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somewhere in between…

April 25, 2013

eastermirrorI do not hate babies. As a matter of fact, when we had one, we enjoyed having one. Ours were great babies, sleeping through the night before two months old and eating like champs. I never even read baby-wise. They were just easy. I miss when they were that little.  I love babies.

They (The Royal They with all the answers) say each phase of parenting is better than the last. So far, that’s mostly been true.

Although I wouldn’t advise that anyone wish away years of their child’s life, I’ll offer this to parents of screaming infants and obnoxious toddlers: it gets better. It gets a whole lot better.

Parenting kids who are between the ages of six and ten is, well, great. They (just The Kids, not the TRT) are still young and innocent, and they don’t hate me yet.

They understand what I mean. They may not always obey, but they do know what I’m saying. They don’t get in trouble for much besides fighting with one another. There’s the occasional cuss word (Boy) or backtalk (Girl), but the coloring on the walls and pulling off their, um, filled, diaper doesn’t happen anymore.

No more diapers. Although mine have been out of diapers for some time now, this one will always top my list. When they were in diapers, it wasn’t that big of deal to change them.  Now, I all but refuse. Actually I have refused a couple. I try to schedule visits based on the last time the baby pooped. Having your kid use a full-sized, flushing toilet is liberating. That’s probably an understatement.

Nap time schedule restrictions are nonexistent. Don’t get me wrong. I loved naptime when both of mine were sleeping. The Boy took two naps a day for awhile, and he kept his afternoon nap until he was 5. His sister wasn’t so easy. She napped well until she was 2. After that, even though her then 4 year old brother was sound asleep, she wouldn’t do it. She would stay in bed for a couple of hours and not complain. When you have two toddlers, you take what you can get. Because naps were still so necessary, we couldn’t plan to do anything during the hours of two and four each day. I don’t miss fighting with a kid, trying to convince them they’re tired, when really I just wanted a break. I miss the quiet time, but now they just play in the yard or watch a movie. I still get my time.

If we’re out past bedtime, the next day isn’t completely ruined. We aren’t on a feeding schedule. Sure they have to eat (and I try to feed them regularly), but if we don’t eat at noon sharp, no one’s crying.

If they want a snack, they can get it. Just the other day, The Boy asked, “What’s for lunch?” You know what The Man told him? “Whatever you can make, son.” The Boy made a sandwich for himself and his sister. He put grapes on the plate and poured milk. Brilliant.  I’m still willing to help them, of course. I’m their mother. The fact that they get so excited about learning how to do things on their own is thrilling. I just about blew The Girl’s mind when I taught her how to use the microwave last week. I don’t even need to share how she felt about making her own hot chocolate in the Keurig.

They still want to be seen in public with me. The girl told me that I’m the best mama ever because I take her to my friends’ houses with me. She thinks it’s neat to sit with me and a friend while we drink wine. I wonder when that will change. For now, I’ll keep it. She promised me that she won’t ever think I’m uncool. I wish I’d gotten that on video. The lady at Moe’s heard her say it. Besides, she pinky promised.

We haven’t gotten to the puberty part yet. Yuck. The anticipation of armpit hair, pimples, bad attitudes, bras, sweat, and broken hearts is enough to send me packing.

They can’t drive. They don’t go out until midnight. They aren’t dropped at the mall without an adult. They still need and want a babysitter. I love their independent spirits, but I’m glad to still have tabs on them.

Writing these words brings mixed emotions. The reality is bittersweet. They can do for themselves, but they still need me around. The Boy promises to hold my hand for many more years. The Girl assures me that she will always come home for a snuggle with Mama. Neither of these may come true. I’m enjoying the ease of this season, one when we talk, hang out, and play games together. I’ll reassure and encourage them while teaching them to do for themselves. They feel smart, and my job is simpler. Do you think it’s too early to show them how to use a corkscrew?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alice permalink
    April 25, 2013 11:12 pm

    Beautiful! You are so talented, Jenny! I love reading your stories about your children!

    P.S. I changed dapers for fifteen years! (straght!)

    • Jenny permalink*
      April 25, 2013 11:22 pm

      Alice, I’m always impressed by your patience and organization with all of those kiddos! They are great kids, and their mom had so much to do with that!

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