I’m struggling to accept it, but I need to, for my own good. We had a good run, it was great for the time being, but it’s over.
It’s the loveys. And the blankies. And all the special little things that used to comfort my baby boy in the middle of the night. He wants nothing to do with them now.
Sure, sure, he’s all grown up, at the ripe old age of 3.5. But when he scowls and throws his “Bay Bay” at me and says “I don’t WANT Bay Bay!” it feels like he’s 16. And it makes me want to cry.
Bay Bay came into Miles’s life just before he turned one. I had my own “Bay Bay” growing up and I wanted a special homemade lovey for my firstborn. I can’t sew worth anything, so I commissioned the help of my mother and her sewing machine to create a new Bay Bay for Miles. Our first attempt was horrific, but in the end, we had 2 identical Bay Bays, complete with a soft ribbon. We made two Bay Bays, an original and a “stunt double” just in case we ever lost Original Bay Bay, my mother retelling the story about losing my Bay Bay one dark Halloween night while Trick or Treating. We did leave Bay Bay at a motel in Gatlinburg, TN one time, but I remembered before we left town, so we still have both of them.
He quickly took to Bay Bay and they were pretty inseparable for about a year and a half. At the time, Miles was using a pacifier at night and we frequently awoke in the middle of the night to cries of “Bay Bay!…’Achi!” when he lost his prized possessions between the slats of his crib. I once remarked that if I added it up, I’m sure I spent a huge percentage of the first 2 years of parenting looking for those darned things.
But over the last few months, something about Bay Bay lost its appeal to Miles. He no longer wants him at night. He throws him into a deserted corner of his room if I try to sneak Bay Bay into his bed. I’ve tried replacing Bay Bay with a stuffed monkey that my husband bought at the hospital gift shop when Miles was born, but he doesn’t want it either. Even the blankies he used to insist on sleeping with have no magic for him anymore. Any old blanket will do, it doesn’t even have to be a soft, colorful one.
I suppose I should be grateful that he isn’t so attached to a babyish item that I would have to go to great lengths to save him from embarrassment when his friends come for sleepovers in a few years. I guess I should be happy that he had an easy detachment from his beloved Bay Bay, which is my husband’s big takeaway from all of this. He is thrilled that Miles so easily gave him up.
But for me, I’m a little bit sad. Those sweet little loveys were reminders of his precious baby years that went so quickly. I loved watching him clutch Bay Bay in one hand, absent-mindedly twirling the ribbon through his fingers. I’m not ready to accept that he isn’t a baby anymore, though of course I know he isn’t a baby…and he’ll always be my baby, even when he’s 50 years old. I just don’t want these big “I’m growing up!” banners waved in my face.
In the back of my mind, though, I know that if it isn’t Bay Bay he’s rejecting, it’ll soon be something else. Before long, he’ll refuse to watch babyish shows with Mickey Mouse, then he’ll only want to play with big kid toys and eventually no toys at all. It won’t be long before he is completely embarrassed by my hugs and kisses and at some point won’t want to be seen in public with me. He’ll be more interested in impressing girls than receiving the praise and encouragement he craves from Mommy and Daddy. He’ll go off to college, get married and — Okay, okay. It’s just a doll.
Just like everything else in life, all seasons change. My boys are growing up and with the end of this season of Miles’s life, we’re moving on to new things.
And besides, he still hasn’t grown out of middle of the night snuggles.
Do your kids have a special lovey? When did they give them up? How did they (and you!) handle the transition?