He hugs me tight.
I dread the day he no longer cradles my head against his head.
It is nap time.
"I'm not a baby anymore."
We have so many benchmarks behind us.
I never even carry extra clothes for anymore.
I had been staring at the present shaped sticker on the calendar that denotes his third birthday.
I have been nursing for a better part of six years. First Ivory, then Ivory and Sylvan and then just Sylvan... and I was ready to move on to a new routine. One that didn't require me nursing at bedtime, at night, in the morning. In six years I have had two complete nights of sleep.
I look at the calendar. "We will ween then," I think, but as we neared the date I decided that weening on his birthday would be too sad for him and me. Then Adam went out of town for a week and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to ween. My body let me and, in spite of having many conversations about weening, Sylvan didn't catch on - at first - then the tears began to flow and he was shaking with heart broken sobbing. "I am happy for booby. (new approach) I am sooooo sad for booby." A long sobbing intermission. "Booby would make me feel better right now." My heart melted around him. I hugged him and rocked him and told him I loved him.
When the evenings normalized, there were mornings of tears and begging and I would crawl out of bed with him and pour him a coveted bowl of milk and cheerios. He would eat a few bites and we crawled back in to bed to sleep the last few hours of the night. By the time we reached his birthday both our evenings and mornings are without tears and we are living in a new now.
He certainly isn't a baby anymore.
He pulls his little chair into the space between the kitchen counter and stove. He beats his eggs and pours them into the small cast iron pan. He pushes the eggs around until it thickens.
He knows when to pull the "I'm to little" card.
Me: "Hey Sylvan, can you please pick up your legos?"
Sylvan: "No mom. I'm just a little guy. I am too tiny."
The day of, he wouldn't let me go to yoga. Panicked that if I left he would some how miss his party.
All day he was worried: "Mama, you got the ice cream? Mama, you have candles? Mama, were is the cake?"
After each errand he would check in with me: "Mama, you forgot the ice cream?"
"No, Sylvan it is right next to you."
"No it isn't"
"Sylvan - in the box right next to you"
"Oh". (Big smile and giggle of relief.)
He chased around with friends
He blew out his candles.
He ate his ice cream and the raspberry icing off of his cake.
He opened his presents.
And at night he wrapped his arms around my head.
He hugged me tight.
He isn't a baby anymore.