“You know, this is all your fault,” I announce to my husband while standing in line at the Crocs store. His arms are full of wiggly kids trying to knock down rows of colorful displays while I balance the rubber shoes that will serve as proper pool and beach footwear this summer in my arms. Rather than respond, he simply raises one eyebrow at me. It’s as if he already knows what I will say.
“You know,” I repeat for effect, “This is all your fault. You gave me defective babies. These ones keep growing.”
He rolls his eyes at me and catches my daughter’s quick hand before she swats down an orange sandal display. He’s used to her quick and destructive moves just like he’s used to my emotional musings over our babies not quite being babies anymore.
The thing about kids is that no matter how nicely we ask, even with sprinkles and gummy bears on top, they just keep growing, and emotional nutcases, raises hand slowly, like myself, are left wondering how to embrace the inevitable.
Today the onset of this emotional roller coaster was all because of Batman and a whale.
My little man has always had an eye for sea creatures. For years it’s been shirts with sharks, books about turtles, fish coloring books, whale stuffed animal, jelly fish puzzles. If there was a sea creature on it, we probably own it. When we decorated his “big boy room” it had to be sharks. Lots and lots of sharks.
When my mom went on a minishopping spree for the kids, his only request: sea creature shirts.
So given the chance to pick a few decorations for his summer Crocs, he headed over to the wall full of “jibbitz” (tiny clips added to your Crocs to personalize them). Assuming he would grab two sharks like last year, I watched as he carefully studied the rows and rows of clips and selected the two he would proudly display this summer. Batman and a whale
Batman and a whale. What a perfect metaphor for where he is right now. Not a baby but not quite a big kid. Teetering on the thing big kids like and the thing he’s loved since he was a baby. Batman and a whale.
He’s a mixture of Super Hero “shooting” webs at his sister and leaping tall buildings in a single bound, and a tiny oceanographer that rattles off facts about orcas and has a plastic puffer fish in his pocket.
As the youngest on his t-ball team, the times when I see that he is four and the others six is usually when they are on the bench waiting for their turn up to bat. The older boys sing taunting songs and yell “FOUL” when a batter hits a little short. While my guy just seems thrilled to be outside in the sunshine and sitting on the bench with older boys.
It’s when I see all of his friends turning five around him and I take deep sighs of relief because we still have a few more months until he blows out five candles.
It’s when he wants to hold my face, cover me in kisses, and squeeze me with hugs because he loves me so much, but if looks could kill I would be dead when I mindlessly tried to wipe ketchup off his face in front of his t-ball team. “Mommy, stop. I’ve gotta go with my team.”
It’s the preschool graduation that is both ridiculous and heart wrenching when they dress him up in a tiny cap and gown. Deep breaths….don’t let out a sob in front of everyone…..
It’s my boy choosing Batman and a whale and me trying not to marvel at the chubby toddler hands that have morphed into little boy hands. It’s those big hands and huge feet that sort of make him look like a puppy that still has a lot of growing to do.
So today, I’m embracing and feeling ALL THE FEELINGS for Batman and a whale and for the very long road ahead of me and for these defective babies that just keep growing. So for today, I’ll let my irrational mommy emotions seep out just a bit.
Just for today. Tomorrow I’ll be good.
That is unless my daughter decides to grow up on me too. Then all bets are off.