It's amazing how Jacob has grown up right before our very eyes. It's so imperceptible on the average day, but then all of a sudden one day I notice something...and realize how much that has changed since the early days, or even just in a matter of weeks. His teeth have been that way lately. His two top teeth were coming in slowly but surely, and then all of a sudden in the past week or so, I've noticed that they're really there now. They are visible with most of his smiles, and they really make him look more and more like a little boy.
Because the change is so gradual, sometimes you hardly notice when other things change. Say a toy gets buried in his toy bins, and one day when it resurfaces, you realize that he's almost too old for it now. Or when the weather started changing and his wardrobe did too, one day it hit me that the clothes hanging in his closet may not fit him anymore, or at least won't by the time it cools off again.
The other night we needed an excuse to go down to Henrietta (Rochester suburb with everything--comparable to the Blvd. or Transit Rd. areas in Buffalo) because Craig was dying to go to KFC and try their new $5 boxes. Our KFC closed and they're in the midst of building a new one, so Henrietta was our best option. I figured that while we were down there we could run in to Buy Buy Baby, the Bed Bath & Beyond-owned baby store. It's similar to Babies 'R' Us, but I think in some things they have a wider selection...or different selection, anyway. I had a couple things in mind to look for, and as we wandered through the store, it struck me how we've passed by so many stages already (hence the title of this post...play on words...haha...anyway...). He's out of the "newborn" clothes sizes, he doesn't need any bottles or burp clothes or receiving blankets, and now he's even past the baby food stage. There are entire sections of the store that we can skip, complete with the "been there, done that" attitude. Amazing how that happens. I marvel every time I see a little baby when we're out and about, that that stage was so long ago already and we made it through. Of course, I cringe every time I see an older child pitching a fit, though I have an entirely new appreciation and sympathy for the parents...as long as they seem to be trying to rectify the situation.
Still, I'm finding it difficult to completely move forward with a lot of things, from one stage to the next. For example, I still haven't put away the burp cloths or receiving blankets, even though I haven't used them in a month or two. I figure the receiving blankets may come in handy at some point (i.e., Linus) but they're taking up a lot of precious drawer space. Same with most of his long sleeved onesies that probably won't fit him come September. I haven't really touched the toys because you never know what he'll pull out and discover anew. I figure one day when his brain has evolved a bit and he begins to comprehend colors or animals, the toys will have a new purpose.
Finally, the latest weirdness is exiting the breastfeeding stage. This activity has been near the center of my world for the past year and three weeks. It's been decidedly lower maintenance in the last month or so, but before that it was a near-constant presence, one way or another. It's been rapidly going downhill recently, as we dropped Jacob's morning feeding to replace it with breakfast, and then as I dropped a pumping at work. The freedom of not having to work around a feeding during the course of most of a day has been pretty amazing. Then this weekend I successfully dropped my mid-morning emptying...which means that for the first time since August, I won't be taking my pump with me to work tomorrow. That is a weird feeling. And what's more, that means that once we get rid of the milk in the fridge and then start working on the modest collection in the freezer, that Jacob won't be getting any breastmilk during the day at daycare within the next couple weeks. I'm going to hold on to the bedtime feeding a little longer, more for me than him, but it boggles my mind to know that I can wear whatever bra I want tomorrow morning, and I can work through the entire workday without my usual 15 minute pumping break. I still feel a little bad, like I'm withholding something good from him, but I know that I've done a great thing for him over the past year and should feel okay about being (almost) done. But it's definitely a shift and it's going to take some adjusting.
My little boy is definitely growing up, and who knew that as parents we'd have to change right along with him?