Sunday, May 3, 2009

"T" is for Toddler

Why is it the littlest and strangest things that make the big and important things so glaringly obvious? And how did a little cloth tag almost bring me to tears? I've been looking at bigger and bigger numbers on Buttercup's frilly little girl clothes since the day we came home from the hospital, but this time totally freaked me the hell out.

It was a surprise to say the least. I certainly was not expecting to get sentimental while sorting through my latest Old Navy online shopping purchases. But there I was looking at terry cloth dresses and cotton shorts and sweet little tank tops, all with a 2T on the tag, and I wanted to hyperventilate.

Buttercup will be 2 in June, and she's growing like a weed. At 22 months, she's already taller than most kids her age, and not much shorter than her new older boyfriends here in AZ. (Shhh....don't tell her daddy.) But because she was lucky enough to inherit her daddy's long legs and lean frame, I've gotten plenty of use out of her 12 and 18 month skirts and shorts.

But the number never bothered me either...3 mth...6 mth...9 mth...12 mth...18 mth...24 mth...

In fact, I honestly don't think it's the number that made me realize how fast Buttercup is growing up. It's what comes after it. And this time I wasn't looking at "mths." I was looking at a big, ol' "T".

That's right. As in "Toddler." As in "You blinked too many times," and "Guess what? She ain't a baby, anymore."

As in "Holy shit! I have a K-I-D now!"

A baby? That's different. All I needed to do was change diapers, pop a boob or a bottle into her mouth on demand, read to her, shop for cute little outfits, and make baby food.

Seriously, aside from throwing in a love for her so great it cannot be defined, it was pretty much easy street.

But a kid? A kid? Those need to come with instructions. They come with opinions. They need guidance. They need discipline. They need good role models to help them learn responsibility and ethics and all the rest of that jazz that is so necessary for growing up into a good and decent human being. And they talk back, on top of it all. (Buttercup's been saying "no" to me since she was 10 mths old, so I'm in for one hell of a ride.)

I don't know if I'd feel better if I went back out to the store and got Buttercup a wardrobe full of 24 mths, or if I'd just be fooling myself into thinking I can hold off toddler-hood for that much longer.

I know I'm not the first mom in the world to realize time flies when kids are growing up, but this is the first time I've had a baby grow up on me. And all I can say is, "wow."



Katie said...

I agree. Though my 2.5 year old seemed to go from 2T to 4T in a second! Now he's got child XS in his drawer. Child sizes??? Noooooo...

Pauline said...

LYIs; CHILD SIZES? Yikes! i know it's trite but they do grow up fast, don't they?