How Long Does One Stay a Babe-in?

It’s been almost seven months since I wrote Babe-in Forever, just before Aliya’s third birthday, and I’m happy to say, Babe-in is still going strong. Not just as an amazing little person, but with her nickname as well. We’ve been wondering on and off how long it will be before she forbids us to call her that, but so far, she’s more than happy to keep the name going.

Our reluctance to let the nickname go, and us hoping she won’t make us stop calling her Babe-in, points to a sort of deeper issue: she’s our baby. The last of three. The only kid in the house left that still has a little baby fat and that way of talking that is so adorable:

  • She still refers to herself as Babe-in.
  • She makes up stuff like “Huna Scala” which we have no idea if it has meaning. She’s used it as a name like, “Huna Scala Mama.”
  • She still has very little concept of time, and it’s getting better, but if you say, “Why don’t you go pee before bed, Babe-in,” she’ll respond, “I went pee last night!”
  • She still drops her Ls and Rs sometimes, “Riving Woom” for “Living Room.”

Here’s an example of her made-up language with her “normal” speech at the end (and she gets a little carried away with a humming session in the middle too):

Her speech is improving and progressing as it should—sharpening with increased vocabulary and more complex thoughts popping up all the time. I’m pretty sure this year will be a big jump away from the “baby talk” and I think we’ll all be a little sad to see that fade.

And that’s the thing: the last of our babies is growing up and shedding the few behaviors that remain from those baby/toddler years. I think Sarah and I both really want to always support growth and be excited along with the girls as they develop into older kids, adolescents, and eventually adults. We don’t want them to feel that we wish they would stay babies or that we preferred them when they were small and cute. Still, letting that go will be a process, and I think we’ll always go back to those early movies and pictures of all the girls, and enjoy how they used to be, while still being thankful for where they are and where they’re headed.