Despite What I Tell My Son All The Time – He’s Right. He Isn’t A Big Boy. Not Yet.


I’ve disappeared a little lately, and I want to tell you why.

Because one day last week, this little boy who I thought was still a baby walked up to me, hugged my leg, and said “Mama, I think I’m growing up too fast.”


I laughed and agreed, because yah. Babies totally grow up too fast.

But I had to ask Nugget why he felt that way.

He sighed and explained:

“Well, I want to sleep in your bed sometimes, but you say no because I’m a big boy now. And when I fell down you said it’s okay because I’m a big boy now. And I am a good brother and I share my toys with Toodleboot and I don’t push her down, because I’m a big boy now. I’m just big alllllll the time.”

He groaned and shrugged as he dragged those last few words out. Apparently my son was growing tired of being a big boy. And frankly after hearing that explanation, I couldn’t blame him.

“I’m sorry Nugget. That sounds hard.”

He reached his hands up the way a baby does when they want to be held, so I scooped my boy up and snuggled him close, smelling the sweat in his little curls.

“Mama, I just wonder if tonight I can NOT be too big. Maybe I can be little enough to sleep in your bed.”

My heart. It felt ripped out.

So, of course, we had a slumber party that night. And it was WONDERFUL.

We’ve spent the last week or so playing hooky from school, eating ice cream, and sleeping in the same bed. When Nugget jumps on the couch, I fuss a little less.

When he falls down, I let him cry a minute.

When he and his sister get in a tangle over a toy, I try not to treat him like a grade school kid.

Because despite what I tell my son all the time, the truth is he isn’t a “big boy”.

Not yet.

And thank goodness, too, because the other truth is this: I am not ready.

Do yourselves a favor, mamas. If your oldest wants to, let them sleep in the bed tonight. If they fall down, let them cry like the children they are.

When your oldest child acts like a CHILD, don’t tell them they are “BIG” in order to change their behavior.

…soon enough, they will be.

They will be.

And man, I’m not ready.

I've disappeared a little lately, and I want to tell you why.Because one day last week, this little boy who I thought…

Posted by Mary Katherine Backstrom on Thursday, July 9, 2020


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