Getting older is something no one seems to like. I’ve met senior citizens who were stressed out about getting older, I’ve watched middle aged people have crises over aging, and I’ve listened to young people cry their eyes out over turning thirty (in fact, no one seems to whine about aging as much as those turning thirty). The crazy thing, though, is that while I’ve known people of all ages fear aging, I never thought in a million years that someone Annie’s age would have that fear.
A few nights ago I put Annie down to sleep in her big girl bed, but instead of falling asleep she grew restless and whiny. I came back into the room and tried to soothe her.
“Go to sleep,” I said in my sweetest voice.
“Close your eyes,” I whispered as I patted her back.
But no matter what I said or did Annie continued to be unhappy. Eventually, she sat up, crying, and said, “I don’t like my big girl bed!” This struck me as very bizarre because the kid loves her big girl bed. In fact, she asks every visitor who comes to our house (even the UPS guy!) if they’d like to check out the awesomeness that is her big girl bed.
“Don’t be silly,” I said. “You love your big girl bed.”
“No! I don’t like it! I want my crib!”
Before I could wrap my head around Annie’s wanting to be back in her crib she yelled “I don’t want to be a big girl! I want to be a baby!” Annie’s face was red and tears were streaming down her face. She was really worked up, and kept shouting that she wanted to be a baby over and over.
I have to tell you, seeing her like this was both heartbreaking and a little unsettling. Was she actually feeling nostalgia over being a baby? Was she angst-ridden over getting older and growing into something other than what she was?
Another possibility, I suppose, is that she could be reacting to the fact a baby is coming and doesn’t want to give up being the baby of the family (though she should know she’ll always be my baby). Whatever it is, though, I hope it was just a one time thing and not something that comes up again. I much prefer it when she is happy and carefree, like today, when visions of Princess Sofia danced in her head.