A Toddler No More

The question of the weekend seemed to be – when does a child stop being a toddler? And my answer was the moment I pulled out a t-shirt from the hamper thinking it was mine, and really it belonged to my 4 year old son. I know what you might be thinking – you must be really tiny! But in reality, I have big kids. That are growing bigger by the minute.

I then look over to my 4 year old son, his long lean little man body. No longer carrying excess baby fat.  Even his haircut is a big boy statement – a ‘faux-hawk.’ He is a typical little boy who plays with his Legos and runs in the yard, yet there are moments when I swear he is 13. The sudden burst of attitude when he can’t use my cellphone or the “I got this mom” as he pours his own milk.  I sit and wonder how much longer before he asks for my car keys or walks across his high school stage as valedictorian. {Yes, I have big dreams for my children!} How soon will he call me to say “Mom, I met someone.” I picture my son as our parents pictured us – successful, with families, and doing what we love. I know that my son will follow his dreams because I will cultivate them and encourage him to be the person that he knows he can become.

My question then became – how? How do you handle this as a mom whose toddlers are becoming little people with big hearts and even bigger personalities?

As the years quietly pass us by.  And before all that happens, I hold him extra tight before bed time and kiss his cheeks over and over while he sleeps. I tell him I love him every waking moment.  I make sure that when he asks a question I answer it with sincere and honest words. Another way that I cope and make the memories last is by taking pictures, no matter how small or how silly, I take the shot. Even now when I look back at his newborn pictures I can remember exactly what he was like as a baby. I also allow him to be himself, to freely express who he is at this age because I know that one day he will not want to do his ‘Chuck-E-Cheese Dance’ or sing me his ‘Peanut Butter Song’ in front of the whole family.

The truth is, there really is no right or wrong way to handle it. But I do know that I try to enjoy every moment that my children are at this stage of their lives.  Yes, they are everyday kids, and the tantrums and meltdowns are very real. But one day they will be no more. And I am sure I will miss it. My children don’t know how fast time is going by as they play and enjoy life…while I sit and wonder how much bigger they will get if I blink.  The giggles are endless, our prayers are deep, we hug and kiss as they run around the house making messes. I watch them and attempt to capture every memory. My son is not a toddler anymore…but he will forever be my baby.

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10 Responses to A Toddler No More

  1. Avatar
    Mitzi September 25, 2013 at 10:32 am #

    Oh my I’ve had my cry for the morning. I go through this every day. My 3 boys are getting very big very quickly and it breaks my heart. My husband always says he has enjoyed each stage better than the last but I miss my infants. It is amazing to see the new things they can do but I can’t help but be saddened that the time that is passing, I won’t get back. But it reminds me to make the most of it now!

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    Misty W September 25, 2013 at 2:47 pm #

    “I watch them and attempt to capture every memory.”-i SOOOOO relate to that sentence. Time flies WAY, TOO fast with our babies. Ugh.

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    Virginia September 25, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

    Connie…I love this blog….You are always right on the dot…My babies will forever be my babies, even though they are fully grown and 2 of them have their own babies, who will forever be my grandbabies, no matter how old they are. 🙂 You are such a great writer….you should step out and start writing books….You certainly seem qualified. Have a blessed day.

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    Jenn September 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    Goodness girl I’m going to start tearing up! I believe that each stage and age hold such blessings and I appreciate this reminder to cherish it all. I totally relate to your “answering every question” as my three year old has one for EVERYTHING!

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    Meg O. September 26, 2013 at 8:50 am #

    This is such a sweet post!!! I definitely echo the other’s sentiments when they said they are tearing up. I can’t believe how fast these babies grow up. Too, too fast.

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    Channing L September 26, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I’m with the rest of these momma’s and started crying. I just told my husband the other day that I keep looking at my girls and just crying because they are growing up way to fast. I just want to bottle them up and keep them little. I know that each stage has its own amazingness with it but can’t it all just slow down! Loved this!

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    Chelsea P September 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder to take each second in and appreciate every moment. I’m really trying to slow down (very hard for my Type A personality) and not worry about silly things so I can make every minute count with my little one. Great post!

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    Heather M October 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    …and here come the water works! What a sweet post and wonderful reminder to soak it all up! I try to rejoice even in the tough times with my little one and I love this post!

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    Kelly D November 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Oh, Father Time…my best friend and my worst enemy. I love watching my children grow and learn new things, but it breaks my heart that they are no longer my teeny tiny babies. I totally feel you on this one, Connie!!!

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