pajamas on. We will put them in their beds with a book and a glass of water, then we can do WHATEVER we want- however LOUD we want. Probably something crazy like watching a movie at a volume above 4. I am looking forward to being able to make a reservation at a great restaurant without asking if they have high chairs and a kids menu. Then hanging up the phone and calling somewhere else. I cannot wait to be on the sidelines of soccer games, dance recitals, swimming pools- whatever they are into. I am really looking forward to having conversations with my children- talking about life and love and music and books and religion and celebrity breakups and how to make really delicious food.
But how do I make sure I am not rushing this stage in order to get to that one? I love the infant/baby stage and if today was any indication, the inevitable march of my children towards adulthood will be a little rough on me. I don't want to keep them in things that are too small or push them into things that are too big. I know that in a few months, Knox will be finished with breastfeeding and I know I will mourn the end of that. I was already 6 months pregnant when Pursy weaned herself so I was more relieved then sad. With Knox, I imagine a shopping bonanza to Vickie's might be the only thing that dulls the pain. I will most certainly burn my nursing bras.
Does anyone have any tips on how to do this with grace? I have such mixed emotions and just want to do this without any regrets.