I think that all parents are secretly waiting for the child to grow up so they can do things for themselves. Or at least grow up to the stage when the kid can do fun things. Trust me, lying around with your baby is fun, but only because you are lying around watching something cute. Lying around watching your kid cook dinner is more fun though. As evidenced by my friend's FB post this weekend. His son (I'm going to guess 9 because I have no idea and it doesnt seem possible he can have a 13 year old daughter and a 9 year old son as we just graduated from college. Twelve and half years ago...), anyway, his son cooked tomato soup and grilled cheese for dinner while he got to sit down. His obvious pleasure in this relaxation was marked by the posting itself.
I love every stage of my son's development (except 3 months of his 2s that already occurred) and am looking forward to every coming stage. I loved the plant stage when he just sat and drooled and smiled. The I'm going to crawl, nope walking is for me stage. The talking. The soccer kicking. And I can't wait until he is 6 and on teams and such. Right now is pretty cool too. He just started swimming this weekend.
We've had him in the water since he was an infant. He took his first swimming lessons at a year, and did really well. They told us not to bring him back until he was 4, as he had already mastered the baby basics. Which isn't too much stuff. Put face in water. Blow bubbles. He also jumped in holding our hands. We didn't sign him up to be an Olympic athlete. He loves the water and had a habit of trying to walk on it. It was for safety reasons. He just has no fear of water. Which is terrifying for a parent. At Walden Pond he walks right into the water up to his chin. The kid just loves it.
This weekend we took him swimming for the first time since September. I decided a swim day was in order as he has been practicing "diving" in the bathtub. It creates a huge tidal wave over the entire bathroom, and needless to say I don't clean the bathroom as the floor is constantly wet, and therefore clean. He also has been floating on his back, so I figure, what they hey, I'll see if he will float in the pool. Well, he wouldn't. No way. Not on his back. But he did go right down the steps into the water with a noodle and take off. He pushed the noodle under his arms and did a lap. Yup, a 50 yards. After a while we took the noodle away to see if he would float and, again, he would not. At this point we were in the deep end and the diving team was practicing in the dive well. When he saw the diver, he was captivated. He hung onto the side of the pool. We were right underneath the blocks, and I was hanging off the end, pretending like I was going to start the backstroke. He saw me, and wanted to do the same. He kept pulling himself up and lowering himself into the water each time a diver went off the board. As there were 2 spring boards and 1 platforms going at the same time, he did a lot of pull ups. We asked if he wanted to learn how to dive and, man, he did!
I've always loved swimming and learned to dive when I was 8. Not spring board competitive diving, just off the blocks to start a race. I modeled a small dive, and actually didn't dive at all just fell on my side. It was enough, however, to get yelled at by the lifeguard. Then Dylan jumped in, holding our hands. What was different than any other time was that he popped back up to the surface instead of hanging out underwater like infants do. A few more times and he let go of our hands jumping in. The next time after that, he didn't grab for us when he surfaced. He tred water. And then doggie paddled to the side. It was awesome.
Being good parents of the millennium, it's all documented. Pictures, video, FB within the hour. Our son will be able to watch his first strokes. We took him back the next day just to reinforce the swimming and it was still awesome.
And now, he's closer to 3 than 2. He sleeps in a big boy bed and wears big boy underpants some days. He would rather watch Power Rangers than Barney. He's still so little, but not a baby. We have a porch half filled of his old stuff ready to be sold at a yard sale next spring. High chair, toys, stroller. It doesn't seem possible that he could have anything old yet. He's only been alive for 2 1/2 years. As he searched for a comfortable spot on my shoulder last night, I couldn't help but see the reason he couldn't find one was because he was too tall. Finally, I fully reclined the chair and he stretched out, and rested his blonde little head on my shoulder as we read a Clifford book.
Every milestone he reaches is great, but it's a reminder that he will one day be a grown man. No matter how hard I hold on, he will keep growing and changing. I guess it's up to me to savor every memory he gives me, and remind him that he is my little boy.
4 weeks ago