The concept of “growing up” is not one that is easily understood. On the one hand, little kids will discuss how they are big and that they are not babies. On the other hand, they don’t actually have any idea what it means.
Alex knows he isn’t a baby. He understands that he’s 3, and that before that he was 2, and that one of these days (though to him every future event is “the next day”) he will be 4. And then 5, 6, 7. He gets that. He knows that he is taller than he once was, and will continue to get even taller.
“One day I’ll be a super big boy and I’ll be able to touch all the ceilings!”
I tell him that one day he will certainly be able to touch some ceilings, and that he will without a doubt be taller than me. “Taller than you? Dat’s widiculous, Mommy!”
Ridiculous, but true. One day he’ll likely be towering over me, similar to his father and grandfather. One day, he’ll be wider than me. His shoulders and arms will consume me when he gives me a hug. One day, he will be a Big Boy.
For now, though, I take a little comfort in the fact that he doesn’t always want to grow up. Telling him that Big Boys sleep in their own beds just makes him insist that he is “actually a wittle boy!” And he is still a little boy. He’s a little boy who is often shy but almost always friendly. A little boy that is highly emotional. A little boy who picks up on everything and succeeds in finding the most hilarious ways imaginable to then use it. And he’s a little boy who is scared of sleeping by himself. I can’t blame him, as much as I would like to, because when you’re that small? The world, bedrooms included, is huge.
One day, he’ll sleep in his own bed. One day, he’ll understand what the word “patient” means and will no longer use it in hilarious ways. One day he will be able to look at the top of my head. But until then, he can go on being confused about what it really means to grow up.
“On day, I’ll be so super big. I’ll touch the sky! And jump over the biggest puddles! I’ll be so big and I’ll gwow and gwow and gwow and be even bigger! And den I’ll turn into a squirrel and climb the tallest trees!”
Sure, kid. When you grow up, you can be anything you want. Even a squirrel.