When Your Baby Isn’t a Baby Anymore

I’m in denial, and yet all the signs are there. Baby clothes have been put away or given away. The crib is now a double bed and what was once a nursery is now a little girl’s room. Formula and bottles are a thing of the past, and baby toys and teethers have been replaced with dolls, tea sets, cars, trains, Legos, dress up clothes and well, the list goes on. If you look around my house there hasn’t been any sign of a baby being in it for some time now. And yet I can’t help but look at my little girl and still see my baby.

Tomorrow I will be pre-registering my three-year-old daughter for kindergarten (oh boy, here come the waterworks!) She will start in September, a little under three months before her fourth birthday. How did this happen? When did my baby girl grow up? I look at her and think: This can’t be possible? Surely she’s too small to be going into this big school building, with all of these bigger kids, right?

And while I know September is still far away and she will grow up more before then, I find myself having a hard time really accepting that this is happening.

Perhaps it’s the fact that my daughter is my last born child, and her starting school finally has me coming to terms with the reality that the baby years are officially behind us.

It’s bittersweet. While a part of me feels sad that this part of my life is over, another part of me is excited to watch my daughter continue to grow and learn. Two years ago we were preparing to send off my now five-year-old son to start kindergarten, and there has been such a change in my boy in those years! He’s become less shy and more sure of himself; he’s inquisitive and loves to learn about new things; he’s gone from scribbles to actually writing and drawing pictures you can decipher; he’s reading stories to us rather than being read to! (Well, we still read to the kids every day, but what I’m getting at is he’s becoming a great reader!) These are all things my daughter will soon be doing and I am looking forward to being on this journey with her.

My daughter may not be wearing onesies and crawling around anymore – she’s definitely growing up fast and is little Miss Independent! – but she will always be my baby.

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