It seems like yesterday that we brought our little man home from the hospital. The joy of the new baby, sleepless nights, diapers, bottles and utter exhaustion and amazement seem so fresh in my mind at times. The truth of the matter, however, is that he is no longer my baby (well, that’s debatable he will always be my baby) but my big guy. It seems to have happened over night, all of the baby like behavior vanished. All of the labor and torture that went into making him a self-sufficient little person is pushed to the wayside and pride in our family achievement takes center stage.
It really is hard work, parenting. Our goal is to raise him to be a happy, loving, productive member of society. It starts early, this training up of the little ones. We started slowly at around two years old by introducing him to the potty. Step one to being a productive person would be being capable of going to the bathroom on your own; it’s a big one! That took about a year longer than I expected but alas, he is all of the way potty trained now, a huge weight was lifted off of our tired shoulders with that one. After introducing the potty we then took away the pacifier, which turned out to be much easier than we expected (huge plus in child rearing, something easy). Now that we have started “big school” two mornings a week, he has developed into even more of a self -sufficient little person.
With the start of school came the inevitable “I want to do it by myself” mantra. Which is fine with us, unless we are in a hurry to go somewhere, that’s when you have to stop and take a deep breath and let the kid do it himself, how else will he learn? It is so much faster to just get them dressed and ready to go yourself, but we must not deny them the time to learn how to do it on their own. I have to say now that he has mastered the art of getting dressed it’s wonderful to just send him upstairs and tell him to get ready for the day. The clothes may not always match, but if I pick two choices out and lay them on the bed that problem is solved. He now also can go to the bathroom, wash hands, put on his shoes and socks (amazing!) and even get his own juice box out of the refrigerator all by himself. Yes people, as I have repeatedly said, he is a genius.
We are so proud of our big guy, proud and amazed. It happens so fast, this new independence and it couldn’t be coming at a better time. Our big guy is getting ready to start a whole new chapter in his little life, that of being a big brother. He has made way for a new baby to come into the house and coming she is in the beginning of February. Big Ben is now going to be Big Brother Ben to his little sister and we couldn’t be more excited to get ready and do this parenting thing all over again, sleepless nights and all.