Babies by the numbers

Something I mentioned in my post about “Getting Real” a few days ago was the speed at which Russ (and any other baby, I suppose) changes. No area of Russ’s life is better evidence of this constant state of movement than that of his clothing size. Each time I get him dressed lately, I find myself dreading that the outfit I’ve chosen – which might have fit him just fine only days prior – will suddenly be too short. Having outfits come up too snug hasn’t been much of a problem lately, since Russ seems to have taken on my body shape to some extent and therefore has a long torso, a small waist and short, thick thighs. Did I mention how pinchable and amazing little baby thigh rolls are? Well they’re awesometastic, just so ya know. 😉

But still…is that even right, for me to be so bummed out when Russ outgrows yet another outfit? I remember when he outgrew the first one, a beautiful, blue-and-white striped footie that Jonathan’s godmother sent us. He only wore it ONE time, for crying out loud! After that came my favorite outfit that he spent quite a bit of time in, his “Dino” sleeper. It had footies with little “dino prints” on the bottom of the feet, and though it was Carter’s brand much like 90% of Russ’s other clothing, it always felt just a bit softer and more cuddly than anything else in his dresser. I actually shoved him into “Dino” two more times after it was pretty much determined that it was beginning to tent up around his waist where his feet pushed the legs out further than they were meant to go. I took plentiful pictures of him in “Dino,” and then tearfully packed it away with a few more outfits that were beginning to get too short for comfort.

My reaction has become a little less dramatic, but to be honest, each time Russ grows out of another outfit – or as the case has been lately, an entire slew of pants, onesies, or footies – I must struggle to set aside the faint aching in my heart. Oh, he’s just growing too fast for me…isn’t there a pause button somewhere? *sigh*

But then I make my usual detour inside Walmart, to the baby section, where there are plenty of Premie-size numbers left on the clearance racks (since premies just aren’t as common, I guess). The premie clothes look painfully small to me. Like doll clothes, and I’m sure many people have purchased premie outfits for their little girls’ dollbabies or their little boys’ teddy bears, since they’re really the perfect size. They only fit babies UP TO 5 lbs., which is just insane to me. Russ looked so tiny at nearly 7 lbs. 14 oz. (and even smaller at the 7 lbs. 8 oz. he shrunk to during the first few days of his life – a normal occurence, by the way), I cannot imagine a sub-5-lb. baby. And yet, here I am, so sad as my little boy grows big and strong in a way that many mothers struggle to get their little ones to do. And I’m not even trying! How lucky am I, seriously? My son was born without a single complication, came screaming and hollering into the world with such vigor and health, never turned blue, never had trouble breathing…that was a huge blessing in itself. But then, 20 minutes after he was born, Russ latched on to nurse as if he knew exactly what was doing (even if I didn’t just yet). An hour later, he nursed again. Sure, all he was getting was colostrum, but any lactation consultant will tell you that – barring some medical problem – all a newborn baby needs is colostrum during the first few days of life until a mother’s milk comes in. So I just let Russ lead, and this is where he has ended up. He is growing, thriving, so healthy, and absolutely perfect.

Sometimes, all it takes is a change of perspective to help ease an ache in your heart. I’ll still wince a little when Russ outgrows his beautiful blue sailboat onesie with the wrap-style buttons down the side. I’ll still stare wistfully at how small the outfits are that he wore only weeks ago. But they’re just clothes. And I wouldn’t judge myself based on what size I wore at a given store (since I can range from a size 6 to a size 10 or larger, given the store, despite the fact that I’m really a size 8-10), so why do I let the fact that my son is growing so fast scare me into thinking that he’s going to grow up TOO fast? We all know that our babies can never grow up slowly enough for us. They start off so tiny, so innocent. I looked at Russ the other day, looked up to Jonathan, and said “Do you realize that, right now, he has never done a single thing wrong in his entire life?” Right now, I’d gladly stop time, because right now, this is all the Heaven I know. Even with the breastfeeding every couple of hours, the lack of sleep…I would and could do this for a lot longer than I’m going to get! But then Russ is going to become vocal, mobile, and much more precocious (trust me on that one), and that will be such a fun and exciting stage. Then he’ll become a little boy in the true sense, and most likely a big brother to other little boys or little girls. I’ll get to watch him be a big brother, barring some unexpected circumstance – and how amazing will that be? There are so many things to look forward to. Russ will wear many garments in his life – birthday hats, ring bearer suits, Christmas pajamas, a football uniform, his prom tuxedo, a graduation cap and gown, a wedding tuxedo, and eventually, a set of scrubs or a t-shirt that is the first soft thing against my future grandbaby’ skin. But right now, he’s just a baby. Just my baby. As a friend told me yesterday, “You can only take one day at a time.” And today is just Monday, December 6th, 2010.

2 thoughts on “Babies by the numbers

  1. I remember shopping for clothes when my son was a baby and spying the clothes in toddler sizes across the store. I remember vividly the feeling that there was no way my son would ever be big enough for those clothes. They were HUGE. I couldn't envision how he'd ever get to be that big.

    I don't remember exactly when I stopped feeling that way, but I do know that now that he's 5, seeing clothes destined for a 10 year old doesn't give me that same feeling of impossibility that I felt when he was a baby. Maybe I just got used to that whole growing-up thing that seemed so incomprehensible when he still fit in my arms.

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  2. Amy, you nailed it – that's exactly how I feel. I remember when Gage helped me pick clothes for Russ at the big sale in August, I looked at him and it's exactly what you say – “It's impossible that my son will ever be that big.” But then I look at Jonathan and remember the doc telling me that Russ would most likely be as tall or taller than Jonathan and I realize that oh yes, he will be that big one day. It's good to hear that feeling goes away with time. Speaking of time, are we still on for the usual noon time slot for lunch Thursday? I don't think we picked a restaurant out yet…texting you…

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