Where did my babies go and what are these big kids doing here?

For twelve long years I was the youngest member of my extended family, not to mention six years younger than my siblings.

I got really tired of everyone treating me like a baby. And I really couldn't stand how every single person at every single family reunion would be so shocked to discover that I aged at the same rate as everyone else.

When my cousins were finally born, I vowed to age them in my memory so that I wouldn't be as surprised every time I saw them. (I was mostly successful, but the fact that one is now looking at colleges makes me feel incredibly old.)

For my own kids, I see them every day so you would think it wouldn't be a problem to keep tabs on their aging process. But here's the funny thing about your brain — neurons don't really age. This is why you can feel pretty much the same on the inside at 27 as you do at 72. The only thing that changes neurons is when you pay attention and then click! a new connection in your neural net is formed.

So I admit it's entirely possible that I feel this way because Malachi and JJ just got new haircuts on Monday, but I swear this week they are suddenly and irrevocably not babies anymore.

Overnight they have become interested in activities that I expect will continue on in some form or other for the next 10-16 years — play-fighting, saying "no," giggling at each other's silliness, asking me to turn on our (rarely watched) T.V., coloring, screaming, confidently grabbing my car keys, etc.

JJ (this is what we now call Jaden since we are annoyed at how many Jadens and Jaydens and Jaidens and Aidens and Haydens and Cadens and Bradens there are) in particular does all sorts of things that he didn't do last week. Yesterday, he gave me his first kiss ...and it didn't even matter that his face was covered in peanut butter at the time. He also follows me around going: "Mom, mom, mom." And — joy of all joys — I was treated to his first major temper tantrum... in a grocery store. This was not the whiny crab-apples attitude that may indicate boredom or hunger or sleepiness; they had just ate and slept. This was a full-scale, thrashing-around-in-my-arms, screaming-bloody-murder tantrum.

Why? Because I made him stop hurtling around the store with his tiny shopping cart for a second so I could look at tomatoes. I'm thinking this kid has got some major road rage in his future.

Sorry, buddy, you're not getting my car keys.



  1. Haircuts always do it for me too. They look like such handsome little men whent they get cuts. I love that you have experienced a full on tantrum. We had one in our driveway that was so bad I was sure DHS would be called by our neighbors. :)

    1. The worst was that an employee had just given him a dried strawberry and I was terrified that he would choke. I wanted to put him down and let him have the cart but there were so many people around that I didn't want to seem like a bad mom so I stuck to my guns. Isn't it silly the decisions we make under stress?

  2. Michele1:28 PM

    I love this post and I love the picture! Those full blown tantrums are fun to laugh about after they are over and before the next one begins. I feel the same way you do right now. My Lilly suddenly (literally within the last week) doesn't want me giving her so many kisses and hugs.

    1. Aww that's rough. I know I am going to get used to the hugs and kisses and be very sad when they go away. It's funny how very brief that time period is but moms expect it to last forever.

  3. Oh yes the dreaded temper tantrum! Have experienced a few of those with my girls. Thankfully most of them have been at home. The saving grace though is that they always end with a hug and kiss and them saying " I love you daddy can we start over".

  4. Mine stopped looking like a baby when I had another baby. He was five, but he was an only child and the first one in his generation of the family(I'm the oldest of three kids and the oldest of 12 cousins). We all even called him the baby, till his sister was born, and suddenly he looked all grown up to me.

    It's amazing how quickly it happens, too.

    We have yet to have any all out tantrums, but my boy has this tendency to scream and laugh when he gets excited. Most people ignore it or roll their eyes, but I did get all Mama Bear on one little old lady who took it upon herself to yell in my disabled three-year-old son's face to "knock it off" when he was laughing at the cold air from the refrigerated section (did I mention my boy is a penguin?). I wanted to knock her upside the head.

    1. Yowza! She deserves to get all mama-beared on!

      Malachi thinks wind is absolutely hilarious too. :)


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