My Baby, Growing Up.

by Lori Dwyer on July 7, 2013 · 5 comments

My daughter is three months off turning four years old. She is still in nappies. She still has a dummy. She doesn’t particularly want to give up either of them.

I’m quite okay with that. Aside from the continual annoyance of “Mum, where is my dodie?”. And, of course, changing dirty nappies. Which I find becomes more irritating– but also funnier– every time she gags and throws her hands over her eyes, refusing to look at her own mess. Princess that she is.


I tell myself that I’m simply not concerned with any of it, if she’s not. I doubt she’ll be taking a dummy to school. And who am I to take away something that brings her so much comfort, if it’s not affecting her health?

As for toilet training… I think, perhaps, both she and I are just lazy. I had assumed, especially with everyone insisting on telling me how much ‘easier girls are to toilet train than boys!’, that she would do as her brother did and just decide she wanted to start using the toilet of her own accord.

It’s possible– probable, actually, at the age she is– that will still happen. So, I tell myself, there’s no need to pressure her.

While all that’s true, I know there’s more to it than that. In between making school lunches and daycare drop-offs, washing clothes and reading bedtime stories; I catch my daughter growing up, sometimes, from the corner of my eye. It takes my breath away. She’s too tall, her words too well pronounced. She’s far more of a baby, a toddler, in my mind than she is in real life.

And I want to keep her that way. Because once she turns four years old, it feels as though we’ve crossed a line. The stage of having tiny children, of nappies and dummies and milky soft cuddles… that’s all but over, when she becomes a ‘big girl’.

I’m not sure I’m ready for that. I will be, of course, when it happens. But I feel no need to push for it.

I’ve always said I didn’t understand mothers who tried to hold their children back, who want to keep them their babies forever.

I understand it, a little bit, now. Watching my baby grow up is bizarrely heartbreaking and gratifying, all at the one time.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen July 22, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Oh I know this is not the same thing, not at all, but my sister is six years younger than I (we are well into our 30′s now :-) and I remember wishing a bit when she turned five that she could go back to turning four. It was exciting even as a big sister to see her going to Kindergarten and really learning to read… but she had just gotten so BIG. :-( Fun memories to remember though! Thanks :-)


Lystra Maisey July 8, 2013 at 6:58 am

Hello there, I love this post and know exactly what you mean! Our little boy seems to be growing up so fast it’s hard to keep up with him, he’s becoming very grown up and yet it seems like only yesterday he was sitting and burbling in his bouncer. I was often told to grow up as a child but our little boy is only two, he’s got a way to go yet!
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Miss Pink July 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

I find it bizarre when I watch people urging their babies and toddlers to grow up. I have a friend who’s just shy of 3 years old daughter calls herself a “big girl” and I want to scream every time “You’re not! You’re still a baby! Enjoy it while it lasts!”
I have to agree there is something about 4. Greenie was still my little guy, I could still call him a toddler until this year. Now he’s 4 and almost off to school and I just think about how I would love to rewind a couple of years to when I had a baby and a 3 year old. I love his independance but I also miss his dependance a bit.
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Lisa July 7, 2013 at 12:11 pm

I had to bribe my four year old daughter to give up her dummy – she was due to start kindy, and I was worried that she’d be the only kid at school with a dummy in her mouth! She told me she wanted her own CD player (this was nine years ago!) in return, and she gave it up in an instant, with no looking back at all :)


Kristy @Loveandblasphemy July 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi, I remember you. I used to read you and comment a lot when I was Pampers and Pinot. I’m back blogging now. Love your refreshed jelly bean site here. :) Also loved the angst of your post. Moments you just don’t get back. Mother with your own instincts.
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