I have high hopes that this will be the year that we become a diaper-free household. My two-year-old (who turns three in April) is less convinced. She has been unimpressed with big girl underwear even when they are adorned in popular characters. She couldn’t care less about getting a chocolate treat if she goes number 1 on the potty. She doesn’t even care about getting a small toy (left over from my own childhood) each time she does number two on the potty.
For quite some time now when I ask her “are you a baby or a big girl?” She answers happily and confidently “a big girl.” But when my husband recently suggested that when she turns three she will start using the potty and wearing underwear she asserted herself with a clear “No.” Her reason for not wanting to do? Because she is still a baby.
“But you’re not a baby,” my husband and I responded. “Babies can’t talk like you do, or walk and run like you do, they can’t play things that you play, and they still take naps.”
“But you call me baby,” she answered. “You call me baby girl.”
And do we ever! We are constantly calling her baby girl and baby. She is our last baby. Plus she is petite, like me. Her nearly 5-year-old brother is long and lanky like his dad and I struggle to pick him up anymore. But she! She is still a neat little bundle that I can easily scoop into my arms for a snuggle. It’s another barrier to recognizing just how big she really is getting.
So on the day of that potty training discussion, New Year’s Eve, my husband suggested that perhaps we should call her something other than baby since she really isn’t a baby any longer. “How about kiddo?” he suggested. She nodded her head in agreement and giggled “that’s a funny name!”
That night we went to a family-friendly NYE party and I failed miserably. I called her baby and baby girl constantly. Sometimes I would correct myself, and sometimes I just didn’t care.
She is my baby and I still wanted to call her my baby.
It’s funny though. When her big brother was 2, my daughter really was a tiny baby. He saw his sister correctly identified as a baby and, of his own volition, told me to stop calling him baby boy because he was a big boy. He specifically requested a new nickname. Now there is no new baby to push my daughter out of her spot as the baby. Why should she want me to call her something different?
As I write this, it’s only a couple days later and I am still trying to let go of the title of baby girl and baby at least a little. It will be a process. Sometimes I catch myself, sometimes I consciously choose to not say baby, and sometimes I still don’t care and let “baby girl” fly.