Just about two weeks ago, baby James turned 18 months — a milestone for our family. The next day he went into nursery at church and played with the other children, had his first Sunday School lesson and ate treats with the kiddies. It was great to get rid of him during gospel doctrine (the last few months we’ve been chasing him around the room), but it was kind of sad too.
What’s more, he no longer uses a pacifier. Robin and I have always set the goal to ween our children off the “binkie” by 18 months. And so, James had his last binkie experience a few days ago. He went for a week without it and then relapsed on Sunday. But he’s been “binkie free” ever since. He’s done pretty well so far, although he’s woken up crying in the night a few times, probably because of an incoming tooth.
Now, I am a pretty nostalgic guy and the discontinuation of the binkie is a bit sad for me. If James is indeed our last child (and Robin assures me that he is), then there will be no more binkies (my mom used to call them “nukies.”) It’s the end of an era. My kiddies are growing up. Lily is just a couple months away from starting kindergarten; Brianna is preparing to be baptized this summer and Parley is almost one decade old. Amazing! In just a few months they will be 10, 8, 5 and 1.5. Parley and Brianna can now ride all of the rides at Disneyworld. They both can read clearly. I have to face it, they’re growing up!
I can’t say that I’ll miss the diapers when James gets potty trained. At that point we’ll have had about ten cumulative years of diaper changes. If you estimate at least five diaper changes a day for all those years, it works out to be more than 18,000 diapers and an estimated $6,000 on diapers and wipes. Yikes!
To me, there is something kind of sad about the loss of innocence that comes with growing up. Last weekend, I decided to take Parley on a boy scout campout because I was tired of spending so much time with other people’s children and not enough time with my own. During the drive, one of the boys told a joke whose punch line “outed” Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Naturally, most 12 year old boys don’t believe in Santa any more, but what about my boy? I’m not sure what he believes — I think he pretty much knows the truth (you know, about how we’ve been lying to him all his life), but he still likes playing along. Then again, perhaps he still believes — or at least he did until the boys talked about the fictitious nature of the jolly of elf!
Once, when I was 8 or 9, my mom found me crying in my bedroom on Christmas night. She naturally assumed that I was disappointed with my presents or something. When she asked me about the tears, I told her it was because I loved Christmas so much that I was really sad to see it end. Like I said, I’m nostalgic. I love being the father of my four little kids. They’re so cute, even if they are often annoying, messy and disobedient. I’m enjoying this whole parenthood thing very much. And seeing my kiddies grow up is exciting and fun, but a little bit sad too…
Baby James, sans pacifier