You know the day — or even the exact minute — when you look at your child and realize they are no longer your baby? That moment came for me last night when I tucked our oldest child into bed and realized that his favourite blanket — one that our friends in Winnipeg had made for him when he was a toddler — was too small.
Our son Isaac turned six last Christmas Eve and all of my friends told me what a huge year six is for kids. But instead of feeling nostalgic about those baby days I’ll never get back, I’m excited for his next steps and the celebration of his new milestones.
First lost tooth
A few weeks ago, Isaac lost his first baby tooth — amazingly it was also his first baby tooth. In the days leading up to the tooth falling out he took great pleasure in grossing everyone out by wiggling it around with his fingers and tongue. He lost his tooth at school during a nutrition break and proudly brought it home in a tiny treasure chest the teachers keep on hand. Of course, that brings into play the Tooth Fairy (something I’m vehemently opposed too). I was relieved when he told me that he wants to keep his tooth instead of giving it away to the Tooth Fairy. Now I just have to figure out what to do with all these teeth (which I think are gross — and I’m not sentimental enough to keep them).
In a confession that will hopefully not publicly shame my son should he Google his name one day in the future, up until last month he wore Pull-Ups at nighttime. As part of my grocery budget cuts, I decided that an extra load of laundry was cheaper than Pull-Ups. I read everything I could about bedwetting and was surprised to find out that dehydration could actually contribute to it. We bought a good quality waterproof mattress protector, a package of the Good Nights Bed Mats and made sure Isaac drank plenty of water in the hours between when he got home from school and went to bed. Yes, the first three days were messy and stressful, but since then I’m proud to report night-training success. My one piece of advice is that, although you may be tempted to buy cheaper bed mats (they sell smaller mats in the incontinence product aisle), it’s not an item you want to scrimp on. The cheaper mats we bought didn’t have an adhesive back and ended up shredded, wet and smelly. And now, with our son out of nighttime Pull-Ups, our family is officially done with diapers. We couldn’t be happier.
Big boy bike
Isaac’s first bike was a bright red Norco runbike he rode everywhere. When we couldn’t raise the seat any higher this spring, we knew it was time for a new bicycle. Now, the theory behind the runbike is that kids will transition to a two-wheel bike without training wheels without any problems. I smugly wanted to test that theory and refused to let the bike shop install the training wheels when we bought the bike. For three days in a row Isaac stubbornly tried to master his big boy bike, often throwing it on the ground, angry that he kept falling off. Then one sunny Saturday afternoon I took him to a trail race where I was volunteering and let him practice pedalling his bike down the side of a ski hill where the race was held. For an hour he did this non-stop, until finally it clicked and I watched him pedal across the parking lot in a wide circle and then pedal back to me. The smile on his face was enormous, as was mine. Now, each day he rides his bike he builds ramps in the driveway and jumps off them. I’ve also learned that my First Aid kit was under-stocked.