But at 21 months, he’s not a baby anymore, not really. He’s a little boy. Slowly this house is adjusting to that.
So when we make a paper airplane for the older two boys and my youngest doesn’t get one, he will shout out a loud protest, and we will realize, “Oh yes, we must make one more”. Or when he refuses to sit in a highchair and squeezes onto one of the two bar stools meant for his older brothers, I remember that I need to prioritize buying a third stool. (Which he will fall off of, but not many times before mastering it.) Also he’s really starting to repeat as much of what we say as he can, and putting concepts together (“Get ball.” Naturally.) And my dim awareness that he, too, will talk, gets a little brighter.
We’ve recently made a change that has transformed my youngest even more into the little boy that he is: we cut his hair.
I *love* my babies’ long hair, and have delayed the first cut for all three. But I scheduled the appointment for my youngest earlier than with my other two. Even through the blindness known as parental love, I could quite plainly see that his hair was in need of attention that I was not giving and would not be giving. Like his older brother and his dad, my youngest has super-fine hair, and it needs to be maintained everyday. Everyday brushing, and regular conditioning, to prevent it from becoming tangled. Did I mention this needs to be done everyday?
I made this effort, more or less, with my second son’s hair, possibly influenced by novelty, possibly by his ringlets, and most definitely by having two kids and not three. (Note, youngest child, that love is not in that list. It’s very busy around here, and just not in the cards for you and me.)
So my poor baby had hair that looked very… untended. I’ll cut to the chase and tell you that when he was seated for his haircut and our beloved hairdresser got close enough, she exclaimed: “Oh! He has dreadlocks!”
Being a professional, she became matter-of-fact, and approached her work. Moving with (necessarily) quick and calm competence, she kept the baby happy, worked her magic to produce, in very short order, a little boy.
And just like that, it became official. I have three little boys.
(Although you know as well as I do they’ll always be my three babies.)