Sunday, September 16, 2007

Child Number Three

At church today, Andrew was holding Rachel the way Rachel likes to be held: so that she can observe everything.

Sister Lundquist remarked, "She's such a little thing--you hold her like she's a big girl. You won't do that with child number three. You'll want that baby to stay a baby, so you'll hold it like a baby."

In our defense, Rachel likes to hold up her head. She's been doing that for weeks. And she likes to be facing the world, not someone's shoulder. It's just part of who she is.

It's not that I want her to grow up fast. Not at all. On the contrary, I think she is growing up too fast. I don't want her to move up a size of clothes (she just about has to), nor do I want to take her to get her 2 month shots (because that means she'll be two months old), nor do I want her to cut teeth or eat pablum or drink juice or figure out that she has control of her hand movements.

But she's well on her way to doing all that stuff.

As happy as I am when she reaches a mile mark in her development, like blowing bubbles--she can blow bubbles!--or moving her arms and legs rhythmically, it also makes me very sad.

I think my friend, Val, can relate. When I babysat for her, Sawyer was about 4 months old. "He likes to practice standing..." she said.

"Already?" I asked.

"Yeah," she said in a sad voice with a pouty face, "he does. He's been doing it for months. He just likes to. I don't like it."

And at FHPEM (Family Home and Personal Enrichment Meeting) this past week, Sawyer got up on his hands and knees and started rocking back and forth (he's now 6 months old). Val smacked my leg,

"Look at him," she gasped, "He's never done that before!"

She encouraged him for about two seconds, fighting herself back, before she gave in and lifted him onto her lap and cuddled him.

I understand the struggle she went through. Where do you draw the line between encouraging your child and forcing your child to grow up too quickly?

Part of me wants Rachel to stay little forever. The other part is excited to see her grow up. I suppose the best solution is to treasure every minute I have with her so that I can enjoy her at every stage--when she's little, and when she's big.

And as for keeping child number three a baby...well, I'm just not sure that's even possible. You have all these little helpers giving their two bits about how the child should be raised. Patrick, for example, was fed onion rings when he was Rachel's age, and no matter how my mom pleaded the onion ring feeding continued. And then there's the fact that younger children maintain a constant effort to catch up with the older children. They walk sooner, talk sooner, and want to go to parties sooner than the oldest ever did. Josie sill compares herself to me academically, even though I've graduated from university and she's in junior high (oddly enough, I do get pre-algebra math better than she does).

Rachel does still like to be swaddled. If we lie her down and want her to sleep for any length of time, we have to make sure that her arms can't fly up and hit her in the face (they do that sometimes, right when she least expects it), so we wrap her up nice and tight. That's a small baby thing, right?

No matter how I try to stop her though, she's going to keep growing up.


  1. and oddly enough... they just keep doing that growing thing... and the more you have the more you do treat them more and more like a little kid... even though there are more "helpers"

    I remember feeding Patrick "onion rings" and let me clarify not onion rings with actualy onions, but a sour cream and onion type snack similar to a cheezie only round and not cheese flaovoured

    But, it helped mom, and he liked sucking on them

    Also, as soon as you have your next, Rachel will look gianormous and you will be expecting so much more out of her than you ever expected...

    Leaving the baby to be, well a baby
    and then you have another, and soon the baby is no longer a baby, and so by the time you have your third, your six year oldis expected to do oh so much more, and when your third becomes four, you send your eight year old to unload the dishwasher, and expect him to clean his room on his own... and when he complains and wants the four year old to help you'll turn to him and say, "he's four, he's too little, to help..." Even though at two, you made the oldest do it.... so you see, in a way the people in your ward are right... because the more you have, the older the first one appears... Is that fair?
    Definitley not... but that's how it goes, and that's why kids are born with short term memories, so that they don't remember all the mistakes we make as parents, like making our two year old clean his room....!

  2. What? Parents make mistakes?!? Certainly not me...

    just kidding. :)

  3. K, I'm scared to death by the fact that Andrew and Rachel have EXACTLY the same look on their face... And I remember feeding my littlest brother, Darren, pickles when he was about 2. My mom was horrified... but he liked them! He even wanted more. :-D

  4. Pickles? So that's what's wrong with him...

  5. And since we're confessing things...I once fed Josie a whole thing of lip gloss.

    We were driving from BC to AB and Josie was screaming and screaming. Mom was driving so couldn't do anything and I was sitting next to Abra handed me her lip gloss and said, "Here, feed her this."

    I started digging it out with my finger and popping it in Josie's mouth...she really liked it. I believe it was strawberry flavored.

    5 minutes later I said, "Okay, she's done. Now what?"

    "What do you mean 'she's done?'" Abra asked.

    "She ate it all."

    "What? You fed it to her!"

    "You told me to."

    "I meant put it on her lips and let her lick it off!"

    Oh...well next time be more specific...

  6. So fun!! And I just think that most babies like to be held out so they can see what is going on in the world. I held all my babies like that; I hold my grandbabies like that--in my experience, babies just like it. Who wants to be laying down looking at the ceiling? (This is Mom, whose babies were fed all kinds of things, and they still grew up to be reasonably normal individuals.)

  7. Ahhhh so so scary to see them grow up so fast!

    David this summer wanted to take Rose on a weekend we had established to go bra shopping. Being nice to my daughter I informed him that we had to do some last minute school shopping, and this was the only day to do it. He offered to take her. So I insisted I had to do it, again he offered to take her. Finally I broke down and told him our little girl had to get a bra or two, and asked him if he'd feel comfortable with that....I took her shopping.

    Needless to say as this month is closing to the end of me checking off what she has for school, homework? school clothes? (she has tried pjs already this school year, all the kids are doing it!) flat shoes? (avoiding yet another injury, no more 4 inch platform flip-flops) and bra? (I hate them they itch)

    I can't help but think back almost 7 yrs ago, an almost 3-yr old Rose climbed up on Santa's lap ........ in the mall and proceeded to answer the timeless question what do you want for christmas?

    Only to loudly hear her response.....barbie burnature and a bra.

    Then remembering buying work clothes for David, and having her find this tie-dyed mini shirt a couple sizes to big......begging me to buy it for her, ok so I was at a 2nd hand store and it was only 60 cents. Only to find out that she thought it was a bra and insisted on wearing it daily under sweatshirts