When he was 2, I went : “Don’t cry ! Don’t be such a baby !”
When he was 3, I said : “Don’t hit your little brother, he’s a baby !”
When he was 4, HE said : “Don’t kiss me in front of my friends. I’m not a baby !”
Now, he’s not yet 5, but he’s too old to be seen with “Cute stuff” on his clothes. He’s too old for me to hold his hand. He’s too old to drink from a sipper. He’s too old to be given stuffed toys.
But sometimes of a night, on a day when nothing’s gone right – when the troubles of being a “big little small boy” hit him hard, he’s game for a little cuddle. Just when no one’s looking, you understand. Just me and him; and the complexities and confusions and scraped knees and bullies of the playground forgotten.
Because being almost 5 is a big big burden. He’s not a baby any more. But he’ll always be mine.