Yesterday we got to take both kids to the dentist for the first time in too long (no cavities for either kid! Woo hoo!). Keith and I were watching the way they were acting, and said to each other how nice it was to see them acting their respective ages. Not acting like a baby (whining, crying, pouting) and not acting like a teenager (sassy, rude, defiant), just acting like sweet innocent kids. It was really refreshing, and it made us so happy. Brady was being so good in the dentist chair, and when it tipped back he just held on to the little toothy alligator he was playing with for dear life, making sure it wouldn't fall down. It was so sweet. And Natalie with the little sunglasses she put on to block the light, she just opened up wide and obeyed the hygienist, but then was still fascinated by all the tools and stickers and bubbles they had to look at. Weird how some seemingly insignificant moments of time, that you might not even have noticed had you not been watching closely, can bring such a sense of peace and joy.
I also saw it in Natalie the other day at the library. They each got these cool cowboy hats for turning in their second reading log of the summer, and she instantly put hers on and pretended to be a cowgirl riding her pony all over the library. Gone was the little princess, the sassy girl who thinks she is older than she really is. All I saw was my precious, creative 5 year old enjoying being a child. Sometimes I feel guilty that we have made her grow up too fast, but seeing things like that make me breathe that much easier, she is still a little child, happy to enjoy simple and sometimes silly things.
Brady can be so hot and cold. One minute he is just the sweetest thing, soft and squishy and lovey, and the next minute he is screaming "NOOOOO" at the top of his lungs and you are standing there scratching your head wondering what set him off. Even with the weird outbursts I still can't get enough. Often times when I am just watching his sweetness and can't resist reaching out for a few squeezes or maybe a nibble of a squishy body part (toes, thighs, fingers, cheeks, arms, elbows, belly..you name it!), he has to tell me to stop. Earlier he was playing with his harmonica and had said that the high note meant stop, and the low note meant go. Well this afternoon, as soon as I sat down on the floor next to his piggies hanging off the couch, to get a little nibble, he let out a high note, "that means stop, Mama."
I think having a 5 year old, that is clearly NOT a soft toddler anymore, and just so ready to be a Big Girl and having a 3 year old that is there in that in between, no mans land of being a Big Boy and yet still being the child that will tell me he never wants to grow up so he can be my baby forever, makes me see and realize how quickly time goes by. In 2 short years Brady will really be a Big Boy. It makes me sad in some ways, but in other ways makes me realize I need to enjoy what I have while I still have it. Instead of a time out, give an extra squeeze or ten. To grasp at those quickly passing days of childhood.