Last Vestiges of Babyhood

With every passing day it gets harder and harder for me to refer to Kaylee as a baby.  I know I probably should’ve gotten past that by now seeing as she’s three, but seeing as she’s my last it’s been hard for me to admit she’s growing up. Slowly over the past year though she’s been outgrowing a lot of her “baby” items and for the first time in 10 years we’re packing them away or giving them away.  Some of the items went through all three of my kids and have been a part of my every day life for so long it now seems really odd not to have them out, or even in storage any more.

The first thing to go was the high chair.  I’m not sure she was even a year old when we got rid of that.  She hated being in it because she wanted to be at the table with the rest of us.  So pretty much as soon as she could hold herself upright to eat I switched her over to a booster chair at the kitchen table with the rest of us. It was the same thing when she grew out of the booster as well.

I can still remember exactly when that happened.  I had only been staying at home with the kids for a few weeks.  The kids were all sitting on our the bench at our kitchen table eating push pops.  I had tried to get Kaylee to sit in her booster seat, which was situated at the other end of the table, but she refused.  She wanted to sit on the bench like the boys were. Seeing as she was not quite 2 yet I wasn’t sure she could handle being out of a booster seat.  Our booster seat had a seatbelt which meant the child would be stuck at the table until I let them down.  Both boys had a lot of trouble transitioning from booster to regular chair.  But Kaylee got the concept down pretty quickly.  In fact after the push pop incident she never sat in her booster again, and after only a couple of weeks I put the booster away for good.

Her crib was next.  But like the booster she got the concept of sleeping in a toddler bed much more quickly than the boys did.  I was really quite sad to see the crib go.  We had never actually taken it down from the time Brendan was born until Cameron broke it that hot August afternoon.  Twelve years we had that crib, and it lasted through four kids.  (I got it used from one of my friends)  The day it broke it was just as nice as the day we had picked it up…except for the fact that the bottom of it was cracked in half of course. So by the time this school year started all of the major things that identified Kaylee as a baby had been packed away and/or gotten rid of.

But it’s the things that we’ve been getting rid of in the past few months that have really hit home with me just how big she’s getting.  First it was the diapers.  Now, we are still having to buy diapers because Kaylee can’t stay dry at nap or overnight but I’m down to buying one case per month.  That’s a startling change from when she was born and I was having to buy three different kinds for three different kids!!

Then I got an early birthday present of new dishes.  When that happened we decided that all of the kids were old enough to eat on real plates and we packed away all of our plastic plates and silverware.  It still looks very odd to me to see matching dishes and silverware on the table at meal times.  For so many years we’ve had various plastic and character plates, some kids had blue plastic silverware while others had actual silverware etc.

The final piece to this puzzle has been sippy cups.  Kaylee graduated off of actual sippy cups a long while ago.  Once our kids move beyond that we have a set of cups with lids and straws.  That way, they are learning to drink out of a big kid cup, but without the risk of spillage at first.  This week, I decided that it was time to see how Kaylee did with a real cup.

With both boys I was smart and tried the open cup thing in the summertime.  That way I could send them outside for the whole trial and error thing, and it took quite a bit of trial and error on their part.  I don’t know what made me decide that this week would be a good one to try the cup with Kaylee but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

My subconscious must have known something that the rest of me missed because there was no trial and error with Kaylee.  I filled an open cup about half full of water and she drank the whole thing down without spilling a drop.  Throughout the week I’ve been continuing to give her open cups and expecting a different result, but she’s managed the cup all week long with only minor dribbles, never a full out spill.  I’m really impressed with her abilities and have begun packing away the lidded cups.

Before I know it she’s going to be all grown up and I’m not sure I’m quite ready for that.  I think I’d like her to be a baby for just a little bit longer.

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