My youngest turned seven last month. And he still has all of his baby teeth, is still a terrible eater, and has zero reservations about going to the doctor. One day he will kill me for telling you this, but I still carry him to bed every night and he has that same “spot blankie” and stuffed monkey from his crib days.
He is my seven-year-old infant.
It’s not that I do not want him to grow up; quite the contrary. I am excited about the days ahead when we will have three teenagers in our home, the youngest bringing up the rear and who will most certainly be the most adventurous one. I can see it now, with a quick toss of his glossy blonde hair, wink and a smile, he will take off as he hears my yells of “Be careful!,” “Not too fast!,” and “You’ll shoot your eye out!” echoing off the walls.
But yesterday, he just came home from the hospital.
It’s confusing when social media gives you a little gift each morning with photos, memories from years past. There’s the time he drank his first smoothie, or dressed himself for the first time (pretty sure that was only a couple of days ago), played in his first true snow, or fed the chickens in nothing but a diaper and a pair of farm boots.
How can infants do so many older child things? It does not make sense to me.
He makes me think in overwhelming distinct detail. When he finally loses that first tooth, it’ll be the last first tooth lost in our home. He will be the last to graduate, the last to leave home. Maybe. Right now, I think he and his brother have devised this diabolical plan to build a house down by the barn and walk up the hill every night for supper. But infants can’t build houses and have supper plans on a Thursday night. Infants need for things to stay the same, stable, predictable.
One day I will look back on all of this and my thirty-six-year-old infant will have all of his adult teeth, still be a terrible eater, and most likely be taking me to the doctor. One day he will kill me for telling you this, but he will be covering up his own infant with that same “spot blankie” from so long ago.