Thursday, March 6, 2008

I had an epiphany today

A trip to the gym today brought on an unexpected epiphany; I realized that I do indeed have that youngest child/baby syndrome about Tanner. I never thought I would be "that" mom, and I didn't realize until today that that's exactly the kind of mom that I am. I'm terribly overprotective of both of my boys (honest, I'm working on that!) but I tend to be more so with Tanner than Braeden.

When he was born I blamed it on his small size. He was born six weeks early, and was a super skinny 5 lbs. 12 oz. He was so teeny that I had to put extra blankets around him whenever he was in his baby seat or stroller or swing to make him a little more snug.

But he was very healthy, coming home three days after he was born and he absolutely thrived. By the time he was nine months old, his pediatrician said to me that he had a hard time remembering that he had been a preemie baby because he was topping the height charts for full-term babies.

Tanner will be two in May, and I still look at him as my little baby. When I dropped him off at the gym today I told them, as I always do, that he needed a "dot." This means that he's restricted to the toddler area and cannot go play with the rest of the big kids on the basketball court, on the jungle-gym, or on the outside playground. Tanner's still timid about a lot of things, and I think that might keep him from doing something potentially dangerous, but sometimes I don't know.

Yesterday at the park I all but had a heart attack when I saw Tanner at the top of the play structure. It must have been about eight feet where he was and he had gone right to the open part for climbing up the rock wall. I stood at the bottom, as if I could actually catch him if he fell.

But he's full-on into toddlerhood now. Running a million miles a minute and trying his best to keep up with his big brother as he climbs the play structures and kicks the soccer ball and goes down the slides. Almost every day he says a new word. Today the word was, "want."

Perfect for a toddler's vocabulary. (He already has "me," "my" and "mine" down pat!) One day I will have to face the fact that my baby is growing up, and hopefully I will grow out of this.

After all, I cried the first day I dropped my three-year-old "baby" off at prekindergarten, and now I'm glad when he goes, because I know he is making friends, going on new adventures, and learning all about life in a new way I can't show him. (And because I will see him in a short two-and-a-half hours!)

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