So, today was a very sad day for my 3 year old. We were sorting out the summer clothes (I say 'we', it was of course just me with Lil'-bud sat on the floor of my bedroom playing with a fairy and a yogurt maker). I have hidden among our 'not this season' clothes a green bag with a few items of baby clothes from when they were all tiny. I get to look in this bag twice a year, with the change of the seasons, and so the coinciding change of clothes.Lil decided to have a look in said bag, and found her swaddle blanket. She was very curious as to what this triangular piece of cloth could be and why mummy was acting so protective of it. I explained to her that it was used to keep her warm and snug as a new baby,and that it wouldnt 'fit' her anymore,so lets put it away.
"Can you show me, peez?" said Lil with her huge brown eyes.
I sigh, knowing this is not going to end well. "Ok,just quickly", and I start to put this triangle over her head just manage to wrap it around her body. Just.
"I a baby, now?" she asks in a pleading way.
"No darling, you're a big girl" (she's into being a big girl at the moment), "but you will always be my baby".
She scowls. She grunts. She is NOT happy.
"Come on,shall I make you a jam sandwich?"
"Okay" and she speeds downstairs, still clinging to the swaddle blanket.
As I start to load the washing machine(cos I'm random like that. I say I'll make a sandwich and then go and sort the washing for half hour) I hear whimpering. Lilly walks slowly into the kitchen carrying a photo I had taken of her when she was a year old.
"What's the matter Lil?" But she starts bawling, tears streamimg down her face.
"I want to be a baby"
"Like in the picture?"
"But that is you.You've been a baby already" of course that's the worse thing I could possibly say. Wailing and crying continue, she wants picking up and I proceed to rock her and make sandwiches while trying to cheer her up. Every time the damn blanket falls off its like the world has come to an end.
I have never seen my youngest baby in so much pain. That idea that time has gone and it wont come back no matter what. And its strange because I was thinking the exact same thing the night previous, (between being woken by Lilly and woken by Amy), how she's growing so fast and what will I do when there are no more babies left to carry and cuddle and look after? It nearly made me cry, there's nothing I could say or do. As aparent, you feel the pain your baby feels, not so much the physical, but the emotional pain for sure. I'd never had to feel it with Lilly.
As I settled her down to eat her lunch, I looked out the window,and the road is incredibly busy. Then it clicks.
"OH NO QUICK! LIL! WE'VE GOTTA GO! SCHOOL BREAKS UP EARLY TODAY!" Yes, I'd momentarily forgotten the 2.15 break up for Easter.
But that was it, everything was back to normal. I had to shove Lils lunch into her lunchbag stuff her bag on her back (they were going to a friends house after school) and race out the front door up to school.
She took the blanket with her, but from that moment on totally forgot about the blanket and being a baby. She came home, and all she's talked about is purple broccoli, happy as anything.
So I guess I have learned that kids are fickle, easily distracted and can be quite emotional, and that I'm just too soft sometimes.
But then I did know that anyway. She is child no 4.