Growing Pains

Yep, these are my hooligans.

Is there a titled category for children in between “preschooler” and “big kid”? A middle ground?


I’m really not comfortable calling Uno and Dos “big kids,” but the truth is neither one of them is a preschooler anymore. I am grieving.


(Not the wearing sack cloth and ashes and hiring a professional mourner kind of grieving, just the kind where your breath catches in your throat and your heart breaks a little on a moment-by-moment basis.)


I’ve been away from the girls for most of this week since my doctor recommended against me descending the mere 7,000 feet of elevation to the conference I was planning to attend unless I was comfortable giving birth mid-seminar.


I’m not. I’d prefer this baby to keep cooking. (I’d also prefer the contractions to stop because they’re really not doing anything for me except put the following phrase on repeat in my brain: “Let the contractions begin… and may the odds be ever in your favor.”)


Lizard took the girls without me and I’ve been in a very quiet house in the meantime. They got home late last night and I’m all aquiver with joy at seeing them again.


I love me some silence — but I love my kiddos more!


This morning Tres came into the bathroom to see what I was doing (all activities are highly monitored in our house because we’re a curious bunch with a high tolerance for invasion of privacy).


The gal started talking to me in broken, baby English, then her words suddenly switched into a strange version of African click.


She clicked emphatically and took herself away. Like a big kid.


This afternoon we had a quiet time. I looked at Dos, all settled onto the bed, asleep and drooling (she takes after her mom with that). I glanced away, saw a flash of movement from the corner of my eye, looked back and realized her pants had moved from ankle-length to capri à la Huckleberry Finn. Or the Incredible Hulk.


It was instantaneous! How did that happen?!


As for Uno, that kid spits out teeth like a shark and her head has grown so much she doesn’t look like a strange, dimpled bobble-headed, buck toothed caricature anymore.




There are so many moments I want to freeze in time. I don’t want to correct the grammar of these little girls because when they say, “So’s…” it connects me to their preschooler self.


I want to push pause on these days that seem to possess 38.6 hours each because even though they are painfully long, they are filled to the brim with love and activity and angst and joy.


Without a by-your-leave, this:



Became this:



And then they dared to become this:



Of all the nerve!


I have a white-knuckled grip onto their childhood and a sneaky suspicion I’m just along for the ride.


The innocence they possess… I wish it would stay forever! I want them to always think the bunny rabbit hiding under the car is the coolest thing ever and mermaids really exist.


I don’t want “big kids.” Yet they just won’t stop growing!


Can someone tell me how to do this whole parenting thing gracefully? Please?

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