Chicago mom says goodbye to babyhood

The salt covered trunk closed with a thud and I dusted off my hands. It was all in there: the pump, two boxes of clothes, a baby papasan, the co-sleeper, the playmat and a box of bottles and supplies for the pump. With that thud of the trunk an era comes to an end. We are officially boxing up babyhood and sending it off to our cousins who are due in a few short weeks.

In a few short weeks we will have our last first birthday party. Everyday is filled with last firsts: last first steps, last first cup, last first . . . everything. It’s bittersweet, and while I’m generally more okay with it then I thought, the sadness creeps in every once in awhile. No more big pregnant bellies to rub, no more tiny little newborns to cuddle up on my chest. We are quickly barreling towards a house full of large, loud and rowdy kids.

I look at them all lined up. Their four round heads all with their daddy’s eyes staring back at me and I know we are complete. Even with our missing babies, this is the family we were meant to have; with my bookend boys and princesses in the middle.

I mostly get choked up about little things, like my breast pump. I hated that thing. I was tied to it for six weeks when my second just up and quit nursing after a biting incident. I was much more successful with my last two. Aside from pumping for a minor surgery when my third was six weeks old, I haven’t needed to pump again. My pump has sat in my closet collecting dust for the last three years. Giving it away though just feels so final. He’s still a baby! I have no intent to wean him until he is ready but he’s turning one in three weeks. There’s really no need to hang on to the pump. We’ll introduce milk if he needs something more.

I’m mostly glad for the perspective packing it all up gives. As I hold his crying, fussing, teething body on my chest when I would really (really!) rather be sleeping, I just remember that this is the last teething baby I will hold. Soon all his teeth will be in and he will sleep. Soon he will move into the upstairs kids’ rooms and I will have my room and my bed all to myself. While I am sure that those first few nights will be blissful, it’s going to feel awfully empty too.

Lucky for me my kids are too busy to give me much time to wallow in the passing of the baby stages. I’m too busy trying to keep them out of trouble.

Now excuse me, I have a baby (for not much longer) to pull out of the dishwasher.

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