All I know for certain is that The Little Girl is growing up and I don’t like it. Not one bit. She’s always been big for her age. She came into the world practically weighing 10 pounds and hasn’t stopped growing. I never got the chance to snuggle an itty bitty. She’s always had her own little line on the growth chart well above the 95th percentile. When she finally made it onto the chart for weight, she made up for it in height. Even recently, the child grew 7 inches from age 3-4!!! People always assume she is older than she is. It’s happened several times this summer that I’ve been asked if she is going into 1st grade this year. Um, no. Pre-K.
I remember the 1st time I flew with her and received all sorts of nasty looks when she decided she was O-V-E-R being on that plane. One woman even said, “Oh, she must be 2.” Not quite, we were just a few months out from her turning 1. Skylar was a passy-holic and held onto it for dear life until 2.5, except that she was as tall as a 4 year old. That didn’t go over well with some folks. And when those terrible twos rared their ugly head and public tantrums were common, I didn’t get much sympathy from the public because they “assumed” that she was much older than she actually was and therefore “assumed” that she should be in better control of her behavior. Not so. Or the time when she was in swimming lessons and had the skills to move to the next class but her teacher didn’t realize that she wasn’t emotionally ready to be in a class without mommy. The other kids were 3-3.5 and my baby had just had her 2nd birthday. That was the year she refused to swim at all. Looking back, I’m not surprised.
And now, my “baby” is physically too big to be held but, at a mere 4.5 (BTW, she’s quite proud of that half), she still wants to be held and emotionally needs to be held. As her mommy, I still want to hold her and need to hold her. I remember someone telling me once that “they are always smaller in your arms.” Oh this is so true. I remember nursing her when she was almost 2. The feet that used to be cuddled up in my lap now dangled well over my legs but she was still just a baby in my eyes. Even now, I can tuck her up into a ball and she seems smaller but those legs are O so long.
I’m in a strange emotional place these days. I’m wondering if this is what “baby fever” feels like? Is it when you realize that your babe has grown too big to be picked up and held and you yearn for another little warm, snuggly body to hold? I want that, I really do. However, I don’t want a new little body to snuggle. I just want my big girl to be a baby again. I want to do it all over again, with her.
In some ways, I’m downright mad that she has always been accused of being older than she actually is. I’ve even been guilty of expecting things from her because she appears a more mature age. I wonder if she has been emotionally scarred in some way because expectations are always higher for her. Especially those emotional and behavioral expectations that she can’t or isn’t ready to meet. In other ways, having her look older has provided some opportunities for her to do things that an average-sized child couldn’t.
Regardless, I’m having a hard time with the sheer size of her these days. I desperately want to scoop her up and slather her with kisses and put her in a sling and carry her around with me. I miss that part. I miss having her fall asleep in my arms. I miss having her snuggled into my chest. I miss baby breath.
I remember trying to cherish the moments when she was little. I really took notice of the comments that “they grow up so fast” and tried to stuff my brain with those memories. I also remember getting to a point where I wanted to help foster her independence to get her out from under my every move. I wish I had the patience back then that I have gained now.
There is really no good way to end this blog post. I’ve come to no great revelations after typing out my feelings. I’m some ways, I feel I’ve been cheated. I feel she has too. Basically, I just want my baby to stop growing and be little again. End of story.