My son is closing in on three in just over a month. We are through the baby stage. The stage of the never ending soother game, the quest for the sippy he would actually drink from and are, gratefully, done with constantly trying to sort out the sleep. *Touch wood*
Shopping out of town on Saturday, my son fell asleep right before we arrived at the shop we were looking forward to. As I lifted him out of his car seat, I was expecting he would be either crabby apples for having woken after a short snooze, or it would be the reset button we needed. It was neither. He stayed asleep. Sound asleep. He slept on my shoulder while walking through the store for over 45 minutes. His body draped over me, his arms trailing over my shoulders, halfway down my back- he slept hard. Finally, I shifted him to holding him in a tummy to tummy cradle position. I was taken back to nursing and bouncing. It seemed to last so long; the phase of constantly trying to settle him. And yet, here is is, almost three. Draped across me like a giant infant. Rubber boots with spaceships instead of infant socks, both impossible to keep on. Shoppers in the store were in two camps: commenting on the sweetness of a sleeping baby, or remarking about his size. Truth be told, so was I; but not with the tone of he latter. I wondered how long I can keep holding him while he sleeps this way. I don't want to ever miss a moment of it. The questions roll: how long will he keep wanting to be held? How long til he tells me he's no longer a baby? What if my back gives out before he does? What if he's my only and this is it? Does he deserve a sibling? What if I hadn't lost? Did I hold him enough? Never too much- that's not a question. I hope he sleeps long enough that we can get through lunch. I hope there's beer with lunch.
He's so big, and in that moment still so little. Their feelings at three are BIG. That's a whole other post.
My arms ached from holding his weight. I won't complain for a second. How can he be so big and yet still a baby in my arms? I look at him and he's this independent boy, speaking in sentences, and then the next moment sighs in my ear with sleepy baby breath.
Just gratitude to have this. Let him be little.
Jackie Anger is a London, Ontario doula, a mama to an amazing toddler, a community advocate, and a lover of coffee.