The weeks leading up to Christmas, my two-year-old experienced a sleep regression. And she was constantly hungry; it was like she just couldn’t get enough to eat.
Then it hit me — this was a major growth spurt.
This was confirmed when she suddenly outgrew her 3T clothes in a matter of days. And I found myself changing out her wardrobe yet again.
Since my oldest daughter was a baby, I’ve always had a hard time when she transitions from one size to another.
I remember boxing up newborn onesies when she was barely two weeks old, because she had already moved onto the 0-3 month size. Then when she was only nine months old she was already fitting into 12 month clothing.
I found myself getting emotional while sorting out the clothing: deciding what to donate, what to save for a future baby, and what to keep for her baby box.
The growth spurts always seemed to happen too fast and when I least expected them. Sometimes she’d be in a size for a few weeks, and other times, she’d be in it for a few months.
Then, while I was putting the toys away in her room, I noticed something.
Her room looked different. It looked like a set change. It felt like I was no longer in a baby or young toddler’s room. I was looking at a little girl’s room now.
The toy pieces had become smaller — with Barbie shoes, fake rings, and showy necklaces spread around the room.
Her imagination had become bigger, as indicated by the pretend play and what comes with it; the princess wands, dresses, and pretend makeup.
When she helps me sort and pick things up, she’ll declare, “This is Ebbie’s.”
She still can’t quite say her little sister’s name, Everly, properly, which makes me smile at the fact she’s still little, but in a way, she’s also so grown up. I feel sad when she has hands me a stuffed monkey rattle that she used to love playing with as a baby.
She thinks it’s for her younger sister now.
The scene has changed. She’s outgrown her clothes and some beloved toys in just a matter of weeks. And I wasn’t prepared for the emotion of seeing her room change so quickly.
Preserving the Moment
I use my daughter’s baby boxes to remember the precious memories.
They’re pretty simple and kept in short, wide clear totes on wheels that I keep under our bed. Throughout the year, I add sentimental outfits, toys, and crafts.
At the end of the year, I go through everything. I organize similar items together and put them into envelopes or clear zipper plastic bags with a label. I’ll sometimes write out a quick story or memory, and then attach it to the item.
When I sit down and go through this process, it feels healing to reminisce and to acknowledge that she’s moved out of that particular stage. That she’s quickly leaving babyhood behind.
I look forward to princess tea parties, longer stories to read at bedtime, and the many other adventures this new season will hold.
However, I’ll also give myself a moment to feel sad that the season of babyhood is now behind us. It’s okay to feel excitement for what’s ahead while holding space for the loss of what’s now in the past.