07.14.16

Babies to Boys

Posted in Monthly at 5:57 am by Pasha

By Pasha Holiday

We are coming up hard and fast on my littlest, my only one who holds on to some bit of baby, turning three. So while I try to derail the train before it climbs the mountain that is babyhood to boyhood, I realize that there is no stopping this crazy train.

This summer has given me a fresh perspective on my babies; which is that they are babies no longer. These fellas are full-fledged boys. In some ways that tugs on the old mama uterus and begs to add another to our brood. But who is kidding … we have just hit some of the great non-baby having milestones that there are!

They sleep until 9 am and rarely wake in the night. Seriously! I know I am lucky to have “sleepers” but most of it, I think, is simply age. For the past five years, I got used to getting up at least three times in the night. Not now. Since it is summer, we are up until at least 9 pm. We go for night walks and play at the beach until dark. The boys are well aware that the street lights indicate it’s time to go home and start the charade that is bed time. Bath, then Wild Kratts and apples and THEN bedtime. So now it’s 9:30. And they are falling asleep on the couch listening to Shark Talk, curled beside me. Cause it’s summer. And nobody can judge what happens when the night falls and the blinds are drawn.

For two whole months this summer I have gotten up before any of my three boys. I have had my coffee in peace and had time to write and poke around the internet. By golly, I think I may have even gained some morning freedom. Remind me why I am still not working out?

For several of the sleepless years I was awake because it was an all night nursing fest at the buffet. And anyone who has night-nursers knows, that probably means wetting through a diaper. And any sleep deprived co-sleeper knows that just results in a towel being thrown over the leak sometime around 4 am. And another load of laundry in the morning.

I haven’t nursed the littlest in close to a year. I do miss it but Lord Child, am I happy to have full range of my breasts back! They are littler again. They are even a little perkier again. They aren’t heavy. And they are sensitive again. Yay for some serious foreplay! Nobody claws at my shirt, assumes the position and screams “mama nurse” in the Target. These ladies are all mine (and my hubs) to enjoy once again.

Along the track of leaving baby behind, out went our cloth diapers. The red, yellow and blue not only held the ammonia smell only cloth diapers can, they also held some serious memories. Each of the boys wore them with ease. We never had the stripping problems, the leaking problems, the rash problems, we just had them. And the most glorious part; husband did 100% of the cloth diaper laundry 100% of the time! Twice a week he would lift that shit encrusted pail and do whatever routine he did to clean them (I don’t know and never cared to ask what!) He would remind me, “this is the 483rd time I have done the diapers.” Then he would hang them and fold them and put them back for use. Those were the best years so far of husband domesticity!

With boyhood abundant and babyhood nearly dissipated into thin air, I do miss some little things. The smell, the way they curl into your body and just sleep. The way their words are jumbled and they walk like drunken sailors. I miss them not knowing what I am saying or that I can watch anything on TV without them catching on.

These days I can’t get anything past the boys. They even know the sound of the chocolate chip bag crinkling. As they run to fetch a few, I think, a baby would never do that! They play inside and outside all by themselves. They bathe without me hovering. They put clothes on their bodies. They have tons of opinions and protests. We have full conversations and seriosly ponder life together. They are just like little functioning human beings!

The crux between wanting another and the logic of not having another is tough and riddled with consequence.

I didn’t plan Huddy as my last, so if he is, I will have missed savouring a lot of lasts. I would appreciate childbirth even more if I knew it was the final time. The nursing, the diapers, the eye gazing, the torment of the first croup and walking a baby six hours straight. I really want to know if it is going to be last time letting a little person wear nothing more than a t-shirt and a cloth to the grocery store and no shoes ever. I yearn for their smells, for the feeling of a baby moving inside my body.

Then my mind turns.

I start to think about where we are now and forward to where we will be in a few short years. Founding a school with a third baby in tow would have been Hell. I’ve only been able to start writing again because my mind has returned as I sleep more and more. I can go out if I want, I could leave for hours or days and my boys would be fine with their dad.

And travel, we are just about to be able to really travel again. Three years into Wilmington and my wings are ready to soar on out. As the babies grow, so does my longing for seeing more, learning more, watching people who are unlike us live their lives. We are planning our first real travel adventure this spring. We can because they are finally old enough to ride in cars for a long time, they can camp through the night, nobody needs a diaper hauled along and we are all setup for school. In a matter of years, I will be comfortable travelling with them out of the country, and they will be old enough to enjoy the places we go, the people we meet and the food that other cultures crave. They will be old enough to learn as we go, to not melt down at the scene of every missed meal. They will just be old enough.

Adding one more to our little tribe would bless us beyond measure. If it was going to be a devastating blow to our life, we would take much more precaution to prevent it. So we are rolling along, not really deciding which set of tracks to follow. Both will lead our family to happiness together and life is always in due time.

But for now, I will watch the trains chug along their track. The little boys who were once babies are manning the controls now and I can’t stop their direction or change the fact that they are going to go over all the bridges and explore every tunnel. For now, I think I will just sit back and enjoy the ride.