My kids are heavy.
Like, really heavy.
The one-armed hip-carry is nonexistent in this house these days. Even Surrey requires the second helping hand to stop her from sliding all the way down my body to the floor. When you’re fourteen months old and achieve the 99th percentile for weight, and your mother has twigs for arms, such things are to be expected.
It’s a problem, because all my girls love to be carried. Looooooooooove it. You can get them to do damn near anything if you offer to carry them. Don’t want to wake up and go to school? Mom will carry you downstairs! Having a hard time leaving a relative’s house? “Will you carry me to the car?” Tired and cranky and trying to find someone to crash on? A very loud and insistent “Pick me uuuuuuuuuup!” or “I need a hug UP!” will convince a nearby relative to comply. Needless to say, Surrey is still being carried on the reg because, you know, baby.
As I was carrying Phaedra up to bed the other night, struggling to make it up one flight of stairs, it hit me that whoa, dude, this kid is huge. Not only is she heavy as shit, but she’s got these long, gangly legs that almost drag on the floor when I pick her up. She has to wrap herself around me like a monkey when I carry her up the stairs, and even then there’s always that moment halfway up when I think, “Man, I might not make it up this time.”
Something else struck me when I finally made it up the stairs: soon, very soon, these kids will literally be too big for me to carry. All of them. Too tall and too heavy. I physically won’t be able to pick them up and carry them to the stairs, much less up the stairs.
There’s some comfort in being able to pick up and move your kids. It’s like cat mothers that incessantly move their kittens around a house until they find that one perfect “safe” spot. If shit got out of hand, I could always pick them up and get them somewhere safe quickly. Since Rob works nights and I’m often home alone with the girls, I sometimes contemplate my escape plan if something happened and I had to get out of the house with them by myself. I would picture myself with a girl on each hip, and later with another one on my back like a backpack, struggling but still able to get out the door.
How do I get three girls out of the house when I can’t carry a single one?
I think about the time when I would spend days on end doing nothing but carrying a tiny baby in the crook of one arm. All day, every day, carrying someone around. And now all of those someones are almost too big to carry for thirty seconds across the room.
I’m not someone that mourns the baby days or these little milestones. I tend to be more optimistic, looking forward to all the new amazing things they can do now instead of looking back at all the sweet little things they used to do.
But the fact remains that I am in the final days of the Carry Era with Phaedra, and the clock is ticking pretty goddamn loud with the other two. And I don’t necessarily know how I feel about that.
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