Goodbye Babyhood: Meditations on Moving On

In less than month, Celia Catherine turns two. And while I know she will always be my baby, I have been coming to the very real realization that the part of my life where I take care of babies, little sweet wrapped up in a blanket bundles is, well, over.

And before you say, “well, just have more then,” I must tell you: I have realized two big things summer. I am not cut out for stay at home motherhood and I am not ready for more than two. Or at least more than two of kids like mine.

It seems like just yesterday I was waddling around chasing Parker with a belly full of baby, ready to take on sleepless nights and swaddling and worries of weight gain (hers) and weight loss (mine).

And it seems like I was just a ball full of nerves and excitement the day when my two children got to have their first sniff of each other.


The second child’s milestones blur in comparison to the first. You remember exactly how many months old the first child is, read up about their latest growing pains and can assess how far ahead or behind they are. With the second, keeping them clothed and fed is the priority and every once in a while you say, “Oh, I guess that phase is over. Wow, that was quick.”

When Celia was 5 months, I didn’t want to start her on solids. I had a lot of trouble and just wasn’t ready for it. I felt like the departure from the bottle was so ceremonious and meant the rest of her infancy would fly by. She gave up her bottle without a fight, slept in a big girl bed with little fanfare and eats everything and anything with a spoon, knife and fork. She’s a big girl more and more each day. And I feel a complicated mix of emotions about it. She’s growing up and I’m realizing a part of my life I thought I was just trying so hard to survive is almost–done.

It’s no wonder that the idea of potty training her makes me sad. I was all set to make it happen this summer, but felt like there are some things I am not just not ready for yet. It’s the last piece of her that is baby. Her sweet, little, puffy, diapered butt.

So in bidding farewell to babyhood, I have a laundry list of things I’ll miss. And I’ll try not to do the hiccuping ugly cry as I recite them for you here.

1. The noises. The little sighs and coos and snorts. Words are nice but nothing beats a good little baby sigh.

2. Baby nuzzle-cuddles. Parker used to rub his nose in my chest until he found just the right spot to sleep. He would do this in the middle of a work party, in the middle of a room full of kids, whatever. I miss it so much.

3. I loved the period of time before they could pull themselves up when you could just peek over the side of their crib and they would look at you all excited and surprised.

4. Baby talking like here.

5. Baby tricks like here and here.

6. The smell of baby laundry soap. And the smell of Burt’s Bees baby wash. And the smell of their little heads after a bath.

7. A baby falling asleep on you before you realize it’s bedtime.

8. The outfits. And the poses you could make them do.

9. Baby giggles and the discovery of their laughter with each other.

10. Middle of the night- just me and baby time. It may have been exhausting and hard. But nothing beats that type of cuddle time.

I am excited to be a mother of an almost two and almost four year old. But I will remember, so dearly, the blur of three years where I had two of the sweetest blabbering, cooing, crawling, toddling babies a Mommy could ever ask for.