And She Was

{lovely gift from Ban.do}

Deebird isn’t a baby any more. I’m not even sure if I can still call her a toddler. It’s beyond walking and talking and laughing at bodily functions. It’s beyond preferences and empathy and one of these things is not like the other“. All of a sudden there’s self-awareness and humility and a relatively complete person looking back at me ready to start asking me all her questions and telling me what she thinks of the world. And it’s the most amazing thing.

The other day I asked Scott a question — I think I asked him how his day went, something trivial, but Delilah was playing on the floor in between us, and she replied “Good. My day was good.” Which isn’t unusual, but then she looked up, concerned and said “were you asking me that?” -I wasn’t, but I didn’t want to hurt my little lady’s feelings, so I nodded.”Oh, good. My day was good!”she giggled, relieved, and went back to what she was doing.

Little scenes like that have been playing out all over lately. It seems trivial, I know, but there’s a sudden awareness that she’s not the center of the universe that’s taken me by surprise. She asks questions about the goings-on of other people based on things they’ve told her — she thinks about what might be happening in other places. And if I correct something she says, she laughs and apologizes “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t know that.”

The lady keeps a running grocery list in her head, “oh, Mom, remember — we need to get more yogurt” — and she calls me Mom now, pretty exclusively, in the most intentional way.

She proclaims her independence at every turn “I can do it by myself, let me show you” but she doesn’t need to. I couldn’t ignore it if I tried. My once-baby is a girl all her own.

6 Responses to And She Was

  1. Beth Anne says:

    YES.

    All of this, yes. My baby is very much a little boy & I think it hurts in the best way because he’s becoming himself, not an extension of me.

  2. Nicole says:

    The first “mom” I got was like a butter knife to the eye. I was so sad. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that first time.

  3. Trina says:

    Oh wow. I can’t even imagine that day when pumpkin is already asserting her independence. But it’s beautiful that your daughter is doing it in such a positive way.

  4. I still call my mom mommy and my dad daddy. It was funny last night mny DH said something about “mommy” in reference to my mom and he is almost 60.

  5. It’s hard when they suddenly wake up and decide to be little people on their own. I have two boys and my oldest (just turned 5) is moving on to the “mom” stage. I’m not ready to let go.

  6. Catalina says:

    For many years I would call my boys “Baby”, “Sweetie”, or “Sweetie Pie” until one day (one by one) they didn’t like for me to do it anymore. Now they’re older and no longer mind me calling out to them sweetly. With the exception of my youngest — he gets embarrassed if I use those words for him in public.

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.