This weekend there was a purge happening at our house. We packed up the pack-n-play in our living room. We packed up the baby gate that kept our son restricted to the family room. We put away the bouncy seat. It was glorious. This was Phase 2 of kissing the “baby” in our lives goodbye.
This summer we went through Phase I. I gave away the swing, folded up the rock-n-play and put the breast pump in the closet.
There will be a Phase 3 too when we say goodbye to bottles very soon and then finally pack up the crib, not so soon. Slowly but surely we are purging the baby things from our house and I feel fine, maybe even a little giddy. This crib is the only thing that gives me slight pause.
However, I feel like this is abnormal. Friends tell me they are close to tears packing up the things their last baby used – the clothes, the toys, blankets, etc. I’m not. In fact, I’m nowhere close. Each time something leaves I look at the blank spot and sigh with relief.
With the big, clunky stuff gone, I finally have my family room back! Sort of anyways. Toys still litter the ground and are jammed into decorative baskets in every corner. But it’s a start.
When we get rid of bottles I will no longer have to worry about using that special, little, long, skinny cleaner to clean out that funnel-like thing that is supposed to be helpful with colic and gas. I will be rid of cleaning nipples. I am excited for the day that my life doesn’t revolve around some sort of nipple.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Baby Phase. I loved the snuggles, I loved the feedings and I loved the simplicity of the needs. I did not love all the stuff. The stuff makes me crazy and anxious.
I am excited for the next phase, the Kid Phase. While the Baby Phase is such a sweet phase in life, there are so many things I love more about the Kid Phase and I am excited to be entering it again with our son.
I love the communication that starts to happen. Right now he is shaking his head yes and no to answer questions. When he shakes yes, he bends at the waist and essentially bows over and over again with a big smile on his face. It’s pretty much the cutest thing in the world.
He listens to directions now that he can understand me and loves to help out. I know this won’t last long so I’m reveling in it while it’s happening.
He uses a fork and spoon and tries to eat like a big boy. This equals less mess for me to clean up after dinner, which is always appreciated. I’m always looking forward to less mess in our lives.
I LOVE the independent play. With our daughter it is so nice she can sit on the floor and play with her ponies or Paw Patrol or sit at the table and draw while I sit there and do something else. I love hearing her mind work in the conversations her characters have and I love seeing what her imagination dreams up when she draws. My son is already starting some independent play. Although, his often involves some form of mischief, but I still love seeing it develop.
I still get to love the snuggles. There is something so different about snuggling a kid versus a baby. The kid (or toddler) can snuggle you back. When those hugs are intentional they are the best. When those kisses mean nothing but pure love, those are the moments life is made of. Baby snuggles are beautiful and nurturing, but they are very one way for a very long time. Nothing can really beat the first time they open their mouth to give you a big, wet kiss or wrap their arms around your legs.
I love how much better family time can be. When children are babies, they’re cute and all, but for me family time is so much more fun when we can experience something together. I love how kids experience things. Everything is new. Everything is exciting. I’ve loved watching my daughter discover life and I’m so happy my son is now at the point where he can purposefully discover and experience it too. The family activities that we can do today are so much better than they were a year ago because we no longer have a baby-baby. Today we can enjoy the beach, a park, a game of catch, bouncing on the trampoline and more as a family because my son is now old enough to enjoy all these things too.
This next phase is going to be exciting. This next phase is going to be freeing. This next phase is going to be us really living life together and enjoying it together. (Fingers crossed the next phase involves sleep too.)
I know that I will long for the baby phase someday, but right now I’m kissing it goodbye and I’m not sad to see it go. There’s so much to look forward to in life with kids and I’m going to cherish everything that comes next. In our house, it’s the end of the baby phase as we know it and I feel fine.
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