The Blink of an Eye

2.5.07: If they could just stay little


Charlie had his two-month checkup today and I am completely devastated. He's totally fine. Perfectly healthy. Couldn't be better. It's just that...well... he's so BIG.

I spent the second half of my pregnancy holding my breath at every prenatal weigh-in, wincing as the scale passed 180...190...200. (I stopped looking after that.) And now I find myself doing the same at Charlie's appointments. I have to look away.

Part of me wants to pack a pair of pompoms for the next pediatrician visit just so I can break into a "Yaaaaaay, Charlie. Goooo milk!" cheer and do a little heel-click in the air. But part of me is just really sad.

Julia was always at the top of the growth charts for both height and weight. She towers over all the other kids her age. Charlie is apparently going to be her even-bigger brother, and it's killing me. Just weeks ago, his tiny little bottom fit completely in the palm of my hand. Now he's wearing size two diapers. He's got rolls. Rolls that, if he's anything like his big sister, will someday hide entire Biter Biscuits that we'll sheepishly unearth days later. The blankets we used to straight-jacket-swaddle him in don't want to tuck around him anymore. You'd think we were trying to bind his feet the way he's stuffed into his footie pajamas.

He's also getting Will's dimples -- on his hands.

What's even more devastating is that he now coos. He makes this little warbler bird sound that makes my knees a little warbly. I'm like a coo junkie, hovering over him, waving his monkey rattle, doing anything I can to elicit just one more coo. Then, he couples the coos with his crazy gummy smile. His entire face lights up as he tilts his head to the side in a flirty, "Aww shucks, who, me?" kind of way.

Charlie's life is flashing before my eyes. I have visions of him running across a sunny field in his Little League uniform, towering over me in his cap and gown, buttoning cufflinks on his wedding tuxedo. I just put away his tiny little newborn clothes. They're all up in the attic in a storage bin, next to Julia's. I'm not sure why I'm holding onto them. I just know that I can't part with them. Not yet.

Plus, he's not even the new kid on the block anymore. He already has two new cousins—the new babies.

I feel like I'm losing my baby.

Frozen in Time

When Julia was just a week old, I had the same worries. By week two, I was so anxious about the days slipping by too quickly that I jokingly suggested to Will that maybe we should stop feeding her. He didn't find it a very humorous suggestion, and I later found him pretending to look up "burping the baby" in the What to Expect book while he secretly scanned the post-partum depression danger signs.

Ever since, I have been waging my very own babyhood "Battle of the Will." Last night at dinner, Will asked "Who wants broccoli?" and Julia made a face that looked like he'd just asked "Who wants to be tarred and feathered?"

"NOBODY!" Julia yelled, and I almost cut off my big toe when I dropped my knife. I shot Will a look of horror and betrayal. Julia used to announce "ANYBODY!" whenever Will asked that same question. It was one of her little babyisms that I loved so much. And Will corrected it. You see, he's got this big idea in his head that our child should learn proper English so that she'll grow up to be an intelligent, articulate adult, yada, yada, yada. My big idea is that I don't want him messin' with the baby talk.

Julia used to hold up her arms, beseeching us to "Hold you! Hold you!" Will taught her to say "Hold me." Her alphabet used to have a "QRS, double menno P" in it. Used to. Little Miss Muffet used to sit on her tuffet eating her turds and whey. (OK, I'll give him that one. But the fider who sat down beside her is off limits—he's not touching that one.)

It's just that they're babies for such a short time. And besides, sometimes Julia's original take on things makes a lot more sense to me. She comes up with words that, in my mind, are so much more appropriate -- so much more accurate, like:

frisbee = "frisky" (Aren't they just, though?)

strainer = "drainer" (Yes, it does.)

cushy = "kwishy" (Much more squishy sounding.)

The Ferris Wheel = "The Fairest Wheel" (Especially from the tippy top.)

Scrabble = "Squabble" (At least in our house.)

The other day, Will and I sat in the corner of a preschool class, at a teeny tiny table, on the edge of our teeny tiny seats, observing from the sidelines as Julia had her preschool "screening." Our knees were up around our chins and our hearts were in our throats as we watched Julia take the teacher's hand and walk off, without so much as a backward glance at her lower-lip-biting parents. Today, she's wearing her big girl undies. Last night, she slept in her big girl bed. After she drifted off, I watched my big, stringbean girl sleep for a little while with a heavy heart. And it was then that I noticed her hand sticking out of the blankets. Maybe it was my own failing eyesight, or the shadows cast by the nightlight, but I was completely taken aback by the chubby little baby hand sticking out of the blankets. It still has dimples.

I'm going to go get my pompoms.

Join's Managing Editor Dana Rousmaniere each week as she chronicles life with a new baby.

Read the next entry: 2.19.07: Cinderella Story