Edgar will be turning four in August; but the current four-year-olds around him–his brother included–let him know that he is, of course, still “only three.” That, coupled with the fact that he is still working on mastering the whole potty-training thing, means that occasionally someone who is older and has will call him “a baby.” And much of the time Edgar is deeply offended by the descriptor.
So, he will ask me, “Mommy, am I still a baby?”
This is a hard question for me to answer. When I look at photos from when Edgar was unquestionably “a baby,” I have to say, “No.” He no longer uses a bottle or needs to be carried everywhere. He certainly eschews a stroller and thrives on a certain degree of independence. He is learning new tricks and new words every day. He’ll be ready for preschool in the fall, and I believe the growth that we’ll see from his fourth to his fifth year will be exponential.
But . . .
Edgar is the younger of my two sons. His t-shirts instead of having sharks and wolf spiders have giraffes and puppies. He still says “dookie” for “cookie”–along with a host of other sweet pronunciations. He is easily carried at 32 pounds. And as perhaps only another mother would understand, when I smell his hair, it still sometimes smells like “baby.”
So, no, Edgar, you are technically not a baby. And someday your shirts will have more rough-and-tumble animals, and then none at all, you will pronounce all of your words just like the rest of us, you will eventually be too heavy to carry, and your mother will–I promise–stop smelling your hair, but you will always be my baby.
And that’s just the way it is!