Since Peyton was about, oh, nine weeks old, he has been an ear baby. Not necessarily his own ear either, but whomever was around and he could reach. At 6 months, this was adorable and made the lucky ear feel loved. At 18 months, it was still cute, and grandparents happily lend their ear for the taking. At 30 months, the ear holding was still ok, most of the time. At 42 months, it was getting a little old, but we figured it would end any day now. Now, at 55 months, that's roughly 4.5 years, I am tired of the ear holding. It has diminished a great deal, and now the quick ear check generally occurs as a means of affection, or when Peyton climbs in our bed at 2:30 in the morning. A brief, hey, your ear is still there. However slight, it's still annoying. A four year old's hands are generally dirty no matter how much you clean them, and Peyton's are always hot.
The mommy part of me feels bad for wanting the ear holding to be vanquished forever. It's probably the last remaining attributes Peyton has carried over from babyhood (except for his loathing of bedtime), and I know when it ends, a part of me will be sad. I think that sad part will miss the babiness the most. The fact that my first born is really growing up will sink in and hit bottom, anchored to my heart.
The adult part of me just wants to say, "keep your grubby hands to yourself!"