Thursday, April 26, 2012

Olivia the Kid

You know how one day you have a baby and then they go on being a baby and then a more fun baby and then kind of a babyish toddler and then one day you realize there's no trace of baby anymore?  Hello, Olivia the kid.

When I used to teach preschool one of the things that drove me crazy was when parents would go around calling their 2 and 3 and 4 year-old's their "baby."  Not just to me, but to the kid.  And they didn't mean it in that endearing, "Hey, baby," kind of way.  They were calling their kids babies.  And it showed in the kids' behavior.  As a teacher, it drove me nuts.  Because in class with me the kids would prove over and over again that they were not babies anymore.  They were focused, smart, intelligent kids who were good at doing a wide variety of things.  In my classroom these kids were kids.  But as soon as their parents walked in, well, there was the "baby."  Goodbye good behavior and being capable of doing things on their own.  Hello whiny baby.  Drove me nuts.

So, ever since Olivia started being able to really do things on her own and prove her independence, I've been conscious not to call her my "baby."  Oh, of course I'll call her "baby Lala" when she's cuddled up in my arms and is pretending, telling me she's a baby.  But that's for play and cuddles.  The rest of the time she knows she's my big girl, my kiddo.  And, while I freely admit that she's still a whiny kid sometimes and that she's not very well behaved 100% of the time, I do believe that at least some tiny part of her good behavior and willingness to try things has to do with the fact that she knows her mommy doesn't think she's a baby.

Wait, how did I get on this self-righteous rant?  Haha.  That's not what I meant to do.  What I really wanted to write about is how Olivia is undeniably a little kid now.  Because, by the way, she is.

It's crazy to me that she'll be 3 at the end of the summer.  It's crazy to me that she wears lace-up shoes with real shoe laces.  And that she wants to "do the bunny" (translation: help tie her own shoes).  It's crazy to me that those little legs of hers are getting so long.  It's crazy to me that she has long enough hair to pull it back into a real pony tail.  And that her hair is already getting so thick like mine.  And curly like her daddy's.   It's crazy to me that she doesn't suck her thumb anymore.  Hello, self restraint.  It's crazy to me that she sleeps in a big girl bed.  That she's so awesome about going potty instead of going in a pull-up.  That we're completely done with cloth diapers.  That she can count all the way to 20* by herself.  That she comes up with her own ideas and can communicate them to us.  That she makes jokes.

Earlier today when we were watching our kids playing in the children's area at the museum my friend told me, "Man, Olivia's really looking like a big kid."  I so agree.

*Okay, okay, so she always skips from 14 to 19.  But she's getting there.  :)

1 comment:

Megan said...

She looks so big in that picture! I've been trying to be better about not calling Jack a baby anymore either - he's definitely a toddler! But I think sometimes parents don't want to let their "babies" grow up. Not that we have any control over time of course!