This little boy has aged a little bit too much for me lately. Aside from being what his pediatrician describes as a “big boy,” his vocabulary, reasoning skills, physical accomplishments and over all love of learning speak to a maturing Jace. That is, as “mature” as you can call a freshly turned three year old.
He’s not only potty trained to the point of telling us when he needs to go and only had one accident since training, but he goes all by himself. Assistance is only needed with getting the bottom half of his clothing back on (and it’s pretty adorable how he comes running to me with only a shirt on, carrying his pants and underwear shouting, “I went potty!”). He loves to wash his hands “all by myself” and loves having a stool just for him in both bathrooms. The upstairs stool is also used to say, “Good morning Reese!” and watch her get her diaper changed every morning and after nap time. He thought he should be able to give her vitamins the other morning, too. Good thing I caught him before he tried to squirt them all over her face.
He graduated to a big boy chair at the dining room table. He still loved his high chair and proudly climbed in and out of the thing after we’d pull the it away from the table. But after several meals where I was in the middle of nursing Reese and he desperately needed to go potty, it was time to say farewell to the confinement. It was like he grew three inches and gained the ability to make a *little* less of a mess while eating. And he’s so proud of himself.
We said bye-bye to binkie on February 11. Nolan and I spent a lot of time talking up how he’d have to say goodbye to it soon, and while he got excited about the concept, execution was a little more difficult. So, finally, we went to Target, he threw binkie in the trash can there, and we went in and bought a toy. And there were only a few tears at nap time, and then life moved on. I think I grieved over the loss of binkie more. When he didn’t hesitate and just chucked that nasty thing in the trash, I almost got teary. Goodbye to the last piece of his babyhood. This child is officially getting older.
The way he imagines while playing, the stories he tells us and the conversations we have keep us on our toes. While he can entertain himself for hours, his favorite times of play are when Nolan and I get involved. The other day he was standing on one of the ramp pieces of his train tracks and I said, “Jace, don’t stand on your trains. They might break.” He responded, “I’m not standing on trains Mommy.” “Train tracks. Jace, don’t stand on your train tracks, they might break. [Stepping off and giggling] “Mommy you said the wrong word.”
But with all these moments that make my heart smile while wishing time would just slow down, I love the sweet affection that comes with his growing ability to articulate what he feels. I can’t count the number of times he’s smoothed my hair and said, “I yove your haircut Mommy.” And then, yesterday, I was playing with him in the entry way and as he walked by me I asked for loves. He wrapped his arms around my neck and said sweetly, “I yove you Mommy.”
(For the first times since before he learned to walk, this boy fell asleep on the couch. Helped sooth my nerves after watching him sob over getting a shot that afternoon.)
So when I’m in the middle of our latest battle over who is really in charge, helping him get dressed again after the fifth post-bedtime trip to the bathroom, or coaching in him using his words to express his feelings rather than screaming, I’ll just keep reminding myself not to wish he’d grow up any faster. He’s already doing it quickly enough on his own.