Penny, my baby, is growing fast. She's already four months old. Although four months may not seem very old, we've already passed a few major milestones. First smile, check, first laugh, check, rolling, check (both ways as of today). She's awake during the day for long stretches and sleeps at night 12 hours, eating only once during that time. She's social and engaging, talking as much as her sisters (God, help me). She likes to play with toys and watch her sisters play. She's not interested in food, but insists on being held when we eat, so she can interact with everyone and watch the action. Her emerging first teeth are evident as little swellings on her gums. She's getting close to being able to sit by herself. She's left the newborn stage behind and is firmly in infanthood.
These first four months with three little girls has flown by. I've been excited by all of Penny's firsts, and captured pictures of them (okay, maybe not the exact first time, but close). Since Penny is my last baby, all of these firsts are the last firsts I'll ever have. But the thing that is really getting to me, the thing that makes me wistful and a little sad, is putting away the baby gear.
A few weeks ago, we transitioned her from our room in the Pack-n-Play bassinet to her own room with her own crib. We packed up the Pack-n-Play, wrapped it in plastic bags, and tucked it away in a relatively unaccessible spot in the garage. We still need it when we travel, which isn't often, but, for the most part, that piece of baby gear is no longer useful. All three of our girls slept in it for the first ten weeks of their lives, safe and secure close to us. Now, it sits collecting dust in the garage.
I know there are many more items not too far away from the same fate. The baby tub, the aquarium bouncy seat with its bubbling, kissing fish, even the baby Bjorn, that I have schlepped all the girls around in, will soon be packed away forever, to be given to charity if they're not too ratty. And it makes me a little sad (not sad enough to try for #4, but sad nonetheless).
Today, we had a changing of the guards of sorts. I pulled out the highchair and exersaucer from the garage and cleaned them up. My little Penny will be using those as soon as the covers are finished drying. Looking around, straining to move on her own, trying to keep up with her sisters, she's hurrying to grow up already. And I'll help her, that's my job, but it still makes me sad to watch her leave one stage of her life behind.