My baby turned four recently. There’s no passing him off as a toddler anymore, brutally evident last week when I picked him up from school and got to spy on him on the playground with the other boys. First, huddled in the corner around a red ball. Then, following each other to the tunnel. Laughing. I realized he was smaller than the other boys in the group.
“Get your backpack, Graham!” his teacher called, seeing me approach. Graham wasn’t fazed.
Harrison’s mom must have approached at the same time, because the teacher then called, “Harrison, get your backpack! Graham, don’t let Harrison beat you!” They both took off in a game of competitive direction following.
Harrison tossed his backpack strap over one shoulder. Graham did the same. “Bye Parrison!” Graham called in a voice reserved for buddies, not moms. As we walked out of the playground I tried to help him put the other strap over the other shoulder.“No mom!” he said, annoyed, pushing me away. “The big kids do it like this!” Gah. Geez. How embarrassing, MAWM. (Though I did bend down to pull up his droopy pants. Gotcha!)
In the car, Graham told me about Parrison and the big boys. How it was a good day because he played with the big kids. About how Parrison is five.
“I think his name is Harrison,” I said. “No, mom, it’s Parrison. It’s PARRISON!” Gah, he was so annoyed with how out of the loop I was.
And I was so annoyed with how I can’t stop time… how I’m sometimes MAWM and not always mama or mommy anymore… how conflicting it feels to want to hold on to my baby and at the same time be proud at how much he’s growing into himself. My kid.