Yesterday, my little family unit had one of those days where we wished we’d never left the house. We had made the always-regretted decision to skip nap time so we could get the shit done we’d put off all weekend, and if you have never met Parker without his ritual afternoon nap you should consider yourself lucky.
Yes, I consider myself lucky that I have a child who is nearly 4 who still takes naps so that my brain can get the rest it so desperately needs after dealing with he and his brother’s insanity- but he HAS to have that nap or he morphs into the creature from the Black Lagoon. Monstrous, angry, out for blood.
We got smoothies, thinking that would at least occupy his sassy little mouth for the majority of the outing and then headed off to Costco to fill him full of delicious free samples. And of course to stock up on far more of any item than one could ever hope to need. 5 pounds of pickles? Don’t mind if I do!
He did great the entire time, which I must admit was quite the impressive feat- Costco can be pretty overwhelming- but I guess the process of getting in the car was just too much for him to bear.
When I tried to lift him out of the cart, he lost his shit.
“I WANT TO DO IT! I WANT TO CLIMB OUT MY. SELF!”
I tried reasoning with him, you’re just not big enough to do that yet. You will crack your oversized toddler head open on the concrete. Your legs won’t reach, and you will get hurt. You’re simply not big enough. The response to all of this was half shrieking like a banshee and half insisting he WAS in fact big enough to do it himself.
When we finally relented and let him attempt it, it only took 2.3 seconds to prove that we, the parents, were correct and the shrieking to start up again.
The older couple two cars down seemed very displeased by this display. The couple two cars down can kiss my ass. Kids will be kids- and for some reason all kids are in a rush to be bigger and older and do things they can’t quite do yet and will absolutely NOT hear that they can’t. Even if you use the word “yet.”
This battle with Parker isn’t anything new. Maybe it’s the trouble of having an older brother that gets to do things you don’t get to, or the idolization of the big to the little.
Every day, I hear “Am I tall enough yet?” “When will I be big enough?” “What am I big enough for?“- and this was only after we finally rid him of asking “Is my pecker big enough to ride rollercoasters?”– but the message in all of it (no matter how horrifying) is basically the same-
The kid wants to grow up. And FAST. They all do!
For us parents, this is frightening. They are our babies, they will always be our babies- and from our own experiences all we want to do is yell at them to SLOW DOWN!!
Just slow down!
This life you’re living- it’s not a race. NO ONE wants to get to the “finish line” first- so just SLOW DOWN and enjoy it!
Kids, of course, can’t see the big picture. They don’t know that they have their whole lives to do the “big kid” stuff, but once they’re too big for the “little” stuff, they can’t get it back. There’s such a small window to believe in magic, Santa, fairies, that Mommy really does have an eye in the back of her head, to watch mind-melting preschool programming as if it’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen, to believe the special effects in movies are real, to live without worry or stress or regret. That window closes, and you can’t get it back. You WANT to, but you can’t.
Obviously we don’t want to saddle our little ones with the knowledge that life will change in unimaginable ways- but we want them to stop trying to grow up SO fast. And maybe it’s a little bit of sadness on our parts that this growing up thing is inevitable and our babies can’t be babies forever… but only a little. Just a smidge. Mostly, we just want them to live the FULLEST life possible. To enjoy every moment of every day, to not miss anything, not rush through things and regret it later…and a little more time to snuggle with our babies before we become icky and embarrassing.
“Life’s a journey, not a destination”- Aerosmith (yes, I just quoted Aerosmith)
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