On toddlering – Diary of a Baba
Posted on November 8, 2017
It’s happening. Its been happening! Our child, Collin, is officially toddlering… Being in the baby carrier, using the pacifier, drinking from the sippy cup are all things of the past. Not potty trained yet but that is in the works too. Yesterday, he requested to wear underwear!
So this is what happened. The last few nights during our bed time routine, Collin has been asking us to go downstairs while he reads a book to his teddy and goes to sleep by himself. Here is how it played out one night:
C: Baba, tonight I will sleep by myself with teddy and will read him a book. You and mama go downstairs.
A: Ok. What book will you read?
C: Little E. (Little Excavator, great book)… with the night light on.
A: Umm. ok. (confused but I go with it)
[10 mins pass]
C: Baba!! I need you to turn on the lights!
A: Ok (turn on the lights)
C: I don’t need you now. You can go downstairs now and wake me up when the sun comes up.
A: Ok have a goodnight. Love you.
It wasn’t so smooth of course. There was some TA (technical assistance) we provided with working the night light or him getting frustrated with holding up and reading a big book at the same time. Then at midnight, he screamed “Baba! I can’t sleep!!” I ended up sleeping with him in his bed but the turning point was that he REALLY wanted to fall asleep by himself (tiny tear drops).
This was a BIG deal but it made me think.
First, I had some disbelief that he could pull it off (not great, I know), then I felt some nostalgia, already. Soon, he will not need us! What will it feel like? It was just 5 months ago that he was still neatly tucked in my baby carrier (my pouch, we would call it) with a sippy cup for milk. Many parents have told us that “time flies” but sometimes it is hard to believe. When he has a meltdown because I moved his fork or cup without proper notification, it feels timeless, and not in a good way.
I mean shouldn’t I feel happy that this is happening?
Does this mean I can make space for other things in life or work?
How do I just be present in the moment? How do I just be and enjoy?
Mychi and I haven’t actually sat on the couch together to talk or watch TV in months. The last few nights have felt surreal. Is it the new normal? I’m just reminding myself that not everything in parenting has to be a struggle. We are doing just fine. It also reminds me that none of this is static. Just be present and don’t get ahead of myself.
Building his independence is toward our interdependence. We’ll always need each other <3.
I don’t know a lot about adulting but this toddlering is constantly transforming all of us and taking our parenting game to the next level.
(Image of Collin at Dimond Park in Oakland. He is standing in front of a big tree that has been cut down and is laying on the ground. He is wearing a hoodie smiling and looking away from the camera)