It's been two years since I had my last baby, and I'm still carrying around 30 extra pounds of baby weight. I didn’t think I’d care, but now it’s starting to bother me. I notice it constantly, especially on my hips. I always wonder why I can’t get it to go away (well sometimes I can, but then it creeps right back on). To be honest, it’s exhausting, and I am ready to shed this pesky baby weight once and for all. I mean that literally.
This kid won't let me put him down.
When I first decided attachment parenting was the way to go, I never imagined that I would be dealing with a toddler who would still want to be carried from room to room, in spite of having two excellent and efficient feet on which to run. I also never imagined that, as my third child, he would be the latest walker of the group.
“Don’t you want to keep up with your brother and sister?” I would ask him rhetorically as he edged past 12, 13, 14 months old.
“Of course he wants to keep up,” a friend chimed in one day. “Having you carry him is a hell of a lot faster than him learning to walk.”
She seemed to be right. His capabilities didn’t appear to matter to him so long as he had me as his sherpa.
He did, of course, eventually learn to walk and run, but still to this day prefers that I do the walking for him, despite the fact that it slows us both down. He does not seem to care one bit about my aching back complaints or the fact that I will sometimes lie down on the floor and let him tackle me instead of holding him for one more goddamn second. In fact, he finds this game quite fun, standing victoriously on my stomach and plopping down to knock the wind out of me.
So yeah, I am ready to lose the "baby weight" — of literally carrying this damn toddler around, all day every day.
Suggestions for getting him to use his own two feet are welcome here. (So long as those suggestions do not include “Just put him down!” As if I have not tried this hundreds of times, each and every day. I am constantly in the push and pull of deciding whether I would rather be tripping over a kid crying and mauling my legs or dealing with that extra 30 pounds resting on my hipbone. I choose the latter for my sanity.)
I feel like I’m at a complete loss because isn’t this whole attachment parenting thing supposed to make them more independent? I’m pretty sure that’s exactly how it worked with my daughter — who does not give two f*cks where I am unless she needs a snack. She jumped at the chance to escape my arms as soon as she could walk — so much so that she required a leash to keep her from bolting off into crowds at the beach.
I never have to worry about losing my son, because he refuses to be left alone, even for a moment.
I have given up trying to hide away and eat chocolate like I used to in my early parenting days. Now I just sneak him into the laundry room with me, feeding him chocolate chips and feeling content with the fact that at least he cannot talk well enough to nark me out to his older siblings.
Right now it seems like there will never be a day where I won’t spend most of my time holding my youngest in my arms while trying fruitlessly to feed myself or do laundry or brush my hair. I imagine myself carrying him to kindergarten, his long limbs nearly dragging on the ground, as my back hunches over in pain. Perhaps it won’t last that long — I can only hope.
Because even though I’m ready to let go the baby weight, the baby weight isn’t ready to let go of me.