I love seeing my 2-and-a-half-year-old son learn new things. Just the other day, he said a full sentence that I actually understood the first time he said it. He was looking for his monster truck toy and said, “Where’s monster truck? Oh! There it is! It was hiding!”
Simple, I know. Well, I started to tear up, and then forcibly hugged him. What’s the big deal you ask? The big deal is this:
He’s growing up. And if I’m being 100% honest… I don’t like it.
It warms my heart to see him learn new vocabulary or come up to me and say his ABCs or count to 20. He knows his shapes (seriously, he knows the difference between a pentagon and hexagon — I still have to count the sides) and knows his colors. He has an ever-growing imagination (which is fun to observe), plays well by himself and with others, and he tells dry jokes like his daddy. He’s just the smartest, best little boy.
But that’s just it. I want him to stay little for as long as he can. I don’t hold him back from growing up by any means, but I’m also not rushing him into it, despite what others say to do.
I’ve had numerous encounters where others have called me out on not potty training him yet or not putting him in a toddler bed. I know they mean well, but I feel compelled to defend myself every time.
He’s only two-and-a-half. And science has proven over and over again that boys develop slower emotionally than girls. My son, bless him, doesn’t want to use the potty right now. When I see he needs to go, I’ll say “Let’s go to the potty,” and he freaks out and hides. He’s just not ready yet. So I’m leaving him be.
As for his bed, well, that’s for mama’s sanity. I’ve been known to have intrusive thoughts that started affecting how I function in my everyday life. His crib gives me peace of mind that he’s secure in bed. One day last year, he magically started falling asleep on his own in his crib, and I haven’t messed with his routine since. He loves to sleep and loves his bed, and I love that I can find him in the same place I put him in at bedtime. I’m not in any rush to get rid of that feeling of security just yet.
I stay at home with my son. He is my world. He is my job. The faster he grows, the less he needs me. And it makes me sad to think one day, I’ll be out of a job. Only God knows when or if I’ll have another child, so I want to cherish caring for the little one I have now.
I want him to grow up a kind, smart and generous human being. Of course I do. That should be every mother’s goal. But in order for that to happen, there are some things that need to happen on our schedule, not everyone else’s.
No matter how I feel, I will always do what’s best for my child. That’s just Mom 101. That also doesn’t mean I want to let go and grow up. Those feelings will never change no matter his age.
We are both going at our own pace with this growing up thing. My son hasn’t been missing out on toddler experiences because of not completing these milestones. He’s a very smart boy, so he’ll come around when he’s ready. When he starts showing signs that he wants to use the potty, I’ll be there for him. When I feel it’s time to transition to a big boy bed, then I’ll push my emotions to the side and put the bed rail up.
It won’t be long now before that all starts to come around, I know. He will be ready in his own time. I just hope this mama will be ready, too. But until that time comes, I have a diaper to change.
About the Author
Sarah Lynch is Jacksonville-born and Northeast Florida-raised, and is the wife of an amazing husband and father, James, and mama to an energetic and loving little 2-and-a-half-year-old boy, William. After college, she spent a year in Germany as an au pair and traveled Europe. When she returned home, Sarah became a legal assistant then a high school teacher all before landing her favorite job — being a stay-at-home mom. Sarah enjoys blogging, cooking, gardening, traveling, and eating an unnecessary amount of chocolate. Her blog, The SAHMpreneur, is dedicated to making the most of the #sahmlife. You can read her blog here and follow her on Instagram @sarahnlynch.