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Friday, July 8, 2011

They'll Tell You

The babies will be three next month. For the past six months, maybe a year, I've received many comments and questions about why I still refer to them as babies. And everyone is right. First the term is fitting and correct. Then it's cute in the "aww, she still thinks of her toddlers as babies" way. Then it simply becomes outplayed.

My kids can walk, they can talk, they can think logically. They eat regular food with forks and spoons. They pull down their pants and use the toilet. They make up games and play independently. Long gone are the days of baby-gates and Gerber food. They're big girls now. They even treat the dog with respect. When is mommy going to catch up?

To be honest, the babies themselves have reinforced my incorrect labelling. Because I refer to them as babies, that is what they assume they are. They have no siblings younger or older to compare themselves to. They'll often come up to be and state, "I a baby, mama. I a baby."

Still, I do want them to know that they are getting bigger and growing up and that this mean they'll soon be able to do things they cannot yet do. The babies have latched onto this concept as there's not much sexier to a three year old than being able to do things he or she can't do.

Now, I'll sometimes get "I'm getting bigger, mommy. I'm almost a giant. I'm almost a mommy." (Because what could be bigger than a mommy?)

Even more endearing is this: "I'm growdin' mama, I'm growdin'."

I try to refer to them as kids or girls now, instead of babies. I've noticed I can do it easily unless I'm referring to them as a unit. "The babies" has become more of a title than anything.

Still, when I fail, the babies have yet to correct me. I'm sure that time will come soon. When they go to preschool, I doubt they'll want to be called babies. The workers will surely tell them they are big girls, and the other children will likely refer to themselves as kids.

So, I'm getting comfortable with the age of "the babies" coming to an end. Since it's not over yet, though, I used the term liberally in this entry. Old habits die hard. And, of course, they are my babies, no matter how big.

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  1. I'm not sure I'll ever stop calling mine babies. Hehehe, not that they like that. LOL.

  2. I took the easy way around this. Soon as my little boy got too old to be 'the' baby we switched it around. He was A kid, but he was MY baby. He'll still be that when he's 40 so it provided a nice transition, when I slipped it wasn't hard to put 'my' in exchange of 'the'.

    It is however worth noting that I call all dogs 'puppies' too.

  3. FWIW Aislyn will be 4 next month and told me "I always be your baby Mama."

  4. When did you get a dog?!?

    I refer to the kids as a unit as "the babies," where it's Kinder Major and Bug; Kinder Major, Bug and Snow White, Kinder Major, Bug and Blueberry Nights, or any other combination of the four. I can't help it. To me, even they (like your children,) are growing and developing and making cognitive leaps and bounds, they are still MY babies.

    I've seen this phenomena not so much in the human world, but lots in the equine world. I can tick off at least a dozen mares I've worked with that will mother-hen a younger horse, whether it's her baby or not, regardless of how much younger. Example: Granny, a mare well into her late 20's, was pasture buddies with Rocky, my then-9 year old gelding. She nagged and fussed over him like nobody's business, including nipping his rump if he was troubling the gate or getting into some other for of mischief.

    For some of us mothers, our get will always be our babies. Frankly, I think the world could do with a bit more devotion like that, don't you?

  5. I totally referred to my oldest as "Baby B" until she started to get mad at me and say, "I'm not a baby!" My littlest is one year old today, and I'm planning to cling to her baby-ness as long as I can! Congrats on feeling ready to let go of "baby!"



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