In the past couple of weeks, Ben has hit some milestones I was not expecting, nor was I really working towards. I know, most milestones are exciting. They are new skills and abilities that open up doors for us to have more fun. Then there are some that just show me how much of a baby my sweet baby isn’t anymore. Those can hit hard. True, in the long run I know they are for the best and I am glad we have met them. They will make life easier. But they mean my little boy is growing up, sometimes faster than I want. They are both little things. Things that most people would scoff at my even mentioning, but I know other moms out there understand my feelings.
The first is we ditched the pacifier. Ben has used a pacifier for, well, for a long time. I remember Meo showing me how to teach Ben to use it. I remember how from about months 4-6 he was rarely without it. I remember the comfort it brought him, and his sweet little face with some adorable pacifiers working their magic. I know some parents don’t like them, but Pat and I were very okay with it. First, it did help soothe him. It helped him sleep. Yes, there were annoying nights where we had to go in and replace the pacifier what felt like a bajillion times. Overall I will take that though. It was so much faster to pop it back in when he was just starting to stir and hadn’t fully woken up. Out of bed for 30 seconds to pop in a pacifier vs a fully awake crying baby? Yeah, I’ll take the pacifier. Fortunately for us Ben dropped use of it on his own. As soon as he passed the stages where constant sucking was a comfort we confined the pacifier use to his bed only. It become a symbol that it was time to rest. It relaxed him. And once he could replace it himself we had no plans to get rid of it. Really, as long as he kept it in his bed only we were kind of going to let him set the pace on weaning. I thought around age three maybe we would talk about ending it, but no rush at all.
But that changed. Ben started chewing on his pacifiers. It would take a few weeks, but we would find them with holes and cracks. We replaced them, but it started happening more and more frequently. Honestly, we didn’t want to be buying new pacifiers every week. Then there was that pesky fear that he would chew off bits of plastic, swallow them, maybe choke. You know, the safety things. So one night, we stopped the pacifiers. He asked for them once or twice, but really just shrugged off this change as a whatever. He sleeps just fine without them. Of course I am proud of him and pleased that this was a non-issue. Then I find a pacifier somewhere, and remember my tiny baby. I can’t bring myself to throw them all out yet.
Sweet little baby
The other new change is also a good one. We learned that Ben can sit at a table and eat without a booster seat or high chair. He doesn’t do it often. I mean, he is two, we still need to contain him to contain the mess most of the time. But we had a few times we had to go without the high chair, and Ben did just fine. Sure, it is hard to eat when your chin is just below table level. He does a great job though. Even though he sits low at the table, he looks like such a big boy sitting without a special chair. I know I wanted him to reach this stage by the time the twins needed his high chair. But come on, that won’t be for like a year! Ben would be three when the twins are ready to start solids at six months old. Again, this isn’t an always thing. He still gets too messy to risk him jumping up and running around. Life is easier knowing he can do this, less stress if we forget or just don’t have access to a high chair. But my baby is becoming a big boy.
I know, this is trivial stuff and most people will think I’m silly for even commenting on it. Really these events are positive, if non-issues in the grand scheme of things. They are just another sign of how fast my baby boy is growing up, and I wanted to take a moment to think on it. I’m a lucky mom to have such a wonderful son.