My husband walked into our bedroom one night last week and announced "Vivi is sleeping in panties, I took her crib rail off and she has been instructed to wake one of us up if she needs help going potty." While my first thought should have been "Oh, crap. I'm going to have a toddler on the loose with no where to contain her." my actual first thought was "That's it. She's not a baby anymore. She has nothing left to outgrow." That fact has been sitting on me ever since.
Don't get me wrong, I love a good self-reliant child, but any firsts from here on out will be a whole lot different than first solid food, first tooth and first steps.
I'm sentimental about firsts, I always have been. It seems to make the mundane day-to-day tasks of parenting a little more exciting when you rephrase another normal day as "Today was the first time Addie tried summer squash" or "Today was Vivi's first time on a Ferris wheel." I can look back at pictures and tell my girls "That was the first time your rode the bus to school" or "That was the day before you lost your first tooth." Oh man, can we just stop for a minute and talk about losing teeth?
There's something so sad about having a part of your child that you wept tears for (becuase you cried during the terrible process of teething too, right?) fall out of their mouth. Suddenly there's this hole where a tiny little tooth used to be and a giant grown up tooth moves in to take its tiny little place. Once the big teeth start coming in, that's when you can't live in baby denial anymore.
So Vivi's crib rail is gone, and she's made the transition into toddlerhood very loudly. In a few weeks she'll have her first day of preschool, before you know it one of those tiny little teeth in her mouth will fall out and it will be the beginning of the end. Perhaps I'm just extra sentimental because I don't think there are any more babies in our future, this is kind of it. What if I never get to rock a little tiny body to sleep again? While there have been a lot of firsts to celebrate, I also find myself mourning the lasts. (Like the last nap, am I right?)
But I'll keep chronicling the firsts: first day of a new grade, first date, first zit, first kiss, first trophy, first broken heart, first Nobel Peace Prize, but I will never forget those little firsts that were such huge steps into making my babies into grown-up people.
What firsts are you most looking forward to (or leaving behind)?