Sunday, August 23, 2009

Freeze Frame

"I want to be 5 forever," she tells me as I pull the ladybug nightgown over her head.

"Being 5 is pretty fun, isn't it? But maybe being 6 will be even better!" I suggest, trying to keep it positive and avoid yet another meltdown, for the past few days have seen their fair share of meltdowns. At this point I am willing to do or say just about anything to avoid another screamfest.

We spent the day getting things done around the house, enjoying our unscheduledness and even eating pancakes in our jammies well after 10am...a little something I like to call "brunch." Which is just a fancy term for "mom doesn't feel like making a full-on breakfast early in the morning, so she'll throw a banana at you when you wake and then make you pancakes when she feels like it."

Tell me you have days like these.

We were so into our nonroutine that we found ourselves watching old videos (made on what I think is an antique JVC camcorder that we received as a wedding gift - with actual tapes) of the boys in various stages: baby, toddler, baby, toddler - there were even a few shots of me pregnant with Wyatt. When he saw how otherworldly my belly was (being as rotund as the largest ball you have ever seen) he apologized for putting me through that. Admittedly, my heart swelled ten times.

Katie kept asking where the videos of her were? I kept telling her that there were none and how sorry I was about that, but that we did have a ton of baby pictures of her and would she like to look at them later? "Yes mama," she said.

But you could tell that it bothered her. And if I could go back in time and do it all over again, of course I'd take videos of her as a baby, just to avoid this awkward silence.

Although she is my "baby," curled up on my lap forcing her gangly legs to bend practically into my abdomen, she is growing up. Her preschool days are over, kindergarten starts in 2 weeks and she has her first wiggly tooth - a real wiggly tooth, not the pretend kind she's been telling me about for 2 years. It really is wiggly.

At bedtime she wiggled that tooth just one more time before kissing me goodnight and she said, "I want to keep my baby tooth, I don't want a big one." Again, I, not wanting to rock the emotional boat she seems to be on lately, said, "I understand, you're baby tooth is pretty special." And I tried, with every fiber of my momtuition (which I just decided is like intuition, but only for moms), to try and figure out what was going on in her mind. What was she thinking?

I don't want to grow up. I don't want to be 6. I don't want to lose my baby tooth.

Maybe she feels a little apprehensive about the changes in her life too. Maybe it's not just me, lamenting the fact that my last child is leaving, about to abandon the coop and fly off to the halls of elementary school and beyond...(I can't help but think of Buzz Lightyear everytime I say that).

Maybe she, too, would like time to stand still for just one more minute, one more hour, one more day, because the here the now, is just so good. So good you can taste it. So good you can feel it. So good you want to hang onto it with all of your might and never, ever let it go because once you do it flies forward with a speed so fast it will be impossible to slow down. Ever. And the older you get, the faster it goes and before you know it you are sitting on your living room floor, surrounded by three children that you gave birth to, watching old videotape of their "baby" years and listening to them laugh at your hairstyle or the funny clothes you dressed them in.

And you will have wished you could have frozen those moments in time, just for a little while longer, even though the here and the now are still very, very sweet.


All Adither said...

That's so sweet, Carrie. My 6-year-old son has the same ambivalence.

Ashley said...

This really got me this morning. I agree completely.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Replace kindergarten with sophomore year in high school and I'm right there with you.

wyliekat said...

I'm sure it's partly an age issue, but Rosebud is barreling toward nursery school with a single-minded determination that I would find astounding if not for the fact that it's typical of her.

Ever since the word school has been mentioned around her, she's been miffed that it's not her turn yet. She wants to go to school like her sister does and no amount of assuring her it will be time soon has helped.

I hope she carries on barreling toward it, so that I don't have to feel her worry about getting older on top of my sadness. Selfish of me, I know. ;-}

Lisa said...

My 5 year old is headed to kindergarten too. I think she is having some pre-kindergarten angst as well. Her manifestation is that suddenly she is convinced that she can't do anything. She suddenly can't write her name, she can't remember her phone number. It is frustrating me, but I'm trying to be as positive as possible. When she gets there, I think she'll figure out that she's gonna do great!

Kendra said...

My oldest went off to kindergarten this time last year. Barely 5 years old. I was terrified for him, that he wouldn't listen, that he'd have an accident, that he would be bullied. But truly, it was a great year. We had a few bumps, but he's really excited for first grade. My 3-year-old is nearly potty trained, which is making my 18-month-old shout "potty!" about 25 times a day. (Could I actually be training her already? Amazing, especially considering my better-late-than-never track record.)

I'm a little sad for the times when I could carry my oldest around the house, when my middle one didn't yet know how to contradict me, when my baby was still... a baby. But yes, these times are pretty great too.