The child that my mom dropped off last evening was not the same child I delivered to her in the morning. I noticed it as soon as I went outside to get him. He didn’t have some amazing breakthrough on a milestone. In fact, I can’t even describe what was different about him, but it was there all the same.
The closest I can come is to say there was some difference in his manner that indicated a different level of maturity. He was holding himself a little differently. Maybe it was confidence, maybe it was awareness. It was as if something within him clicked and made him feel more grown-up to me.
He was sweet all evening long. No tantrums, no whining. Just a happy kid. He wasn’t interested in dinner, but sought us out in the dinning room while Andy and I ate. He didn’t disrupt us, he seemed to just want to be around us.
It was bath night, and he was initially resistant when I suggested heading up to the tub. I told him that I would get out his foam dinosaurs to play with, and he gave me a serious look, said “ok”, and headed up on his own. We played with the dinosaurs in the tub for a long time, and he really had a great time. I expected him to fight when it was time to get out, but he was completely agreeable and tried to climb out himself…which he has never done.
Back downstairs, he settled down to play trains. This is the one place I actually noticed a tangible difference. I caught it the first time, but thought I was mistaken. But, by the 5th or 6th time, I couldn’t deny it. Michael was calling me “mom”. I’m not sure what prompted that, but I have to admit, I don’t really like it. I was sad when “mama” gave way to “mommy”. To switch to “mom” so soon is harsh. I just wanted to stop him and say, “I am not mom. I am mommy and I will always be mommy.” But I didn’t think he was going to buy it. Sigh.
I’ve been thinking about it all day, trying to figure out just what is different, but I can’t explain it. I’m wondering what he’s going to be like today. Is this something permanent, or was it just a mood he was in? Whatever it is, it’s a reminder that as much as I want him to stay my little baby, he won’t. But it’s ok because I always discover that I love the next stage more than the last.