Saturday, February 6, 2010

I guess they all grow up at some point, don't they?

Annabel turned 3 on Thursday.

It was a pinkalicious day.

She's three. The fourth and final installment in this family is THREE.

My last baby is no longer a baby, and I'm surprisingly more okay with that fact then I originally thought my sentimental self would be. I love her age. I love her newfound independence. I love that she is potty-trained. I love that my shorty would rather listen to, "SOMEBODY CALL 9-1-1! SHAWTY FIRE BURNIN' ON THE DANCE FLOOR!" than "I'm a Little Teapot".

Yes, they grow up so fast.

It is now time for the "Big Girl" bed.

About a month ago, Bill and I took Annabel to the store and bought her a white trundle bed, much to her delight. However, it is now sitting in our storage room, the headboard ready to be attached to the rails and the footboard. I know it is time to take down the crib.

Yet, as of this moment, we haven't done it.

One of the reasons why we haven't taken down the crib is because we are sentimental. After all, the crib that Annabel is sleeping in is the same crib that Bill and I picked out back in the year 2000 when I was pregnant with Charlie. Bill's grandmother generously told us, "Pick out a crib, and don't worry about the price. It is my gift to you."

Grateful for her kind gesture, we picked out a very pretty off-white sleigh crib and matching furniture. We were 25-years old at the time, pregnant with our first baby after a year of marriage, and on the budget of two newlyweds about to move into our first home. That was 10 years ago. A whole decade. We no longer live in that home, or that state, and our family has grown beyond three people.

Life has changed dramatically, and the crib is still standing.

It has been gnawed on at the top of the rails by four different children who have teethed and used it as a chew toy. It has been pooped in and vomited in. It has been used as a trampoline. It has featured blue sheets, green sheets, yellow sheets, ducky sheets, striped sheets, and most recently in the past 3 years, pink sheets. Over the last decade, there have only been a few months when the crib wasn't being occupied by one of our babies. But in those few months, there was always a baby on the way, nestled snug in my belly, growing bigger and soon ready to come into the world and meet this family.

I know the crib has served its purpose four times over.

It is time. I am not trying to stop Annabel from growing up. I know they don't stay babies forever.

So there are sentimental reasons for not taking down the crib. But then there are the practical reasons.

Like there's the simple fact that the crib is a legal cage. And let's face it. I'm kind of lazy, and if there is a way to legally and comfortably cage in one of my kids for awhile, then that's an idea that I can get behind. And really. Who am I kidding with this sentimental drivel?

Well, maybe "cage" is not such a nice word. Enclosure? Pen? A means to fence-in?

No, they all sound kind of inhumane. But the crib is oh-so-humane with its fluffy blankets and stuffed animals. What mother doesn't appreciate the crib for the beauty that it is? It is a means to snugly trap your kid for several hours or overnight so you can sleep/pay bills/watch "the View"/write a blog in peace.

THIS mom has appreciated it for a decade. And sigh...it has to come to an end.

Now when I put Annabel down for a nap, or we put her to sleep for the night, she stays in her crib. She has no choice because she is caged in. She cannot climb out, and the only way for her to get out of her bed and her room is for her to call, "MOOOOOMMMYYY! DADDDYYYY! COME GET MEEEEE!!!!"

So yeah. Maybe I'm just a little lazy and not ready to deal with Annabel acting like she has free reign of this house all hours of the day and night. I have this vision of her escaping from her bed at 2 a.m., going downstairs to the family room, pouring herself a bowl of Goldfish crackers and chilling with the Backyardigans on Nick Junior. And FYI. That is not an idea I can get behind.

Excuses? Maybe. Lazy? Pay attention. I already 'fessed up to that.

We'll take down the crib soon. Our laziness and procrastination cannot last forever.

Back to Annabel's pinkalicious birthday.

I actually broke up a fight between Charlie and Henry over this.



Dude. It's a Barbie hairbrush.

I repeat. Fisticuffs resulted over this 3-inch purple Barbie hairbrush. I heard Charlie and Henry yelling, "It's MY turn! I get the Barbie next!" and I turned to see arms and legs flying.

Over a Barbie hairbrush.

By the way, this hairbrush just so happens to belong to Annabel's brand-new, much desired, only mildly slutbaggy preschool teacher Barbie. This particular Babs needs to be reminded that Circle Time is probably not too comfortable in a teal metallic miniskirt and 3 inch pink heels. Unless it's Circle Time for streetwalkers. I cannot fathom an appropriate version of "criss-cross applesauce" in her get-up.

Apparently testosterone makes you do crazy things, you guys, like fight with your bro over the brand-new Barbie that your sister just received for her birthday. Not that I would know boo about testosterone though, what with all this estrogen flowing through my bod. But herein lies the difference between boys and girls. Girls will cry and pull hair to get a toy back. They will tattle and bitch. Boys will just knock a brother out and be all, "DUDE. BACK. AWAY. FROM. THE. BARBIE. BRUSH. I SAID IT IS MINE."

Perhaps LL Cool J was inspired to pen, "Mama Said Knock You Out" after a battle with his brother over a Barbie. Or a My Little Pony. It's a thought.

I was quite flabbergasted, to say the least. I know how to broker a peace deal between two boys fighting over a video game or a light saber. But a Barbie hairbrush? That's new territory.

I couldn't help but chuckle inwardly in exasperation as my boys tried to pummel each other. I got in between them, pulled them apart, and all I could manage to eke out of my throat was, "Seriously you guys?"

"Mooommmmm...we're just trying to help Annabel figure out how to play with her Barbies," Charlie responded.

How charitable of Charlie and Henry. They're always thinking of their sister.

Or, like I said earlier, my kids are just all growing up so fast. I thought I would have at least 10 to 12 more years before they started fighting over some chick in a tight shirt and short skirt.

Oy.

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