I don’t have a baby anymore…

leah-close-wince.jpg

OK, so it has really been a while since I had a baby.  Leah stopped drinking out of a bottle when she was 1, stopped sleeping in her crib when she was 2, and was completely potty trained shorty after she turned 2.  Still, it really hit me tonight that Leah is a little girl, not even a toddler anymore.  Hailey’s school had a workday today so Ed took her to my parents house in Raleigh for the day.  Because of timing, it made more sense for Leah and I to have dinner together before Ed and Hailey got home.  I had been at work since 7:30 and did not feel like going home and making anything so I asked Leah where she wanted to go to dinner.  She chose “Dr. Andy’s” aka Andy’s Cheeseburgers.  (She kept wanting to know where her “friend” Dr. Andy was.  Our family was devastated when Dr. Andy from Sanford Peds moved to Tennessee.  He was the best.)

Anyway, Leah and I walked hand in hand into the restaurant.  She was super cute today in jeans, a denim jacket with pink snaps, a pink “what happens in preschool stays in preschool shirt” and pink plaid tennis shoes.  She walked into Andy’s like she owned the place.  She chose a booth and sat across the table from me.  My baby sat by herself on the big bench.   No highchair, no booster, no lap…just her and miles of bench.

What really got me though is that we had a conversation.  I felt like I was talking to a 4 or 5 year old, not a child who will not even be 3 for 3 more months.  She told me all about her day at school.  I got basically a play by play of what she did, who she played with, what her teachers said, and what she ate.  Leah likes to use phrases like “uh huh, sure can”, “how about that?” and “is that okay mommy?”  She answers questions with full sentences and remembers to say please, thank you, and you’re welcome.  She makes her thank yous so much more meaningful because she says what she is thanking you for…”thank you for letting me have ice cream mommy and daddy.”

I had just a few things I needed at Wal-Mart so we walked in together.  No cart.  No stroller. Just me and my little girl walking hand in hand.  We did have a touchy moment when she laid down on the floor and said she was staying there.  She was very tired. But all in all, it was a very pleasant experience.

I feel so blessed to have such wonderful, fun, caring, and crazy children.  Every day is an adventure.  It makes me sad sometimes (okay, rarely) that I will never have a baby again, but it is so cool to be able to go anywhere without worrying about the diaper bag, a place to change diapers, a private place to nurse, bottles, baby food, etc.  Besides, when I need baby time, all I have to do is walk down the hall at work!

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About emilypage

I have been married to my husband, Ed since 1998. We have two daughters, Hailey (9) and Leah (6). I have been the Director of Easter Seals UCP Stepping Stones Children's Center in Sanford since 2004. I am an Independent Senior Director for Thirty-One and I absolutely LOVE it! I was raised as a Wolfpacker but saw the light and now I bleed Carolina blue (sorry, dad).
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