I posted Ashley’s letter today and thought you may want to check it out!  She reminded me of one of my girls and I can’t wait to read this to her.  

I tried to put away the high chair today, for good.  I cleaned it up and started making lists in my head of who would want to inherit it.  Surely there must be someone that would want a freebie, those things are expensive!  I pulled it into the laundry room and marveled and the nice fresh look that was there in it’s place.  I was so excited to knock off one of the last symbols of having a toddler in my home.  

Diapers and wipes that used to fill the bathroom shelf are non-existent, desitin and baby powder can’t be found anywhere.  The bottles are long gone along with the formula and rice cereal.  No baby swings or diaper pails or funny monitoring baby cameras.  The crib has all been packed away and I no longer have to worry about “choking toys”.  Each item I have checked off my list has brought in interesting rush, an excitement of feeling like “I made it”, I actually made it through the sleepless nights consisting of ear infections, bad dreams, fevers, and feedings.  

Somehow I never thought this phase would come to an end.  My days have moved from dressing every child in the morning, to getting a kick out of what they choose to put on themselves.  I used to worry about everything they wore.  I was meticulous with my first few children and made sure they matched right down to the socks and fingernails.  After seeing that they had such a great time giving input on what they wore to express their individuality, I changed my ways and guess what, I love the combinations they come up with!  Sometimes it pushes the bounds of *do they have a parent?*, but it is OK with me.  I have seen pink cowgirl boots with formal dresses at church, and 3-D glasses as “fashion statements” while we are out.  You see, I want them to be kids and feel free.  As we get older, something happens.  We start looking around and try to be like everyone else and there is nothing more stifling than to think of a world of clone people walking around.  So “have at it” I say, dress yourself.  Halle is now three and insists on “NO, me do it!” already.  I just grin and know that every other daughter has done the same thing at her age.

  I think because she is the youngest though, there are certain things that she is just fine keeping around, like the high chair.  When she noticed that it was missing today, she was NOT a happy camper.  “Mommy, I want to sit in that thing…in that chair.” Oh no, I knew it was coming but I played dumb.  I explained how she was a big girl now and she could sit at the table.  She wasn’t having it and let me know in the typical 3 year old way.

  I thought of all the techniques I know of braking kids of a habit..cold turkey, that was usually the best and most effective way.  I had done it with bottles and Binky’s, surely it would work on the high chair.  

As I was ready to put up a fight I had a visual in my head of Halle trying to fit in the high chair when she was four, five, six, ten, sixteen…would she ask to take it on a date when asked out?  Now that would be a sight!  Eventually I rationalized, she would want to sit at the table by her own free will and choice.  Was it really that big of deal?  And so it happened *for today anyway* she got her chair.  After all it is one of the last reminders of my kids getting older and believe me, I would take a crying toddler over a hormonal 12 year old any day!