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The Diaper Sniffer: Thoughts On Kids Growing Up So Fast

By Serge Bielanko |

Me and Henry.

My son Henry is pushing two now and he’s saying new stuff every couple of hours.

I don’t know where he’s picking it all up; new phrases come tumbling out of him when I least expect it.

“Mama cow gets chocolate milk, daddy!”

He says things like that out of nowhere, when I’m cutting up cheese cubes for him and my mind explodes behind my face as I try and figure out if it’s all just a trick or not. Is someone controlling him with a joystick?

Is there a little voice-throwing going on here?

Am I just losing my freakin’ mind?

The reality is, of course, harsher than all of that. The reality is that this little guy, this tiny dude who, just like twelve days ago, I was holding in my arms when he was just the size of a chunky autumn squirrel, he’s changing. He’s growing. He’s beginning to talk, a lot. His beautiful small voice is forming where before there was just a bunch of squeaks and giggles and gasps.

I watched it happen with my daughter, Violet, first. And now it’s happening with Henry, too.

Everyone tells you this will be your fate. Time will sneak up behind your ass and let out a ghoulish boo! and you will stir and stand up straight in your tracks and realize that so much of what once seemed endless is simply gone. That’s just how it goes, I guess. I can’t change it. You can’t change it. None of us can do a damn thing about it at all.

The thing is, I’m not trying to make you all depressed or anything. Hell, it’s little surprise to you anyway, I’m sure. You already knew about time marching on and all that, didn’t you?

My hope is just to remind you that in the middle of all of the chaos that we call our life, as memories and moments are blowing by us like a trillion Times Square taxis in the Friday evening dusk, try and remember to soak some of this magic in, will ya?

Try your best to turn off the perpetual motion here and there if you can possibly manage it.

Grab that tiny fist up in your own and squeeze it for an entire minute, until they literally start biting you to let ‘em go.

Snag a pinch of whatever they’re eating for supper off of their plate and stick it in your mouth and just let it linger there for a sec. Taste the same fish sticks they are tasting in the exact same moment that they are tasting it.

Run you fingers through their hair while you watch a little Dora or some Backyardigans or whatever. Let your hand crown their little head for a moment; feel their thoughts just humming pure life down in there.

Hell, hold that stanky diaper up to your chin and take a deep drag, man. Breathe that stuff in; the ripeness, the sharpness, gag on it, dude.

Because before we know it, that will be just another moment going/going/gone from us forever.


You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.

More from Serge:

Classic Halloween Costumes From The 1970′s (PHOTOS)

The Magic of Halloween: 20 Photos That Really Say It All

Watching You Watching Me: Our Family Through The Eyes Of Our Pet Fish, Fishley

15 Reasons To Love Kids & Their Pumpkins

20 Ways The Internet Has Changed Parenting Forever


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About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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5 thoughts on “The Diaper Sniffer: Thoughts On Kids Growing Up So Fast

  1. Sarah says:

    Oh man I dont even have kids and that makes me want to cry!!

  2. sergebielanko says:

    Thanks, Sarah.

  3. Sue says:

    My daughter and son are 13 and 10 respectively, and I still try to breathe them in and hold their hands. And if they’re relaxed to the point of almost being asleep, sometimes they let me. And I am grateful.

  4. Michelle says:

    My son left for college two and a half months ago. I’ve kept his room exactly how he left it…. except for his pillow. It was too old and beat up and oddly shaped to make the trip to school, so Zach got a brand new one and the old one has me.

    I go in several times a day to just hug it and breathe in the smell of my boy.

    Christmas break can’t come fast enough…

    Enjoy those two beautiful kids Serge. :o )

    1. sergebielanko says:

      Thanks, Michelle.

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