2 Bigs + 4 Littles under 1 Midsize Roof = Life As We Know It
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Bye-Bye, Babyhood

Sometime during the past month and a half—don’t ask me exactly when—we reached a milestone around our house: Our diapering days  officially ended. Now you might think that when Keillor—age 2 1/2 and the youngest of our four children—made the transition to wearing “undies” (his word) around the clock,  it would be a big deal. Such a momentous occasion, you might say, is certainly worthy of a paragraph or two in the journal I started for him before he was born—or at least a one-liner in his baby book. And you’d be right. (Note to self: FIND Keillor’s journal and baby book and write something—anything—in them.) Did I mention he’s our fourth child? Best intentions aside, I definitely suffer from that syndrome you hear about—you know, the one in which the mom painstakingly documents every detail of her first-born baby’s life and then slacks off just a little more with each subsequent child until the last one is lucky if his birthday makes it onto the calendar each year. (Another note to self: HIDE all other siblings’ journals and baby books.) 🙂

The thing is, life’s been a little busy lately, and it really does seem like the whole thing happened rather suddenly—literally overnight, in fact. The truth is that we probably kept Keillor swaddled and Velcroed in his little bumGenius-brand cloth diapers a bit longer than we  needed to. So when he fell asleep late one night recently with nothing but his favorite Lightning McQueen briefs on under his jammies and woke up completely dry the next morning, I had one of those forehead-slapping, “duh” moment as I realized he’d actually been waking up with a dry diaper every morning for a few weeks. And that’s when I surprised myself by getting a little sentimental about—of all things—the diapers.

Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been looking forward to this time for about five years. That’s how long I’ve been laundering a load of cloth diapers every two to three days. With both our pocketbook and the planet in mind, I made the decision to use cloth diapers when our third child—Kennah, now 4 1/2—was born. And after using the same set of diapers on both Kennah and Keillor, I like to think that all of my effort did save a couple thousand dollars (for us) and a little landfill space (for the Earth). At the very least, I’m crossing my fingers that we’re kind of close to even-steven in both regards after using disposable diapers on our first two babies. 🙂

So why the wistfulness? I’m sure it has something to do with what the diapers symbolize: babyhood. Or, more precisely, that that fleeting period of time is, in fact, over for our family. (Don’t tell Kennah. As our only girl, she hasn’t completely given up on the idea of getting a sister someday.) Sure, it took some work to wash the diapers and hang them up to dry on our backyard clothesline every other day. But after I had a system down, it was actually kind of satisfying to look out the kitchen window and watch those pretty pastel colors pinned up and swaying in the breeze. Or to see them—on the rare occasions when I managed to fold them and put them away—stacked neatly in their cubby beneath the changing table.

In addition to the nostalgia for what is no longer, my misgivings might also be a little bit about the uncharted territory that lies ahead. As I let go of the diapers, what other—maybe more demanding—parenting challenge will take their place? (We are, after all, entering the tween years on the other end of the childhood spectrum.) If you already know, don’t tell me. I’m sure I’ll discover it sooner or later. And chances are, whenever I happen to realize that the next milestone has passed, I’ll want to write about it in someone’s journal or baby book—if I can find them. 🙂

I’m sharing this post in the Simple Lives Thursday blog hop, hosted by four bloggers, including my friend Wardeh Harmon at www.gnowfglins.com. Click here to see what everyone’s sharing today.

Be Sociable, Share!

1 comment

1 Wendy { 08.20.10 at 1:40 pm }

Oh, I totally get this. The end of these definitive stages is such a melancholy time. And then just when you get over it, another one begins…or ends. But the earth and I commend you for sticking with the cloth diapers. (Although the jury is still out regarding the energy-savings analysis for the laundering of the cloth diapers, but I still commend you–and you didn’t use the dryer, so…).
And I totally get the baby book thing. For me, the same goes for birthday parties as well. I’ve actually told the older two, “Don’t show her those pictures!” when they’ve gotten their albums out that depict their relatively elaborate and friend-filled birthday parties! These poor subsequent children. I thought I’d be better at balancing that.
When Kennah finally realizes the little sister ain’t happening, she can always consider Noelle as her sister, just like you’ll always be mine!
And P.S., the summer cold has hit our house, too. By the eighth day of school, BOOM! Here come the viruses. I guess it gives me some comfort knowing that it even happens to the home-schooled among us. Now go print this blog entry out and paste it into Keillor’s book. It’ll make you feel better just knowing there’s something in there. 🙂

Leave a Comment