Sunday, November 11, 2012

the catch

what is it about parenting in that there's always a catch?  i feel like my kids will act like monsters to get my attention, however their current behavior makes me want to banish them away to time out.  or the time you most need to practice patience is the moment you're about to loose it.  and how come kids respond with "you don't have to yell" when you resorted to yelling after several nonresponces to polite asking?  and why is putting kids to bed such hard work when i'm so close to having a quiet house for the night?  ahhh, parenting... far from the smooth ride one assumes it'll be before that first "little one" arrives.  sometimes it amazes me how such tiny little newborns (under 6 pounds for the twiners) who barely fill out a premie onesie, have the to power to turn the life of a grown adult into a complete whirlwind?  how is it that having one little baby started me on a path of desiring to fill all that little one's needs before my own- telling myself i can get to my stuff in minutes, weeks, years from now?  i'll tell you how; parenting is tricky.  it's complicated and exhausting and it's certainly messy.  there's battles over what's served for meals, who gets what seat in the car, who had what toy first, who gets to flush the toilet and my recently loathed: who was first?  who was dressed first?  who was first to the car?  i want to go to the bathroom first, i want to be first to pick a movie, and first to pick a snack.  sometimes- well often- i feel i'm losing all sanity.  it can easily be less complicated to step back and see this:
these guys are a whopping 5 and 3 years old.  their job is to play.  they're supposed to make messes- like big ones.  they need to run and jump, laugh out loud and squeal with joy.  they have freedom from life responsibilities and should only have demands like putting shoes away and remembering to brush both their top and bottom teeth.  they're little enough to think that camping in a tent (in our toy room) is pretty much a magical adventure.  they think dragons are real and hope to run into a real t rex whenever we're at the science museum.  they think lego building really looks like stuff from real life.  they believe pretend food really can fill them up and they giggle while hiding behind a chair, and sincerely believe i don't know they're there.  they're young enough to believe locking our doors keeps out actual monsters at night and that justin can literally turn into a steam roller and flatten them if they don't jump out of the way quick enough.  it. is. amazing. they believe that all dreams can be achieved, anything is possible and a kiss from me can magically take pain away.  childhood is a beautiful thing.
the truth is i can loose my patience when i need it most, repeated requests can get yelled, and giving a child one on one "face time" can be a rather large challenge.  i think the true catch in parenting is stepping back.  oh how tricky this simply thing is to do!!  realizing the boys are five and three make days run a lot smoother, and a heck of a lot happier- sanity even seems to be within my grasp.  i know my kids respond best when i don't try to parent "above their age."  that can be hard, sometimes i do expect to much of my kids.  not surprisingly when i remember who my kids are, their strengths and weaknesses, can help anticipate fights and conflict before it happens.  do or can i parent perfectly?  oh heaven's no, i'm pretty sure i figured that out the day i brought brody home from the hospital!  but realizing one of the parenting "catches" certainly helps me.
the serious work of play.


Katie & Andy said...

This is amazing. Thank you. It is exactly what I needed today. My boys are nearly 4, 2 and 8 months. Craziness comes quickly!

Kristine said...

Well said. Motherhood is certainly not easy. Every time I feel like I've got it figured it, I'm brought back to reality that I don't. But I do love my boys and can't imagine a life without them. So we just keep, keepin on:)

Caroline said...

It does feel like a neverending battle here and I feel like I just have to be happy for those few fun little "moments" that I have with them. You're doing an awesome job with your boys, keep it up!! I keep telling myself there must be some big reward waiting for us in heaven for this selfless "non-paid" SAHM gig:)

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