Ready Before I Am

It’s been a week since Eddie handed his Pipey over to the Pipey Fairy.  When he woke up, there was a new Wii game (Hot Wheels) since only Big Boys get to have their own Wii games.  He also got a new responsibility chart since Big Boys get to have Responsibilities just like mom and dad.

He was over the moon proud and happy.

I was proud and sad.

The first night he cried a little when it was time to put on jammies and watch a show before bed.  He went to get Lamby and then got very sad that he couldn’t also get Pipey since Pipey was gone.  But the tears only lasted a few minutes.

Several times this week we heard, “I miss Pipey. I miss him a yot,”  but not many more tears.

The first night he needed me to stay in bed until he fell asleep.  He took my hand, found my thumb, and put it under his nose against his lips with my nail facing his face.  Then he fell quietly to sleep.

As I lay with him the first night, I couldn’t help realizing how ready he was for this change.  Way more ready than Cort and I gave him credit for.

He was so brave to give up his best friend.  We talk about it and he shares his feelings, but he is Ok with it for the most part.

The real truth is that he was ready before I was ready.

I’ve thought about that many times this week.

He was ready before I was ready.

This is how it is being a mom, isn’t it?  He will always be ready before I am ready.

Giving up his Pipey, giving up nap (which he will have to do by the fall because he will have afternoon preschool), going to school, riding the bus, spending the night at a friend’s house, doing ____ all by himself, driving, dating, going away to college.

I remember not being ready to put away the swing or the bounce seat for either of the boys.  But they were ready.

I wasn’t ready to fold up the activity mat this morning for Charlie, but he was long since ready.

I am never ready to pack up clothing that is suddenly too small and place it in a tote.

They are always ready before I am.

I have a huge urge to hold them tight to me until I am ready too.  I almost did that with Pipey.

Ok, I totally did that with Pipey.

I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to that baby-ness, so I let him hold on even though he could have let go awhile ago.

I don’t feel bad about it…this time.  The transition was basically seamless.  But I know that with whatever the next thing is, I am going to have to take this new knowledge of my fear of change and stuff it down.  Push it out of our decision-making.  I will have to paint on a smile when he goes off to school or rides without training wheels.

It won’t be hard because my momma heart will be bursting with pride.

But it will be terrifying because it means another milestone passed; another chapter through; another new adventure to begin.

I suck at change.  Especially when I love that which needs to change.

But I love those that need the change more than I hate the change itself.

It’s not about me.

That is hard for me to remember.

Pipey is gone.  It went without nearly as many tears–from either of us–than I feared.

And suddenly, just this week, he looks older to me.

This is our "ack!" face.

This is our “ack!” face.


About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. I know.

    In spite of every effort to slow it down, they keep growing right on up.

    I’d stage a protest, but I’m too busy trying to catch the moments before they are all gone.

    My heart was never broken as often or as sweetly as it has been by my children. And I love them more each time they do.

  2. Mamaintheburbs says

    Good job Mama and Eddie!! We did the same when Sylvia was turning 2 and she transitioned nicely. We should of given her a reward come to think of it but we didn’t. Whoops! Anyway funny thing is Sylvia’s BFF is Lamby too.
    Does your Lamby look like this? Just curious….

    We got it as a gift when Syl was born and she has never parted with it. So recently we bought an extra off ebay bc hers is about to fall apart. Ok I will shut up!!

    • Nope, we do have a Lamby sort of like that, but the one Eddie has is like a beanie baby almost. I can’t find another one ANYWHERE!

  3. The way they’re getting ahead of us just makes me sad, and yes, proud.
    This week, the baby didn’t stand on his own like he did last week.
    I was a little relieved, because hey, only 8 1/2 months old, still very much a baby! Somehow the idea of him standing by himself, then walking (naturally), made me want to grab him and hold him tight and say, stop it, stop growing so fast, I’m not ready!
    This probably explains why sleep training is not going well. He’s not ready, and I’m not ready. I still want to cuddle him in my bed.

    • Lately Charlie is going through a phase where he just wants to hang out by me on my lap in the evenings. It does NOT make me sad. It’s almost like he knows I need the extra baby love to make up for Eddie’s baby-ness creeping away.

  4. I’m at this same point with my 3 year old. I know I have to have him give up his pacifier, but I’m just not ready to let go of that baby-ness. Like you said though, he’s ready before I am, right?

  5. I can so relate to this. We ran into a bedtime routine issue over the past couple of months. The secret is, we never laid our kid down awake after he was old enough to break the swaddle. So, I ended up with a 21-month-old that “needed” to be swayed to sleep every night and laid down asleep. About 2 weeks ago, he stopped allowing himself to be put down–he’d fall asleep in my arms, then pop up awake as soon as I tried for the crib. It was taking 2 hours to get him to sleep, then he’d end up the whole night in our bed anyway. And 25 pounds is a lot to sway in your arms for 2 hours.

    At day care, he goes to sleep on his own, every day, like clockwork.

    So, we started a new routine where we sway him for 3 songs, then lay him down. I lay next to him and hold his hand. It took exactly 2 nights for this new routine to become ingrained and now he’s asleep, no tears, in about 15 minutes, usually.

    And I realized–it was more about ME wanting to sway him and not trusting that he could get himself to sleep–it was about me thinking he needed me to be an active participant in his bedtime, rather than a quiet supporter. It was time for me to trust him to be on his own, not clutch him to my chest.

    • exactly. I found myself thinking up reasons why we could just NOT take that pacifier away, but looking back it was mostly for me. My heart couldn’t take it.

  6. This is the very reason motherhood is so difficult. We have to watch these sweet babies grow into adults and become their own person. I sit and look at my teenager who is closer to adulthood than childhood and wonder where did the time go? I know his technical age is 16, but when I look at him ? I still see a toddler. I don’t want him to get his own car, graduate high school or move off for college. But like you so eloquently put it, he’s much more ready for those milestones than I will ever be.

    • This is not encouraging to me, Ms Natalie! Ha! But yeah, I still see a baby when I look at Eddie. Even when he is with his friends. I think I will always see that in him. It’s a beautiful thing, but also oh so hard.

  7. I’m currently on my fourth round of exactly what you are talking about. I wish I could say it gets easier. I wouldn’t miss a moment of it though. *hugs*

    • Oh man. It doesn’t get easier? I am doomed!

      • I guess I can’t REALLY say it doesn’t get easier. You stress less over the little stuff but seem to be more aware of time marching on.

        The joy of seeing your children interact as they get older is pretty awesomesauce though. <3

  8. It doesn’t change as they get older. You blink and they have facial hair. LOTS of facial hair. He is a cutie pie. Love the ACK face

  9. John was the one that got rid of the nuks, while I was at BlogHer, my husband was playing Nuk fairy and by Friday night , I had photos on my phone of little boys who were nuk free. He tells me now, “honey, I knew that all three of you would fight it, but I could do it. The crying, the tantrums.” and he did.

    yesterday at a birthday party, one of the little girls in their class came over to show me that she is missing her two bottom teeth…I looked up at her mom, “She’s not 5 yet?” and her mom nodded “not until May” and I got quiet (which is unnatural for me) and thought, “I’m not ready for that yet” …I just got used to potty trained, no nuks 5 yr olds…I’m not ready for losing teeth and growing up some more.

    So reading this, I got it. I ached with you for a moment. I say it a lot lately, but I am glad that I am a mom next to you…that we all have each other to talk about these things with, it makes the “changing” a little easier.

    • Oh girl, you just killed me. Losing teeth?? I can’t even think about Eddie losing those cute little chicklet teeth!

  10. I love this post because it is so true and honest and beautiful. They are always going to be ready before we will.

  11. I wish we could split screen time sometime. Their real lives moving forward in the big screen, but just a little corner of the screen where we could call up the old moments, see and hear them little again just for a few minutes.


  1. […] Like I said on Monday, I know he is ready, but it’s just so hard for me to let go. […]