"The baby is with my mom."
"I think about the baby a lot."
"I took down the baby's bed this weekend."
Those are just a few things I said during the session with my therapist. About half way through our appointment, she adjusted her glasses and hair before starting a new subject.
"I don't want to tell you what to say or get upset with me," she said. "I have two grandbabies, two and five. Sometimes I refer to them as "my baby","
At that moment, I knew where this conversation was going.
She proceeded to share that sometimes we say "the baby" as if we are hanging on to that feeling of them being little and us wanting to protect them. She said they aren't babies at this age any more, four, nearly five. The are little boys and girls, children, growing up.
As she talked, my thumbs were rubbing together and I had to remind myself to breathe. I don't know why I refer to her as "the baby". I don't know if it's because I'm protecting her or if it's because I've always called her that. I don't feel like I'm hanging on to that to protect myself, it's just something I've always said when discussing her.
"I talked to the baby today."
"The baby is at grandma's today."
Later on during our conversation, I caught myself about to call her "the baby" and I felt ashamed. I changed it to her name. I felt like the therapist scored a point or something. Therapist - 1 Me - 0.
She's always going to be "the baby" to me. She'll be 15, and still "the baby".
Hell, I even called my grandma the other day and she said "Our baby is right here. Do you want to talk to her?"
I don't know want to feel ashamed for calling her "the baby". I don't feel like I am harboring those feelings of her still being here or something, but it's just what I say.
So A, you'll always be "the baby". I hope you don't mind.