Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Steady Growth

Miraculously, a styrofoam cup plant that Ann brought home last year from preschool has been thriving on our kitchen windowsill. Ordinarily, the school plant and the carnival goldfish are more vulnerable than the California condor. Nestled between the "egg-checking glass" and another plant, at home among the flour, sugar, and our kitschy Belgian kitchen chicken, Ann's plant has been growing up and over the frame, straining leftward toward the sun.

When I was pregnant with Andy, I remember someone telling me that the first time you change your bigger baby after bringing home a newborn, the older sibling suddenly seems huge. "Look at those giant legs! And you can talk! Why am I still changing your diapers!?" But in actuality, the bigger baby is still quite little, thought it's easy to forget with those tiny, chicken-y newborn legs in your house again. I do remember how big my scrawny Ann suddenly seemed that day during Sukkos when Andy came home.

This week we celebrated Andy's second birthday. He's coming into his own, and holding fast to his reputation as the Raggedy who probably adds the most fun and excitement to our brood. Although Andy's our resident displaced baby since the arrival of Little Rag, he really does feel like he's still also the baby. It was just about a year ago that I started this blog with a picture of him in the laundry basket. (Happy Blogiversary to me!)

Ann, on the other hand, has suddenly struck me as such an independent girl. I'm realizing daily that there are so many ways in which she doesn't need me anymore. Getting dressed, washing up, and keeping busy (usually) are, for the most part, within her domain. Watching the way she plays, and the way she teaches Andy to play, makes me realize that she's gotten very mature in just the last couple of months.

Yesterday at the little playground they built behind our apartment, two big boys came along after we'd been there a while. One of them was passing by Andy on the way up to the slide, and said something like, "This slide isn't for a baby!" I just watched from the sidelines for a minute. Although Ann is usually reserved with strangers, she stood up tall and said, "He just had his birthday on Sunday, and now he's two years old [showing two fingers]. He's actually a very big boy now. Come with me, Andy."

It has made me kind of wistful that she doesn't need me the way Andy still does. For the most part, she knows what she's doing and isn't going to take the same crazy risks. She certainly doesn't need me the way Little Rag does, desperately clinging to my neck for dear life, still totally bewildered by this world.

They're growing up every day, but the truth is, I'm the one who still needs them.


SephardiLady said...

In my case, the baby had bigger legs than the older one from birth. Oy!

Great plant. Maybe the kids could grow some herbs. :)

Ezzie said...

Happy blogiversary and birthday! :)

I really like that move by Ann. That's a good older sister.

Shira Salamone said...

"Turn around, and they're two,
Turn around, and they're four,"

Turn around, and he's a young man of plus-24.

Enjoy your children's young years while they last.

Jack's Shack said...

They're growing up every day, but the truth is, I'm the one who still needs them.

Don't I know it.

LittleBirdies said...

I constantly feel that my boys are growing up and more independant and I'm just not ready to let go. Just the other day ZB took SD to the bathroom and sat with him the whole time. Then he turned on the water for SD to wash his hands.

Ariella said...

I was astounded once to hear a woman declare of her toddler, "He doesn't need me anymore." I think our first may have been a newborn then. But even if a child is out of diapers, no longer nursing, etc., there are still needs. Even teens need their parents, though figuring out exactly what they need is often tougher than figuring out what a baby needs.

frumhouse said...

Great post! It's true - I remember thinking my oldest seemed so big after bringing home my next son. Now my youngest is 2 (the same age as my oldest was at that time) and he still seems a baby because he is the youngest - which is how it should be!

orieyenta said...

Yay for Ann sticking up for Andy.

And again you're proving that you are a better Mom than me...I killed the styrofoam cup plant that LO made!

~ Sarah ~ said...

sounds like your kids are v. cute :)

happy blogiversary/birthday!

~ Sarah ~ said...

sounds like your kids are v. cute :)

happy blogiversary/birthday!