Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh the times they are a'changing!!

"Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agin'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'."


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Cajes first sees the ocean...such a great memory!

First Christmas

First Dandelion

Well folks, we officially closed the big heavy door on toddlerhood today.

In my heart I’ve known this was the case for a while but I have tried to hang on to any shred of little baby faced-ness that I could. I’ve tried to listen carefully to Cajes’ words and keep them written in a journal so that we may look back and say “Remember when”?
We really do want more children…at least one…but what if that doesn’t ever occur?

I catch myself wondering without forethought if this is the last “first time” my child sees the ocean, or the last “first” t-ball practice, the last “first time” I go to the dentist with a child of my own, or maybe the last “first” time I have a child who learns to grow a garden from his own little seeds in a cup? Yeah, we may do all of those things again and again—but there is only one true first time.

And Monday was the first time we made the transition from a toddler bed to a big boy bed. I know, I know—it was way overdue. Cajes’ little feet having been hanging out of his toddler bed for some time now but he insisted that he keep that bed “until I’m a big tall boy” he would say. I would remind him he is a big boy now and he’d clutch his blankets tightly and declare “I am not getting out of this bed!!” Mind you, this is the same mattress he slept on when we brought him home from the hospital.

It’s been a good friend to Cajes who loves his bed and blankies more than anything—(and this teaches me what parts of his mama he carries in his heart). So, in an effort to eliminate tears— with no discussion of my plans, while Cajes was at t-ball practice I took down the toddler bed and set up a new twin bed in its place, a preemptive strike of sorts. It’s so much roomier and fits him— much better than the bear in the birds nest. And he of course loved it(!) as soon as we got the new safari animal sheets on of course.

We actually did an overhaul on his room putting up new cubicle bookcases that can house bins that will (hopefully) help to keep some of his toys and books more organized… much more for my sanity than his. I was as proud when I finished that room as if I had completed a master suite with Hildi on Trading Spaces. And you’d never believe the things I found under his old toy box that got moved for the cubicle thingy—one real dollar bill and one play dollar bill, one wheat thin, a plastic sword, enough goldfish and cheerios to make a meal, and several pieces of jewelry he had robbed me of, all scattered amongst a mound of Legos and Lincoln Logs and Thomas the Train signs. We could have started a small toy store with all the misplaced items we found.

Nevertheless, the point I want to convey in this post (I get sidetracked sometimes) is how much change we are witnessing these days from Cajes. I looked one day and he was a baby in my arms….sleeping by my desk at work…crawling on the floor with his daddy at home…learning new words, heck, learning words at all—and then I looked back and he was a boy.
A real boy. He not only grew literally 2 inches in a few months….but he also became aware of his autonomy in the same amount of time. Cajes has learned that he is independent of me and his dad. He is CAJES(!) and he will say and do whatever he wants.

Now mind you, there may be repercussions for some of the things he says and does because he will test the water and see where the line is drawn. Call us cruel if you want-- but don't call DSS when I tell you--- sometimes when “time out” didn’t work as a consequence (I don’t like the word punishment so much) there have been times that we have resorted to some old-timey mouth washing. Trust me when I tell you--it sounds terrible--but it curbs potty mouth for a good length of time….if not indefinitely. He now patrols his daddy’s mouth and fussed at him for saying “idiot” in the car last week. Cajes told his dad “I don’t like you using that word around my angel songs!! They’re good songs and that’s a bad word! Jesus doesn’t like that word!! That is totally NOT cool!!” I can’t recall the last bad word I’ve heard him try to test out lately. Except the predictable “poop talk” which is an every day occurrence now.

Which leads me to another thought…I have learned to pick and choose my battles and I have let go of “poop talk”. Not only does Cajes like to throw the word into daily conversations, like “Mom, can you make me a poop sandwich for lunch?”—but he also gets fiercely alarmed (in an unhealthy kind of way) when people touch his blankets or items for fear of poop. When we gave Dempsey a bath he was concerned that Dempsey might get poop in his bathtub. And just tonight when I sat on his new bed to read books before it was time to go to sleep he couldn’t concentrate on the story because he was worried I might be getting poop on his blankets.
I said “Cajes I let you jump on my bed with dirty feet and I can assure you that my level of grossed-out-ness over dirty feet is worse than yours of poop. I am your mama—WHY would I have poop on ME that would get on YOUR bed??” There was no answer. Only silence and stares. Just part of independent Cajes coming out. I left the room with him mumbling about “poop better not be in my bed”. I must be a super-inspiring mom to have poop talk to the last moments of the day.

Finally, this past weekend we had some of Ben’s cousins in from High Point and I saw Cajes go from four to fourteen before my eyes. In the car ride to eat dinner we were riding with Ben’s cousin Addie who is ten. Cajes was so enamored with her the whole time that he lost sight of himself. For instance, Ben said to me, “look honey, there’s a volleyball court over there” and Cajes replied “Why yes, there IS a volleyball court over there.” Then he’d giggle this sheepish little laugh and say “Daddy YOU are so silly!” The wheels in his four year old mind started working overtime and he began telling outlandish stories of tigers he rode on in our back yard, Obama and the White House exploding, and then began singing songs we’d never heard before. I think he’s going to be a big-time flirt (or politician). He already has a thing for Debbie—my good friend and co-worker. When we went to Open Hearts to pick our laptop up last week Debbie came out to the car and she got in for a minute to talk to Cajes. Well, after we left….about a ½ mile down the road, driving in silence, I hear Cajes take a big sniff of air….and let out an “Mmmmm….” and then announced “Debbie smells gooooood— doesn’t she?”…then later in the evening as I was on the phone with her he says “who are you talking to?”… I reply “Debbie”… and he replies “that Debbie is so precious!” I foresee a future Don Juan and it frightens me a little.

And just as much as he likes some people he has a wicked distaste for other people. Especially if it is a senior citizen touching his food, toys, etc. He says they have a “stink” that he doesn’t want to get on his stuff—much like the poop fear. However he excludes Mamaw “because she loves him”.

All in all….we are watching our little boy grow in to a little man and a piece of my heart breaks each time I see him do something new, in a loving and “not yet” kind of way. I want him to grow up to be independent, creative, smart, successful—and most of all HAPPY—but for now can’t he just stay little one more day? This will always be the last “first time” we have this day.

Cajes learns to say "juice"...

Easter Morning at Mom's---
He looks like a little man here.


Jessie said...

he is definitely your child! he has the same quirks as you do w/ the blankets and the people touching his food and toys.
"poop" talk is an everyday here w/ the girls too. everything is "rock your poopy body" or answering a question with "poop yes" or "poop no".
i love the new blog look and layout. it is very colorful and YOU, which i love. how did you do it?

Heidi said...

Cajes is so blessed to have you as his mommy. I love you! Heidi

iluvbarry4ever said...

poopy shoot

iluvbarry4ever said...

ok i hope this worked. by the way the msg on your phn today was...U are a GRREEAATTT Mom!! and i am so blessed to live vicariously (sp?) with you raising Cajes...I pretend i would be as great as you!! I could only dream i would be. Listen to the msg! it says more. Luv. B.