From the moment I first held Bug after he was born, I knew he would grow up too fast.
It's one of the few things about parenting that I've been right about.
In some ways, it seems like he was never a baby. He walked early, he talked early, he knew his letters and numbers early. He was (mostly) well behaved. He never got into the cupboards or unrolled the toilet paper.
Fast foward to now, and he is a seven year old who announced he wants to be a paleontologist. He is smart. He is also sassy, transitioning to what I can only describe as teenage behavoir. My own 7 going on 15 child. We always expected a lot from Bug, for good or bad, and he has always delivered.
Monkey, on the other hand, has been my perpetual baby.
I tend to think of Monkey as my baby, and often find myself treating him as younger than he actually is.
The funny thing is this. He reached his milestones at about the same age as Bug. He talked and walked early. He is three years old, counts to 20, knowns his alphabet, and can point out a hexagon.
But I still call him my baby. I let him hang onto things like pacifiers, bottles, and sippy cups later than I should have. I postponed potty training him, because he was just so little.
Even when he is telling jokes about underwear and making his brother smell his feet, all I can see is my baby.
But there are times when suddenly, I realize he is not a baby. Moments like when he gets himself dressed, or brushes his own teeth, or recites the steps of how to make pancakes, or when we realize we need to start researching preschools. Then, I see him for what he is. A boisterious, happy, big, three year old.
Most days, I just can't wrap my mind around the concept that he is growing up.
I once heard that you view your children as babies until you have another one. It is only in the comparison to a tiny, new baby that you can actually see your growing child as just that.
I'm not so sure.
When I wake up in the morning to discover that Monkey has crawled into bed with us, and I see his round face with damp shaggy blonde hair plastered to his forehead. When I see him light up when I get home. When I scoop him up and nibble his tummy just to make him squeal with laughter. Even when I see him have a melt down at the kitchen table because he has been asked to stop washing his hands with lemonade.
At all these times, I'm pretty sure he will continue to be my baby.