I have a lot of thoughts running through my head lately about this sweet boy.
Kian. My longest baby. I got 3 full years with this little guy as my baby. The longest yet. Maybe that's why I feel the change of him NOT being my baby so much more than I experienced with Logan and Felicity. I don't know. But I know he feels it too.
Kian's in a "coming of age" phase, for lack of better words. It seems like a lot is rocking his world, or has rocked his world, lately. In addition to having a new baby brother, he is making that classic three year old boy change, where he starts to pull away from Mama, and relate with Daddy and the male world more. I remember watching Logan go through this same natural, yet hard change when he was three too. As wonderful as it is to watch him cling to his Daddy and all that is boy, its also hard to watch and help him make this transition. And though this transition is happening at the same age it did for Logan, I have no doubt that Kian's transition is being pushed due to the fact that Mama has another baby in her arms. Yes, I had a baby when Logan went through this stage, but not a new baby. Felicity was cruising the couch and eating finger foods by that time.
Kian cries some mornings when he wakes up because "Daddy left." I remember Logan, at 3, watching Zac drive away each morning and I'd wake to his screams and find him in his window. Thankfully, Kian's not that early of a riser but when he wakes, he knows, and many morning begins with tears.
And while he is connecting with Zac so very much these days, and priding himself in doing big manly things (like peeing standing up....ahem), he is torn and still drawn to me quite a bit. Sometimes I will praise him for being such a big boy and he loves to hear those praises. But every once in a while he will remind me, "no Mama, I'm little." Sometimes he exclaims that he's big like Daddy and Logan! And other times he quietly whispers to me that he's my baby boy.
Group settings have become pretty hard for him. Not that he was ever too great in this area to begin with. It seems my kids have all gotten my shy genes. Yep, bet you wouldn't know it by how much I can go on and on here on my blog, but as a kid, I was fearfully shy. So much so that the Kindergarten screener told my mom she should take me to a child psychologist (she flipped him the bird...mentally). I didn't come out of my shell till I was 15. Anyways, always quiet in groups, Kian now cries even if I'm there. The other week, as our home school co op group transferred from one room to another for a different activity, he was beside himself and in tears, even though I had him by the hand. And when it was worship time and the kids were allowed to play amazing instruments, he refused to even step near the box to choose his, even though he LOVES instruments. Its hard for me to always know what to do for him in these situations. I don't want to push too much, but want to encourage him just enough. So I walked with him to the box, him stiff as a board, and I picked an instrument I knew he'd enjoy, and I sat with him on my lap and played the instrument for him. By the last song he was slyly playing too, and in the car on the way home, he talked about that instrument so excitedly that you would have thought he performed 3 solos. He deprives himself of participating in things he really wants to. And I can relate. I remember doing it myself. He just can't muster up enough courage yet. On that day, I was thankful to have a friend getting her baby fix with Arrow during that time so that I could really help Kian. But lets face it, that's not always the case. Sometimes we have to work these situations out with Arrow balanced on my hip. And sometimes, like later on that day, I can't help Kian at all because I'm nursing Arrow. And so he just stood next to me instead of participating. And therein lies another transition for him. He's not the baby anymore. But he loves his baby brother, and I know he'd rather hang back with Arrow and Mommy than participate anyways. So he sits close, even if only at my feet, and takes everything in, stuck between two worlds.
So, is this all related to the fact that he's 3 and is moving into boyhood? Partly, yes. Is it related to the fact that his title of "baby of the family" has been taken from him? Probably. And many other things feed into it too I'm sure. No matter what, he's definitely walking the road of transition right now. And just as we as parents long to watch our kids grow while also wanting to hold onto everything that makes them so little, Kian too is wanting to grow, but hold on to the safety of his little-ness, all at the same time. I'm sure it can be quite overwhelming. In fact I KNOW it can be. This little guy hasn't napped in over half a year but naps have been reinstated the last few months. It takes a lot of energy to grow.