Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Always be my baby

Every mother will give you the pros and cons of the age spread of their children. There is no "perfect" gap because it depends on each family, their specific circumstances and if there was purposeful planning of when the children were born. I've heard opinions of all sorts and really, age gaps just are what they are.

Before I had children I thought I wanted my children rather close together. Then I had my first! And realized that there were benefits to spacing the children a bit more. I thought my mom was crazy for having my brother and I just 18 months apart. I couldn't imagine being pregnant again by the time Miss Rose was 9 months old. Granted, she was a stay at home mom (just out of the hippie movement I might add!) and I was juggling work and a child.

I knew however I wanted Miss Rose and her next sibling to be close enough to play and interact together so when she was around 2 we began to plan for the second baby (no time is ever the perfect time!) and Gracie was born a few months after Miss Rose turned 3. I loved the spread. Miss Rose was potty-trained, speaking in full sentances (more like paragraphs and chapters) and comprehended all that a new baby meant to our family. She honestly experienced no rivalry.

Now as I prepare for our third baby (our gift from God a little sooner than we had planned) I find myself grieving a bit over Gracie's lost babyhood. Not that she isn't a baby or enjoying all her babyness, but at 2, there still is a lot of "baby" left in our little ones. But by then, I'll have a new baby to share my attention with. It's more that I will miss some of moments I treasured having with Miss Rose.

I've realized this as I begin to mentally prepare for some transitions in Gracie's little life. It's going to be time to take away her "kinkey," her rendition of "binky". (What's funny is that her "blankee" has the same name!) We took Miss Rose's away about 2 months before she turned 2, but that is when the new baby will join our family. I know I could wait until after the baby...but it's been my observation that the older the child is, the harder the transition is.

We will also move Gracie to more of a "big girl bed" before the new baby is born. It's not that we will need the crib right away (baby usually sleeps in our room for a few months) but it seems like it would be better to deal with it now, instead of me waking up to nurse and waking up to corral a 2yr old back into bed while she learns! Her crib will become a toddler bed if we choose that option or we have a twin bed in her room also that can be used with a guard rail.

I'm just not ready for this yet. I still want her to be my baby! She's been such a joy and is such a good baby. But I know just as Miss Rose will always be my first baby, Gracie will always be my second baby. There is a lot of change that will occur between now and when baby is born--making Gracie seem more like a big girl to me. I am sure that will help. Already in the last month she's communicating so much more and learning new words every day.

I'm working up the courage to let go. Maybe next month the binky will make it's exodus and in December we'll move her bed. But, for the next 17 weeks, I am going to soak up every minute of her babyness--and even after that I will be sure to let her be a 2yr old baby and not expect her to grow up. I don't mind having two babies for a while.

3 comments:

  1. When Sophia was born Joe and I each had our own baby! It was hard on my Emmalie (17mo) but she wasn't mean to the baby, just needed me to set aside time for her alone. Enjoy the months ahead - I was always glad for the 9 mo to prepare mentally :)

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  2. I remember just cherishing those last few months with Micah being my baby too. There were many nights I just held him in my arms and cried as I experienced emotions about him growing up and the new baby coming into the home. He still seemed like a baby to me after having Jaden and I had to make extra special time to spend with him. You are wise to plan ahead with the toddler bed and binky; we did the same thing - about 4 months before the baby came, so it wouldn't all happen at once. It helped a lot.

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  3. I remember feeling like this when I had J junior. I felt like T's babyhood was stolen from him and he now had to be a big boy...

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