Is there a “baby of the family” syndrome? Because if so, I’m quite certain my youngest will suffer from it. And how detrimental is this so called syndrome? Will my child never be independent? Will he always rely on his mom to get him through life? Will he ever be able to wipe his own butt?!
I have 4 children. Somehow our strategic planning of having a baby every 2 1/2 years actually worked out. So even though I “coddled” and co-slept with all my babies, even though I allowed them to be clingy and shy, at about the age of 2 to 2 1/2, they got kicked out. With a new baby coming into our bed, the older sibling got the exciting chance to graduate to a big kid bed and start to be the older helper! This happened consecutively… until Charlie came along. Charlie is the fourth. Charlie is the last. Charlie is the baby.
There is no baby coming to kick Charlie out of my bed. He just turned 5. Part of me realizes it is time..it’s time for Charlie to learn to sleep on his own, to become more “grown up” and independent, to not need mom as much. But he’s my baby. And I haven’t had to sleep in 12 years without the fresh scent of a baby’s head next to my face. At the age of 5 he actually still seems to have that fresh baby scent to me, although there are some summer evenings where he’s beginning to smell more like a sweaty boy. Yet that growing body still seems to fit so perfectly curled up against me.
When he pronounces words wrong and cute, I’m not ready to correct them. In fact, I change my way of saying them to sound the same (I know, all the speech therapists are rolling their eyes). But seriously, Veda (our dog) would be pronounced “Weda” in Latin anyway.
And seriously, the kid just turned 5. He should be able to wipe his own butt. In fact, I’m sure he could. But when you have 3 other kids, a petting zoo, and a business to run, you just do whatever is quicker and cleaner, because let’s face it…many times I’m just getting through the day with the least amount of yelling and fighting possible. And my kids legit only get about 2-3 baths a week, so that booty needs to be clean!
So there is my dilemma. I am not ready for my baby not to be a baby anymore. Yet I know the time is coming. There will be a time soon where he will not want to be my baby. So even though I’m probably creating one of those adults that people look at and sigh, “He must have been the baby in his family,” I’m not feeling super guilty. However, I am creating a super good cuddler that can sort of speak Latin. There’s got to be something to that.