Saturday mornings are my lazy days, my lay-in-bed-with-the-kids-and-husband days, my healthy pancake days (I use this banana protein pancake recipe now – so good!). This past Saturday, Ron was headed out for a haircut first thing in the morning and Riley requested “eggies” for breakfast, so I made the kids and I each an omelette. I was cleaning up the table and about to do the dishes from breakfast as Riley came running up to me holding a bright pink plastic hanger out of her dress up area. (Sidenote – our friend, known as Aunt Bee around here, started Riley’s dress-up collection two Christmases ago with this amazing rack and a handful of dresses, the most infamous of which is Merida from Brave which sheds teal sparkles in every corner of the house.) Riley held up the hanger and told me, “Mama, when I was a baby, I said ‘hanga’ (in her best baby voice)” and then laughed hysterically at how baby-ish she once was. I told her she would always be my baby to which she replied, laughing, “No, Mama, I’m not a baby anymore!”
It wasn’t the first time she said it, and there was no reason for it to cause my heart to skip, but oh man that little girl’s words made me stop and think. She is so right. She isn’t a baby anymore. But how did that even happen? I remember like it was yesterday our baby routine. We were living with Ron’s parents (which as I described to a friend last weekend was pretty great, to say the least) and our lives were so simple and sweet. I worked at Starbucks at the time, often early in the morning, getting home around 10:30am. Before I left the house, I would sneak the baby monitor into my in-law’s room because my husband would be gone by 6:30am for the police academy. My father-in-law watched Riley every day I worked (and then some) so that Ron could fulfill his dream of being a police officer. Getting home at 10:30am allowed me to have almost the whole day with my girl, and I loved running in the house to see her. Her nap time was usually around 10, 10:30 so sometimes I made it home in time to put her down myself, and sometimes I walked in while she was sleeping, still a plus because it meant I could workout while she slept. I honestly can’t even tell you what we did with our afternoons. Obviously we ate lunch, but other than that, I can’t remember. Ron was gone all day long with the police academy, and when he came home, his priorities were: Riley, food, study, sleep so I definitely recall being so excited for him to walk in the door and to spend a few minutes with him before the study and sleep portion hit.
Riley was such a happy baby. I love the Timehop app because it brings up all those pictures I’d posted long ago that I might have completely forgotten about. Like the video of Riley giggling while I tickled her belly in her Mamaroo at around 5 months old. Or the adorable outfit my aunt got her that I put her in for library story time. I just can’t believe she isn’t that little baby anymore, or that she ever was all at the same time. Her 3 year old self fills each room she’s in, and her friendliness brings complete strangers to smile without a word. I feel like I’ve known Riley my entire life and yet she hasn’t even been here for 4 full years yet. Each age I experience with my kids is the “best age ever,” and I’m sure I’ll be saying that the rest of my life. Even as I mourn her babyhood, I am excited to experience her as an older kid, a teenager, an adult. Seeing her among other kids at the pre-school last week made me so proud and sad and happy. She and Sawyer played for about an hour and a half last Saturday morning so nicely, and while I read some blogs and took care of some work, I was so happy just knowing they were playing together so nicely…which probably lasted 10 minutes before someone cried because someone else took the Batman mask, but 10 minutes is still 10 minutes, amiright?
Sawyer is a different kind of kid than Riley is. He’s more quiet, plays alone a bit better, and is a bit more clingy than Riley. It completely blew me off my feet when Sawyer made his way to the world and was the OPPOSITE of Riley as a baby. It was so immediate, their differences, that I kind of love how much I’ve always embraced them as two separate people, regardless of their closeness in age. I know I’m being redundant here, but I love the age Sawyer is right now. He’s a little older than Riley was when he was born, and I love remembering how much she loved him right off the bat. He’s really talking a lot more now, and definitely knows how to make his wants and needs known. He loves Batman, and each night before he goes to bed, he points to Batman on his superhero poster his Aunt Jen got him as well as his Funko Pop! Jokers and Batmans from Dada. I love when he says “Danana BATMA!” as he points…it seriously cracks me up. He also loves to pretend talk on the phone and he will pick up a phone, real or play, and say “Hella? Uh huh, Uh huh, Uh huh, ok bahh!” When he starts pretending to schedule meetings, I’ll have to put him to work!
I feel like this post went in a different direction than I meant it to (as I am so apt to do), but I suppose with both kids so firmly out of babyhood (we’re even attempting the three-day potty training method this weekend with Sawyer! More on that later this week! I am anticipating your excitement with all these exclamation points about potty training!), I’m really noticing their more grown-up behavior. Like when Riley calls me “ma’am” and my Jersey self wants to yell at her and my new southern self is so proud. Or when Sawyer runs to put things away for me. Writing mushy thoughts about your kids is probably not the best idea while they’re sleeping or you’ll bore everyone reading to sleep.
If you’re still reading this – Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re pro-Valentine’s or anti, I hope your day is filled with love, whether it’s from your significant other, your family & friends, kids or just for yourself. It’s hard to hate a day that focuses on such a love-ly ( J ) sentiment!