I had a fearless baby. She loved being thrown in the air by her daddy and we all imagined her future on roller-coasters and jumping off of diving boards squealing. Now, at 2 1/2, she’s afraid of her own shadow.
Things she used to love to do now elicit screams and tantrums. She crawls up my legs to avoid a freaking carousel. That’s right, the painted horses that go 3 inches up and 3 inches down at an alarming rate of 1 mph. Too much for my little daredevil.
Today we went to a friend’s pool and I was so excited to play with her. We dropped the baby off with my mother in law and were free to splash and play with buddies. Just a few months ago she loved playing in my mom’s pool in Texas, so I was sure she’d have a blast today. I was wrong. She wouldn’t go near the pool and threw her legs up when I tried to inch her in slowly.
At one point I forced her in, carrying her on my hip until her little tush touched the water. Yelling and screaming followed. With all of her buddies in the pool, she was happy to play with bubbles and watch from the side.
How do I help her get over all this fear? I feel like she’s missing out on so much fun lately because she won’t allow herself to experience anything that seems the slightest bit unfamiliar. Is it a phase? Anyone have insight into this?
Pretty much every day by 5:00pm I’m ready for bed. The kids, however, are not.
Sofia starts pre-k in the fall. My stomach has been in knots since I registered her, then I got this in the mail yesterday :
It made it real. My baby is going to school. Granted, it’s 3 days a week for 2 1/2 hours a day, not exactly college, but I’m ready to cry. I’ve worked on and off since she was born, at times full-time, at times part-time, and for a full year I was home full-time. But every time she was watched by someone else, it was because I was going somewhere. Most of the time she was with a grandma or aunt and it didn’t feel so terrible. Now we’ll be apart because she has stuff to do. It’s incredibly weird.
But more than weird, is the fact that this little thing I’ve created is slowly separating herself from me, becoming her own person. She no longer needs me to feed her puréed baby foods or bottles or to change her diaper. She climbs into bed on her own and can pick out her own clothes (much to my dismay). She needs me less and less every day.
And it makes me want to cry and cheer at the same time.
I’m so excited to see her grow into this fabulous little lady and I’m endlessly proud of her. But I want my baby back. Occasionally she climbs into my lap for a snuggle and I’m reminded of midnight feedings snuggling her in the rocking chair. I really have no idea how time got away from me like this. I want to rewind the clock even for a few minutes to feel her touch my face as I rocked her to sleep. But I in no way want to deal with getting up all hours of the night with her and changing her diapers. I have my son for that and it’s not at all glamorous.
It’s the tug of war of her growing up. Wanting to savor every moment of baby-ness but relishing in the independence of every new day. It’s all so bittersweet.
For now, I feel like I have a grip on my emotions. But come September, I’m sure I’ll be a puddle on the floor. And then I’ll need my mommy.