I realized last night when I was nursing the Fry that in a month, he’ll no longer be an infant, and will now be a toddler. This made me incredibly sad somehow. There’s something so special about having an infant – shopping in the infant section of stores, all the many, special products out there that are specifically for problems and challenges in dealing with infants as they grow. Infants are so helpless, and completely dependent upon their parents. When strangers encounter an infant in a store, they stop and coo and tickle under it’s chin or pinch it’s fat leg with glee and compliment you on what a beautiful baby. When you have a “kid,” nobody cares – just stop it from running around, screaming, bothering people, it’s just a kid, like everyone else’s kid.
I tried to think about it like, well, pregnancy was also such a special and rare time, and it was sad when that was over but we started a new phase, and that has been challenging and special in its own way. But really, I think maybe the “special” times are over. Who really cares about your 2 year old, or 5 year old, or 7 year old? They’re just all part of the big group of “kids.”
I visited a friend in the hospital about a week ago who had just had her baby 2 days before. The baby was so very tiny! Even though she weighed about the same as the Fry did when he was born, I seriously could not remember him ever looking that tiny in that little plastic hospital bassinet, or being that light, or having such a soft, cute cry. I had to go home and pull up my online photo albums of when he was a newborn to try to remember him looking that small (and he STILL looked bigger to me!), which made me sad. No matter how many pictures we took, it wasn’t enough to document that brief, brief time of tinyness.
As my first time (and last time) going through this process, it’s sad. I read so many books about pregnancy and having an infant, there’s nothing to read now. I wish some book or some person would have mentioned the sadness at the transition of these various phases. Maybe I would have been more prepared. But probably not. My little boy is growing up.