On Wednesday of this week Hayden had to work really late. Home alone with both kids, trying to juggle dinner and bedtime, I was exhausted. I finally got Harper asleep and was spending some one-on-one time with Jacob. When it was time for him to go to sleep, we were a little loud walking up the stairs and woke up Harper.

I had Jacob’s sleeping bag–a Christmas present both kids received from Gia and Papaw–which have become all-consuming in the weeks since Christmas. The sleeping bags travel downstairs in the morning and are prominently set up in the family room, complete with two pillows and their personalized blankets from Aunt Shonda. Every night, the sleeping bags travel back upstairs into their rooms. Harper now sleeps on hers, on the floor, instead of in her crib. Jacob’s is either on top of his sheets overnight, or sometimes he just wants it rolled up and put away in his closet. In any event, the sleeping bags are always on the same floor of the house as the kids.

But I digress. We woke up Harper on our way upstairs and I had Jacob’s sleeping bag, his iPad, my iPad, and my phone. We charge electronics upstairs overnight, so they were on their way to the “pluggers” as Jacob calls them. I dropped everything at the top of the stairs and went in to quiet Harper. As I was in there, Jacob opened the door and came in. Internally, I was exasperated. His mere presence is usually enough to rile up Harper and then falling back to sleep takes a really long time.

As he walked in, he said, “I just need to tell Harper Dear I love her one more time.” He walked over to her, knelt down, whispered “I love you baby girl” and then gave her a hug. He walked back to the door to leave, turned around, and said, “Mom, I put all your stuff away in your room.” As my heart was melting, and Harper was falling back asleep, I heard a really loud thud. It wasn’t followed by crying, so I figured everything was okay.

After Harper fell back asleep, I walked into my room looking for Jacob. He was in my bathroom. The thud was him moving my vanity stool from the vanity to the light switch so he could turn on the light. He had pulled out my eye makeup remover, the cotton balls, and my face wash towel. As I walked in, he said, “I got everything set up for you.” And as I was washing my face, he looked right at me and asked, “Did you have a good day?”

Heart.melt.again.

As I told him I had a really great day, I realized my little guy is growing up. He’ll be four in about two months. He’s so compassionate, loves his sister to the moon and back, and tries his hardest to be a good boy. He’s mostly out of the terrible twos and terrifying threes, learning everyday how to understand and work with his emotions. He’s articulate, has a memory like you wouldn’t believe, and loves going to school.

As I was finishing washing my face, I told him he was growing up too fast. To which he answered, “And you can’t handle it.” So true, so true. I say it all the time…so much so that now he knows the answer. “You are growing up too fast, and Mommy can’t handle it.” Slow down, time. Please, slow down.