Both of my babies (I use the word baby loosely here) have the same cry. Last night I heard the sound I so dread, the "Heh, heh, heh," stoccato waking cry coming from my childrens' bedroom. I stopped listened, ready to spring into nightly emergency action, but I, the mother and expert on both of these little beings, could not discern which child had woken. I waited. Listened again. But still could not decide. Just another sign telling me that Seth is not a little baby anymore.
I have been trying to deny that this was happening -to believe in my heart that his recent birthday (last Saturday) was simply a day of celebration and NOT the milestone of passage into toddlerhood. There have been lots of clues reminding me that his babyhood was winding down. There were baby steps, then lots of steps. His newfound word (and obsession) - dah, dah, dah (translation: dog). His clinginess and stranger anxiety. His ability to climb right over the back of the couch. But most striking of all - his sheer will and determination when he wants something.
This was evidenced last night at dinnertime as we participated in the nightly dinnertime guessing game. The game is simple. He whines. I jump and run trying to guess what he wants. I put something on his plate. He cries, throws whatever I have provided onto the floor and the whole thing starts over again. So after doing this for a while last night, I gave up on guessing and sat down to eat (ignoring Seth's pleas to appease). He continued whining and pointed to my plate.
I offered him tortellini. No Thank You, he expressed by throwing it on the floor. Green Beans. Nope. Potatoes. Out. A bite of applesauce. Definitely not. Then I must have had a bit of inspiration. I handed him my fork (okay, probably not the best item to give to a 12 month old, but I was desperate). He smiled, took the fork and began using it to pick at the bits of food that were left on his plate.
He was even more delighted when I gave him a small bowl full of Oatmeal baby cereal and a spoon. He globbed spoonful after spoonful into his mouth (and onto his hair, arms, down his shirt, all over his nose, etc.). By the time I was finished eating, he had almost finished the entire bowl. He looked at me and smiled proudly as if to say, "See Mom. I am big."
True enough. But in my heart, I responded, You might be big, but you're still my baby.