G. Going, Going, Gone
Do you remember that phrase that you hated to hear? The one that people would say to you when you hadn’t showered in days, and you were walking through the grocery store like a zombie, one kid in a poopy diaper, the other hanging onto your leg screaming because you wouldn’t let him buy every bright-colored package that was placed just right at toddler eye level? The one that could make even the meekest mother want to punch somebody in the throat when they said it?
Usually it was said in a I’m-a-wiser-mother-than-you-because-I’ve-already-lived-through-it tone.
Yeah, you know the one I’m talking about.
“Enjoy these years because they won’t last.”
Well, I’m starting to understand. I’ve made it through the sleepless nights and bleary days. I’ve filled landfills with at least 20,000 diapers, and I don’t run a daycare. I’ve packed more for a one day outing with a baby than I do for myself for a week touring Alaska (ok, I’ve never done that, but I have dreams). And even though my youngest is still pretty little at 5 years old, most of the time he acts like he’s ten, thanks to the influence of his older siblings.
So, things have gotten a lot easier. It should be time to rejoice.
But tonight I caught myself thinking, boy, I really miss them being little. I miss the days when we would wake up in the morning and I would tell them we were going on an adventure and they would cheer gleefully. Then we would all hop in the car (after packing up a month’s worth of stuff) and go to wherever I chose to go. And they would explore, and I would watch how everything was amazing and interesting to them. They would all eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I made, eagerly snack on healthy snacks and drink their water. If I suggested ice cream for a treat, they would be over the moon happy. They would fall asleep in the car on the way home and I would carry them to bed (4 trips!).
And now? They don’t all want to go to the same place. Heck, most of the time half of them don’t even want to go out at all. Then there is the one who is only happy if he is out with his friends. It’s a battle, an energy-draining, soul-sucking battle of epic proportions to take them out TO HAVE FUN. And while we are out HAVING FUN, they are moody, slow-moving, hormone-riddled lumps of inertia. Unless an XBox happens to magically appear before their eyes.
To make matters worse, now they have opinions and ideas of their own. And their friends have opinions. And their friends’ friends have opinions. They’ve been out in the world long enough to know that there are different options outside of the bubble mommy created. They don’t like peanut butter, they don’t like jelly, the apples are turning brown, why can’t they have soda, why didn’t you bring the cookies they like, why can’t you drive better, change the music, etc, etc, etc.
Whereas a few years ago it was physically demanding to take them out, now it is mentally demanding. And I realize those days, the ones I never appreciated, they’re not just going, they’re gone.
Blogging my way from A to Z as part of the 2016 April A to Z Challenge. Come blog through the alphabet with me.