Every parent knows that their child is growing up too fast; this is just a fact of life. I am never surprised to encounter my own feelings of loss when one of my children moves on to a new phase in life or outgrows something that I still enjoy. What did surprise me was that my five year old daughter seems to share the same sentiments.
Yesterday, on our way back from the store, Ruby told me that Edward was growing up too fast. I asked her what she meant and she told me that he was getting to be three too fast, and he should just stay at two. Pressing her further, I asked what "three year old things" he was doing too fast, and she responded with "talking."
Now, for those of you just joining us, Edward has a speech delay and has been way behind the talking curve for most of his life. He is starting to catch up, but when I think of something he is way ahead in developmentally, talking is not what comes to mind! I tried to explain this to Ruby, and that's when she told me exactly what was upsetting her. She missed the way Edward used to call Elmo "Melmo." Now he can say Elmo just fine, and Ruby was sad because, as she put it, "He's just not as cute anymore."
I totally get that feeling. I feel that way all the time! I miss all sorts of cute things that both of my children used to do, but don't do anymore. How funny that one of my children could feel that way about the other. It was at this time that I made the huge parental mistake of telling Ruby that she also used to say cute baby things that I missed. She took that as her cue to speak only in baby talk for the next half an hour or so, despite my explaining to her that when five year olds do it, it is not cute, it is obnoxious.
The point of it all, I suppose, is that you really have to enjoy every phase as it comes, even if it sounds very cliché. Sure, there may be parts of every age that you enjoy less than others, but the day will come when you will miss what you no longer have, so you will want to take comfort in the knowledge that you enjoyed every moment as much as it is humanly possible to enjoy any moment that includes a smelly diaper.