The Bug just had his 18 month appointment at the doctor. He got his last vaccine until he is 5 and he doesn't have to go back to see the doctor (unless he is sick) until he is 2... Yes. 2. That appointment can take forever to get here as far as I am concerned.
He weighs 24 pounds and is 31 inches long. Compared to the 4lbs and 17 inches he boasted as a newborn, it's unbelievable. I just can't believe we are here already.
I remember looking into his little incubator in the NICU, thinking he looked so small, so fragile. I couldn't fathom how this tiny creature could possibly turn into a healthy, chubby child. Honestly, looking at pictures of him as an infant, I have difficulty believing it is the same individual. He was so brittle we were afraid he would simply stop existing. So, we monitored him and we checked on him 3 billion times a night while he slept... And now we pretty much parent by the philosophy of "If you hear a loud crash somewhere in the house, go see what he fell off of or pulled over". He runs around, climbs things that are much too tall for my comfort, falls... hard... only to promptly pop up and continue on his toddlerish terrorizing of my house and sanity.
He has made a complete metamorphosis into a child that will not be labeled "premie" forever. He will continue grow and to develop skills and language and social abilities. His "two month deficit" will be far behind him and it just won't matter anymore.
Honestly, it already seems very far in the past to even me. I remember it, but at the same time, I forget. I often forget what it was like in those early days, looking into his little face, willing him to grow and eat so that we could leave the hospital. I forget what it was like to not get any more than two or three hours of sleep at a time, though he was sleeping through the night, because I was afraid his little lungs would stop expanding and his little heart would stop pumping. I forget tiny premie diapers and how he used to swim in newborn clothes. I forget so many of these things when, at the time, I never thought I would be able to forget, to move on from the heartbreak of having things not go anywhere close to planned. My world was rocked and I thought that I might stay there, curled up in a ball of eternal vigilance motivated by a fear of germs and SIDS and whatever disabilities might befall my son because of circumstance. But I am stronger now. We are both stronger.
Perhaps I, too, have emerged from some sort of metamorphosis.