I am astounded at the rate in which my children grow and change. I sometimes look at one of the girls and suddenly have a freeze frame moment where I look, really look at them. And suddenly I see the time that has passed me by. This is nothing new for a mother but I am always amazed at the emotions that come with this realization. They should cancel one another out but instead they blend together to become what is commonly called...bittersweet.
This introspection all began when my Cati told me she wanted her ears pierced the other day. This was big because this was a follow up conversation from a few months ago. The time I was literal about the process with my innocent 3 year old. Not my wisest moment. I decided to be brutally honest. Selfishly, of course. So I told her the TRUTH about getting her ears pierced. This scenario should really be written down in the Mommy Handbook: What Not To Tell Your Children.
We are sitting on the couch and I tell her that piercing your ears means getting holes put into your ears with this kinda sharp tool that will put an earring through her ear. I demonstrated by taking my earring out and go in slow mo for dramatic effect. I so need a lesson in age appropriate teaching moments. Perhaps I should have acted it out by creating a loud noise, jumping up and screaming while holding my ear lobe.
But I maintained remarkable restraint. I assured her we could go to the doctor's office to get her ears numbed and then have them do it there since she looooves her doctor. Then I take out my earring and show her the hole and then have her watch me put it through the lobe and I even turn my earlobe so she can see it poking out the back. It was like a preschool version of a health class video about parasites that seems really gross but cool at first. Then they scare the tar out of you with truthful facts about these parasites invading and then taking up residence in your body.
"Cati, it might hurt a little to get your ears pierced. Are you okay with that?"
Uncertainty fills her eyes but I felt my honesty was good, strategic move. I laid all my cards on the table and put the ball in her court. Yes, I am still talking about my three year old who looks to me for guidance, encouragement, and assurance. Did I mention that I was selfishly thinking about me, myself, and moi in this not so brilliant moment?
"Mommy? I don't want my eawrs pursed."
"Okay, Baby. But when you are ready, you come to me and we can do it." Shame on me.
Now here was her precise wording 2 days ago...
"Mommy, I want my earwings pursed."
"You want what?"
"I want my earwings pursed in my eawrs. I won't cry." Um, but I might.
"Wow, honey. Really? You now feel ready to get your ears pierced?" I am so regretting letting this opportunity pass me by when she was an infant.
"Yes. And I want those." Pointing to 2 little flowers that she had ripped off her Debbie Dancer doll's tutu minutes before.
"Cate, those are not earrings. They are flowers from your ballerina doll's tutu that I now need to sew back on."
"Oh. But can I still have real earwings?"
This is such an interesting development due to the aforementioned convo that she and I had a month or two ago. She had told me she wanted earrings like Mommy. And because I am not particularly ready to place a gun like contraption to her teeny weeny ears and spear them with sharp ended bling, I was not prepared for her to still want to do it.
Hence her request and assurance that she is now ready. And apparently I am not. There seems to be something so final about it but I think it is great that she is excited. We shall see when the moment of truth comes.
Then we have my little Ella. My baby who walked for the first time 2 weeks ago. Who keeps toddling around here like the cutie patootie that she is and then falling, giggling and picking herself back up again. I was beginning to think she would do that scoot on her boom until she graduated high school but she is now on her feet. Only problem is that she is trying to make up for lost time by trying to run. She looks like Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins when he runs around with his pants stretched out to look like penguin.
Again, there is something final about beginning to walk because she leaves another part of her "babyness" behind and moves forward. Because she will ALWAYS walk. These girls just keep changing just when I start to get acquainted with "The Current Stage." Then they move on to the next stage and I'm left wondering how they grow so fast that I find it difficult to keep up. But I have a strange feeling that holes in the ears and walking pales in comparison for what is it to come.