Everyone has always warned me there would come a time when my baby boy would become a little tiny man, after which point no space or thing in our home would be remain sacred.
That day has come. And I really was not prepared for all the feelings.
Yesterday, as I sat in the bathroom tending to my own business, I heard my son, Matty, call me from the other room. This is common. He’ll say something like “mama?…kire kuck…ca cahh – dada…bee do do…do tee sah..beebee!” and you’ll hear his little bare feet whap against the wooden floor, one after the other, as he runs from room to room in no particular order, with no particular coordination. Then you’ll hear nothing and you know he’s been distracted. Though, this time was different. After one “mama?” there were seven more until I could tell he was right outside the bathroom door. I didn’t necessarily want to respond but then something that’s never happened, happened.
There was a tiny, very crisp, very polite knock on the door. Followed by the sweetest “Mama?” I’ve ever heard, like he was just checking to see if I was there, that I was ok and then, just maybe, if I’d like him to let him in. And so I responded.
“Hi, buddy, Mama’s in the potty.”
“Mama, poppy? Mama? Mama. Mama?”
“Yup, buddy, I’m going potty.”
Then I heard his small body lean against the door and slowly slide down to the floor. He began to ask me questions about “kire kucks” (firetrucks), “ca-cars” (cop cars), minions and cookies. I realized my trips to the bathroom were no longer sacred. Overnight my baby boy had somehow turned into a little man with the ability to air his opinions, curiosities, wants and worries whenever he thought necessary. It was a bittersweet moment. I reminded myself to enjoy it.
And then it was bedtime. As we settled into his room for his bedtime routine he was a nonstop chatterbox. It was mostly the type of chatter only a mom could understand, but something had very clearly changed. Words that were secret code yesterday were suddenly actual English words. “Wa wa” was suddenly “water” and even though that’s so amazing, I’m not quite ready for that level of adultness so I corrected him, “wa wa”. As we laid there in his small twin bed and watched the projector of jungle animals circle on the ceiling, I was focused on how emotionally unprepared I am for this first-time parenting gig. Matty’s chatter died down as he flew his helicopter threw the air, pushing the sound buttons on repeat and occasionally flying it into the side of my head. I tried to gently cajole him into giving it to me and it was then that Matty said his first broken sentence with perfect diction – and a small part of me died.
“No mama, my copter. My copter.”
Meltdown city. Yesterday a “copter” was a fucking “cah-cah” – what is happening?! And then – because I was only focused on keeping my cool at that point – I let him keep playing and flying his GD helicopter into the side of my head.
It was the only way I knew how to “enjoy” such a seemingly premature milestone.
ALL THE TEARS. GROWING UP IS THE DEVIL.
Shoutout to all the first-time parents literally, LITERALLY losing their emotional shit every day.