When you were a tiny baby some of the best advice I was given was by your pediatrician. She said, “You can’t make a baby eat or sleep, and you can’t make a toddler potty train until he’s ready. Let him take the lead.”
I’ll admit it’s hard for me to let someone else take the lead. I like to be in charge. When we had you, we were no longer in charge…the little charge we thought we had. You ruled our days and nights. You chose when you would hit your milestones.
You cried and wouldn’t sleep.
You cried and cried and cried.
But when you were ready to sleep, you did.
You still require one of us to lay by you each night after we read with you. You say you an’t sleep without us there so you can feel safe. I’ll take that because I know that one day, you will tell me I can go upstairs. That you’re “good”.
But sleeping in a big boy bed took zero transition. We brought home a mattress before Grandpa even had your bed made and you requested to take your nap there. You never went back to your crib again.
It was the same way with your pacifier.
You held onto that thing even when it had holes in it and we refused to buy you new ones. Then, your friend Evan told you about the paci fairy and you started to think that getting a big boy present in return for turning in your “pipey” was a good thing.
Then came potty training.
We thought for sure we could get you potty trained before Charlie arrived. You showed interest right after you turned two, and you were doing your number 2’s on the toilet almost exclusively. Then Charlie came and you stopped caring about underpants or sticker charts or anything.
Until Althea showed up to daycare in big girl panties. And she is a full year younger than you are. You looked right at Renae and declared yourself done with diapers.
And that was that.
Now you are five. You’ve been riding a bike since you were two. Your grandma bought you a tiny one from a garage sale (ok, the garage sale we were hosting), and you hopped on and took to it like a fish in water.
For your fourth birthday, we had to upgrade because your legs grew about a mile from age three to age four.
In fact, we felt bad that you had to wait until almost the end of June because you were really just way too big for your old pal.
In fact, this bike quite easily takes you from our house up the hill to Kaydance and Carter’s house and back again. It has taken you around the block with us as well.
You love your yellow bike.
Early this summer, daddy asked you if you wanted to take your training wheels off. You were a bit scared, but he helped you balance and learn to ride just through the grass.
But riding on the street seemed a little too scary. So daddy raised the wheels as far as they would go, and you kept riding. You weren’t even five yet, so we figured you would do it when you were ready, just like everything else.
Then one day, you came screaming down the hill at top speed on Carter’s bike.
Carter who is a whole year younger than you had his training wheels taken off a month ago.
Carter came behind on your bike.
Out of breath, you ran up to daddy, “DID YOU SEE ME? NO TRAINING WHEELS! Can you take mine off too?”
And then off you went.
Daddy took them off, gave you a few quick reminders about safety, and off you went. I felt like I blinked and you went from a mushy baby to a kid riding a two-wheeler with the neighbor kids.
I stood there for a second watching you peddle off wondering how it all happened. Didn’t I get some sort of say about when you were ready for things? Isn’t that what part of parenting is?
You are teaching me so much about this parenting gig, Eddie.
You will do things on your own time, when you are ready, and I will always be there to cheer for you.
Recently I was interviewed by Working Motherhood and my podcast is now live! Go give me a listen!