Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm a Big Kid Now!

Milestones are important to most parents. First smile, first tooth, first step, etc. We often have differing opinions on which milestones are most significant, but we look for and document each one. They are proof that our babies are growing as they are supposed to. Proof that we are doing something right…that we aren’t completely failing at this parenting gig. Babies on the other hand, are too busy being babies and discovering the world to recognize these moments as anything other than something else they can do…more freedom!

By the time our babies become kids, we are focusing more on behavior and school and wondering what the hell happened to our little babies to pay much attention to the daily firsts, but they do still occur. First slumber party, first time getting to place a phone call on their own, first time on the internet, etc. Now it is the child’s turn to get excited about the milestones.

Animal turned 8 on Monday, and with his birthday he reached a new milestone. He no longer has to use a booster seat when riding in the car. This was THE BEST part of turning eight as far as he was concerned!

The funny thing is that we didn’t really expect it to be a big deal. When Bubbles was about 3 or 4, the laws changed when it came to booster seats. They decided that instead of stopping at 6, children needed to continue using them until they turned 8. This irritated many of my friends, and they chose to ignore the new laws and stick with the original age.

When Bubbles turned 6 and most of her friends were no longer using booster seats, she was very embarrassed to still have one. When we dropped her off at daycare, her friends would question her as to why she was still in a “baby seat”. She begged us to lose the seat, and we explained that it was the law and it was keeping her safe and she would live. By the time she turned 7, she had accepted her fate and when 8 came along and we told her she was done with car seats for good, she wasn’t really fazed. She said ok…helped us take the booster seats out…and carried on with her day.

Conversely, Animal never questioned his booster seat. He has never been overly concerned with what his peers (or anyone else for that matter) think about him. If anyone ever said anything to him, he never cared enough to tell us. So when he woke up on Monday morning and the first thing he said to me was, “Mommy, I am 8 today and I don’t have to use a car seat anymore!”, it took me by surprise. As soon as he was dressed for school, he started asking when we were taking the seats out of the cars. I unlocked the front door and both car doors and told him he could go get them if he wanted to. He ran outside and came back moments later lugging both booster seats along and beaming from ear to ear! When he got in the car to head to daycare, he was literally bouncing in his seat. I asked him what he was so excited about (expecting to hear about it being his birthday) and he shouted, “no more car seats, no more car seats!”

He had a wonderful birthday evening. We went to the restaurant of his choice for dinner, got ice cream AND doughnuts for dessert, and then went home for the great present unwrapping. He loved all of his presents, and he is very excited about the party that is planned for this weekend. But the real highlight of this turning 8 thing had to have been the loss of his car seats.

As he put it, “I’m really a big kid now, Mommy!”

And he really is…sigh.

**This picture is actually from Christmas with my family (Dec 26th)...I haven’t had a chance to load his birthday pics onto the computer yet.


  1. Who would have thought such a small thing was SO big to him. The actual seat does have to be softer then the booster though.

  2. Wow...mine didn't really care one way or another. However,TJ is almost 11 and still gets extremely excited about losing teeth. I can't believe Animal is 8...they are both such wonderful kids and I hate that I am missing them grow up! I love your updates on them and it makes me feel like I am still home :) Give them kisses for me!!

  3. Bear: I know, right! And two days later, he is still talking about it. You are probably right about the soft factor.

    Kimi: Consider them kissed!