Shirtles

"I want to ride on your shirtles," he says. It rhymes with turtles. He means shoulders. It kills me every time I hear it. 

He is tall and his limbs are becoming less roly poly and more lanky. He says things like, "I'm not a baby, I'm a Grady!" and I'm forced to agree. He "reads" books and memorizes the lyrics to songs and can identify the bass line in any tune ("do you know this song? It's got a bass!" he says while playing air bass guitar like his daddy.) He's not a baby anymore. He's a Grady. 

But he still says "ooze" instead of use. And carrah instead of carry (as in "carrah me!" arms reaching up, feet dragging, who's not a baby now, huh? I'll ignore my aching bones and carrah you anywhere, just tuck your head under my chin just so, so I can sniff the last remaining remnants of baby smell from your hair.)

Grady is three years and one month and two weeks and three days old. He's straddling the line between baby and Grady and it is exciting and heartbreaking all at once. I don't know if I'll get to do this again with a different baby. This could be it. The last traces of babyhood I'll get to experience firsthand. Part of me wants to hang onto it forever but the larger (more reasonable) side of me is having so much fun with my hilarious, creative, empathetic, witty kid. I have a kid. How did I get so lucky?