Monday, October 10, 2011

Toddler (and not-so-toddler) Transitions

Gavin sometimes has a hard time with transitions. We’ve learned to offer several warnings during playtime before we move to bathtime.  And we always talk about what he’s going to do at school when we’re in the car on the way there.  If we forget, or we’re too rushed, we end up with a limp noodle on the floor begging for “one more minute” of whatever activity we were doing before it’s time for something new.

This weekend was full of transitions and Gavin did great even with a seemingly endless number of planned activities. 

We went to the zoo Saturday morning with friends Rachael and Livvy.  Grandma Clifford joined us, too.  Appropriate, considering Clifford the Big Red Dog was there that day.  Gavin and Livvy ran through the entire zoo, racing each other from one exhibit to the next and climbing on every rock that came into view.  He fell asleep in the car as soon as we hit the highway. I don’t remember the last time that happened.

 Saturday night was dinner at Stroud’s with Grandpa and Nana Green, and Uncle Adam and Aunt Jahlynn. Gavin gobbled down chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and green beans, but surprised me when insisting, “I don’t like gravy.”  Somewhere, I’ve gone wrong.  Thank God I still have several more years to shape his tastes.  He spent the entire meal in the restaurant high chair.  He hasn’t sat in one of those for more than a year.

Sunday morning was our fall family photo shoot and Gavin spent the hour shouting “cheese” and playing in the autumn leaves (photos to come soon).  I spent the hour wondering who stole my baby and replaced him with this kid who is just So. Freaking. Big.

Our visit to the pumpkin patch later that day is where I realized Gavin isn’t the only one who has a hard time with transitions.  I was the one with a lump in my throat when I told him to “watch out for the babies” playing near him.  And it was me who teared up when I took the annual photo of him and Ryan in the pumpkin patch sign.

Now, I do have to take into account that I’m pregnant, and therefore hormonal, but I keep going back to this thought that next year, it won’t be just us at the zoo or the pumpkin patch.  We’ll have this other little person—a baby—as a part of our family, too.  It’s going to be a HUGE transition.

And something tells me Gavin’s going to do better with this transition than me.  Maybe it’s his little voice repeatedly reminding me: “Mommy I not a baby.  I a big boy!”

So right now, I’m appreciating those “baby” things he occasionally does, like falling asleep in the car or sitting in a high chair, because in five-ish months, he won’t be the baby anymore.  In five-ish months, we'll be a family of four.

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