We called my daughter “Baby” for the first three and a half years of her life. Around that time, she started saying, “I’m not a baby!” So, I had to start calling her by her real name. We had called her “Baby” so exclusively that it seemed very strange to use her first name, even though my husband and I chose it, of course.
I grew up with two older brothers. I was always the baby, in addition to being the only girl. I suppose it bothered me a little at times, especially because my brothers said that I was spoiled. I didn’t see it that way, but looking back, I guess I can see their point of view, somewhat. I was the only one in the family with my own bedroom. Living in a three-bedroom house, of course it only made sense for my brothers to share a room, and for the only girl to have her own. But, they got something I didn’t – a sibling of the same gender, which is something I would have liked. In truth, from as young as I can remember until probably 10 or 11, I would have liked to share a room. I was always very afraid at night, which I guess is why I baby my 7-year-old son, and lie by him in his bed until he’s asleep.
I remember complaining to my Mom about always being called the baby. She said it was just because I was the youngest, and that I would always be her baby. I’ve told my daughter the same thing when I’ve slipped and called her “Baby”. She’s not buying it. “I am a big girl!” I say that her older brother will also always be my baby. They both will, even when they’re grown. My son doesn’t mind.
I remember when I was pushing thirty really hard, and my Dad introduced me to someone, saying, “This is my baby.” By that time, I didn’t mind so much. Maybe by the time my daughter is thirty, she’ll come around . . .