Ma'am, Put Down the Stuffed Hippo

Posted by: , January 27, 2012 in 12:23 pm


hippo Ma'am, Put Down the Stuffed HippoJunior grew two feet in his sleep. Every pair of pants I put on him this morning were short. His legs look like they belong on a giraffe and his new haircut, which is way more buzzed than I’d like, makes me feel as if I should salute him.

I know babies. Drooling. Not sleeping. Teething. Bottles.

I do not know this little man-child. Everything is cars and wrestling and cool and “Fast! Faster!”.

After pretending to jump over volcanoes on our way to brush his teeth he grabbed my arm and shouted, “Great job, lava protector girl!”

Suddenly I am a girl. Suddenly he and Chuck are “the mens” and they’re too cool for girls and babies.

When did this happen and what do I do about it? All the old standbys are now defunct with this one. Everything I’ve learned—burping, rocking, singing, cooing—no longer apply.

It’s a whole new ballgame and I am the rookie. The one at the plate holding a bib and pureed food when really, what the batter wants is a Beyblade.

What the fuck is a Beyblade?

Junior, of course, is taking his metamorphosis much better than I. I’ve been stumbling through stores, wondering how I ended up buying boys’ pants that look like they could fit a teenager. Socks that look like they could belong to Chuck. And I can’t stop thinking about his little hippo.

The baby hippo used to be sewn to his mom, and Junior was perfectly content to keep the pair that way until one of his friends came over and ripped the thread, separating them.

When Junior told me what happened I said, “Oh no!”

Junior answered, “No, it’s a good thing.”

“It is?” I asked.

“Now he can go places on his own.”

Damn you, Junior. Damn you for growing and being secure enough to seek your own identity and adventures. Damn you for not needing me as much and for morphing into a content giraffe-hippo man-boy.

It’s everything I wanted for you and yet, some days the realization that this is just the beginning of letting you go breaks my heart.

Please stop growing up so fast? Please?


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