Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Babies

The other night, I was feeding Mr. Ezra. This is not new, I do this multiple times a night. He had just drifted off when Mr. Oliver decided to wake up. This is new. He doesn't usually do that. He used to, a lot, even just a couple of months ago, but lately, since the stomach flu hit, he's been sleeping through just fine.

I hauled my tushie out of bed, a bit irritated but at least grateful that Ezra was back to sleep. Oliver was really hysterically crying for "Mooooommmyyy!!!" So, I went. Sigh.

I picked him up and kissed him, rocking him a moment, and laid him back down.

Um, no. Not good enough. I tried to leave, and his hysteria started up anew.

I considered waiting for a bit, but I didn't want Henry awake at 2:30 and really, he was, for reasons unknown, very upset.

I scooped him back up and sat on Spencer's empty bed. I rocked and rocked and rocked. He snuggled in and clung on like a baby monkey. (Oliver has ALWAYS reminded me of a monkey!) I closed my eyes and just kept rocking. For thirty minutes I rocked.

And as I rocked, I thought. When Spencer was born, I automatically considered Henry a "big boy." When Oliver was born I automatically considered Spencer a "big boy." Sadly, this effected my reactions to their behaviors. "You're a big boy! Stop acting like a baby!" I'd think.

In my brain, their behavior was ridiculously immature! "GROW UP KID, YOU'RE A BIG BROTHER!" I'd think.

And now, four children in, I have learned a lesson more valuable than gold:

Having a new baby does not negate the "baby-ness" of your next oldest. Bringing home a new baby does not automatically mature your other children. They are still who they were the day before. 

Seriously. Not eloquent, but true nonetheless. Every one of my kids was 20 months old when the newest addition came along.

I have learned that 20 months is still a BABY.

It has made all the difference in how I view my kids and their behavior. There are even moments when I think, "Spencer is just a baby! It's okay that he's crying like an irrational hormonal woman."

He is three. And sometimes he is a baby.

And I am so glad I finally figured this nugget of wisdom out. It has allowed our transition to a family of six be gentler than other times babies have come.

And so that night,  I rocked and rocked and rocked.

Because he is still my baby.


Kara said...

Ah, so so true Morgan. Just today I was rocking Jack (both times actually) before putting him down for a nap. He's still such a baby ... a WAY bigger baby now that Hannah is here, but still so little and so needy sometimes. I think this line of thinking also stems from having the older kids, and knowing how quickly they grow up, and knowing that Oliver will be big soon enough, and you might as well enjoy the moments when he wants you to cuddle and hold him and rock with him. He won't always want it, he'll be big soon. It's fun to enjoy the moments of babying the older baby sometimes. :)

Alice said...

I LOVE reading your blog, can I just say that? I also LOVE my life, but how sweet and tender are the moments when you get to rock and sooth your little ones. You are so lucky! Cherish the moments, even in the wee hours of the night, because they will not be little for long! :)

BloggingBills said...

Truly you are a wise woman. They grow up and poof! they are gone, they are parents and you never again get to have one cling to you and call for 'Mommmmmmy'. (Okay, Josh does that about 2X each night,...... kidding!)

Stacy said...

Those quiet moments in the middle of the night have always felt a bit like prayer to me. Weird, I know.

And my two year old woke at 3 am screaming for daddy. Poor baby.

Ken and Jen said...

That is so sweet, and you are right. I am guilty of thinking the same thing. But when they do something that I consider "big kid stuff", I want them to slow down. It always makes me think that in a few years they won't want me to walk them into school or snuggle up and read a book, etc. :o(

Morgan -Ing said...

Kara- YES! Exactly.

Alice- When will we be seeing you? You need to come hold your nephew.

Mom- Just get Josh a stuffed bear or something... ;)

Stacy- Oh, poor Max! And I actually know what you mean. :)

Jen- This is what I am trying to remember. SLOW down little ones. SLOW DOWN!~

Jen said...

What a great thought to have in the middle of the night--instead of grumbling about being up again (which is what I do when my big 5 year old "baby" has a bad dream and needs me again!)

Morgan -Ing said...

Jen- Henry came in almost as soon as I had laid back down and had had a bad dream about Vampires! So I had to get up again. I shouldn't let him read Twilight right before bed. ;)


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