“You’re my baby,” I would say.
“I’m not a baby anymore, I’m a big girl,” Rain would reply.
“But you’re my baby,” I’d repeat, part joking, part serious like ‘I don’t care what you say, buddy, you’re mine!’
“No, no, Mommy, I’m not! I’m a big girl. See, I’m 5,” she would insist, raising her hand up and showing all of her 5 little fingers.
“Mommy, you have to listen to Rainy,” Dawn would chime in, taking her sister’s side.
There are two ways this conversation can go.
One, I’d ask them to pretend they’re still babies, and if they say yes, I’d tickle them and kiss them and carry them like babies and tickle them some more. “Just pretend, okay?” Rain would confirm, and I’d reply with a quick “ok, ok!”
Two, I’d agree with them and affirm that yes, they are indeed big girls now. (Music to Rain’s ears, by the way.)
The truth is, while the four of us enjoy teasing and disagreeing with each other (it’s one of our favorite pasttimes), I sometimes feel like the twins are not joking too. They really want to be treated as big girls na, to act like it, to be called such.
And don’t we all, have these moments growing up?
It’s an interesting phase. Also, it’s humbling, crazy, intense, entertaining, beautiful, tiring, stretching—all at the same time!
And just like my babies (who I’m going to refer to as “my babies” for the rest of this post because I say so, hah!), every day I can feel in my bones that years—and growth—are being added to my life too.
Note to self: Try to be more conscious about not calling them “babies” as much, even though I know deep inside they’ll always be mine.
+ + +
Since we’re in the subject of growing up, these two are literally outgrowing everything so fast.
Clothes, toys, TV shows, songs, books, even places. That playground in the mall they labeled as the “best place ever” just last month? Yep. Not anymore.
Sometimes I catch myself holding on to things a little too tightly. Like that dress they loved to wear when they were 2 years old which now falls about 5 inches above the knees; or that worn out baby blanket that held so much memories.
There’s a box of toys they don’t play with anymore, a pink doll house we got them for Christmas that they already want to trade for a bigger one, a plushie (or two) gathering dusts under the bed.
I know we need to let them go at some point but I thought, maybe, if I keep them a little longer, time will slow down a little bit too. (Or fine, I’m just a busy mom who doesn’t want to deal with the wrath of two feisty 5-year old girls just yet.)
Excuse the puffy eyes. We took these photos in the morning and they.. (hashtag) wokeuplikethis.
+ + +
Few weeks ago we received a crate of goodies from Johnson & Johnson and the smiles on the girls’ faces were priceless.
They’re familiar with every item in the crate because they literally grew up with these J&J products—always included in the grocery list, present on the bedside table, stashed in the side pockets of their diaper bag.
From the time they were babies until now, each product represents a season, a favorite time of day, a treasured memory.
Like the sweet scent of baby lotion that reminds us of co-sleeping and bedtime cuddles. The handy dandy pack of baby wipes that takes us back to those diaper days. The bottle of baby shampoo that makes them want to dive into a tub of bubbles. The baby powder we still carry in our purses 20 years later.
Time flies, babies grow, and kids outgrow stuff, but some things do grow with us.
Thank you, Johnson & Johnson, for being one with the village and helping us give our babies only the best—from then til now.