Monday, July 25, 2011

When does a baby stop being a baby?

When is your baby no longer a baby?  I recently asked this question to The Chef.  His answer mirrored my own suspicions: "I'm not exactly sure, but I think The Boy is getting close."

Will he stop qualifying as a baby when I no longer can hoist him easily onto my hip?  When another tooth emerges from his swollen gums?  When his hands, still plump and dimpled near the knuckles, thin out?  When his wispy hair thickens?

It's difficult to know.

Right now, The Boy toddles to me, clutches my legs, and buries his face in my knees.  Like a young buck rubbing antlers against a tree to mark his territory, The Boy rubs his face side to side into my legs, designating me as his own.

I've noticed how often I do the same to him.  When he sits in my lap, I often nestle my face into the top of his head or the crook of his neck and breathe in his smell -- sweetly sweaty, reminiscent of Cheerios and baby lotion.  Lost in thought, I turn my face side to side, nuzzling him, marking him as mine.  He never resists.

He has no words to ask me to stop.  He hasn't learned to extend "mom" into multiple syllables and reveal annoyance at my unbridled affection.  Rather, he permits me to revel in him, just like I let him cling to me, never wanting to rush this time when he'd have nowhere else he'd rather be than right with me.

After all, he is my baby.


  1. I am pretty sure at 2 they stop being a baby. We are 2 weeks over that date and I am still not 100% sure. That is my best guess. :)

  2. Well that gives me about 10 more months then. Not bad!