When I was younger, foolish and filled with anger and opinions, I was adamant that I did not want someone calling me baby. I had a pithy little retort for those who did. When Juanito and I were starting to date for the final time, he called me baby one night. I quickly corrected him, telling him "I did not spew forth from your loins, I am not your baby." I was a mouthy one wasn't I? not too ironically, Juanito and I don't have pet names for each other. We don't call each other honey or dear or schnookems. At best, I call him Juanito.
From the moment The Boy was born I have called him baby. He would have spewed forth from my loins had the umbilical cord around his neck not prevented him from getting in the chute. So for all tense and purposes he is, by my own definition, My Baby. When I get home and he calls out my name I always say, "Hi Baby" regardless of how bad the drive home may have been. When he goes to bed every night I say "I love you baby" even if he is mad that he is going to bed and throwing things in a last ditch effort to make his desire to stay up and watch "tee tee" known to the powers that be.
Point being, I call him baby without a second thought. And unlike the 20 year old version of me, I don't even think that its insulting, one iota. He is my baby. Always will be.
This past weekend I was cleaning and working around the house and The Boy was in and out of the house, busying himself with the dirt pile in the backyard. At one point, I don't remember what we were doing, but I absent-mindedly call him Baby. He informed me that he is not a baby. He is Vi (he can't say Ls at this point so he calls himself Vi instead of Levi). My baby is asserting himself and no longer wants to be a baby.
This morning on our way to daycare I mentioned his very best friend, Ronald, who has been on vacation. I wondered out loud if Ronald was back. Well The Boy was so excited to see his daycare and go play with his friends. When we got into the room, he was instantly sad and clingy. Ronald wasn't back from vacation. His teacher said that Ronald wouldn't be back until after Easter. My baby who no longer wants to be a baby, curled up in my lap with Winnie and laid his head on my shoulder and said "don't go." Broke my heart into a million pieces.