Saturday, April 3, 2021

I Don't Remember Growing Older; When Did They?

Brooklyn cleaned her room this weekend. I mean, she keeps it clean and organized on a daily basis thanks to her obsessive compulsive tendencies, but she decided she wanted to move her furniture around and clean out her closet. She carried load after load of old toys into the family room and deposited them at my feet. First there were dolls. Then came the doll stroller, followed by a big bag of play food and cooking paraphernalia. This was followed by an assortment of Play-Doh. She brought out bags of clothes she'd outgrown, boots, roller blades, and a magic set complete with collapsible top hat. 

And I've gotta tell ya, I teared up. I legitimately got tears in my eyes. I swear I could hear Topol and Norma Crane singing the haunting strains of Sunrise, Sunset as I watched my15-year-old daughter pile up armfuls of playthings from days gone by. 

"Is this the little girl I carried? Is this the little boy at play? I don't remember growing older. When did they?"

This child, who I swear just yesterday was making PlayDoh waffles for me is currently learning how to drive. An actual car! This baby, who would throw a fit if I didn't put her pink cowboy boots on her little feet the moment she woke up, is now in high school. My youngest child has traded Bubble Guppies for Criminal Minds, her stuffed tiger for a ukulele, The Wiggles for One Direction, and her princess dress-up clothes for a cheer uniform and an obscenely extensive collection of hoodies.

Each milestone my kids hit is somewhat bittersweet. I'm thankful they're growing, learning, and developing as they should. I celebrate their achievements at the same time I mourn those discarded little-kid things. But I think it's making me especially sad with Brooklyn because she's my youngest. For over 26 years I've had kids. And now I feel like I just have small adults. 

When I started blogging in 2007, I wasn't sure I'd survive being a stay-at-home mom to six little mess-makers. People told me back when I had 6 kids, aged 11 and under, "Enjoy this time because the days are long, but the years are short." I took their well-intentioned advice with a nod, while listening to the fighting, whining, and general chaos emanating from my spawn, and thought - You enjoy it, ya psycho! I'm running away from home!"

But I have to admit there's a lot that I miss about those days. I get weepy when I look through photo albums of my babies' first years of life. I remember the smell of their fragile little newborn heads.

I remember the days when they thought I was smart. I reminisce about the times when I'd tuck them into bed, read them a story, and snuggle with them. Nowadays, they tuck me in after I fall asleep on the couch. 

My friends tell me I have a selective memory. They're probably right. I may be looking at the situation through rose-colored glasses. So when I get a little too sentimental about those days of yore, I remind myself that, while I cherish those times, I do NOT want to revisit them.

If you, like me, sometimes find yourself wishing you could turn back time, here are a few reasons to be happy you're out of that stage of life!

*  Kids refusing to eat the nutritious meal you slaved over, opting instead to eat half a cup of ketchup, five marshmallows, and a crayon.

*  Two words – car seats.

*  Chuck E. Cheese 

*  The 2 ½ hours it takes to get ready to go anyplace and the 5 pound diaper bag you have to lug around.

*  What IS that smell in the car??

*  The kid who slumps to the floor in a heap while screaming and crying in the middle of the grocery store because you did something as diabolical as telling him he can’t have the box with the picture of the cute kitty because it’s cat food. And you don’t have a cat.

*  Caillou

*  Trying to figure out if they’re crying because they’re hungry, tired, cold, hot, wet, poopy, or because today is Tuesday.

*  Diaper blow-outs

*  Sharpie drawings on the walls

*  Accidentally washing a disposable diaper and finding that gel all over everything for weeks

*  Finding sippy cups of milk under the couch a week later

*  Attempting to reason with your child about why they cannot run into the street, stick that screwdriver in the electrical outlet, eat grass, play with the dog poop, and on and on and on and on and on . . .

*  Kids waking you up at 5:00 am on a Saturday. (Now you have to wake them up at 5:00 in the evening!)

*  Potty training

*  The whole "I do it myself" phase.

What do you not miss about those little kid years?


kirine said...

I don't miss the "no" phase and the throwing food on the floor just to roll it on the carpet THEN eat it. I don't miss the screams of "you're mean" just because I dared to try to brush their hair and keep it from being a tangled bird's nest.

-T- said...

I do not miss being woken up in the middle of the night by those terrible, horrible sounds of vomit hitting every surface imaginable, except any form of receptacle

-T- said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elisabet said...

I also don't miss the sounds of vomitting...especially when it was the kid on the top bunk who thoughtfully leaned over the side and puked onto the brother on the bottom bunk AND into the drawers underneath the bunkbed.I also don't miss the fighting on the backseat of the car, gum stuck in hair, buying new school clothes and doing everything but using chloroform to get the boys to try on at least one pair of jeans, or middle school drama with girlfriends. And then there were broken bones, bloody noses, and teaching them to drive. One kid drove 2 m.p.h. everywhere and the other drive 80 m.p.h. Otherwise, I do miss have small humans at home...which is why I now have cats. Puking, pooping in wierd places, refusing to eat what I prepared...not much different from kids!

BarbaraShowell said...

I don’t miss five of them denying they did it.

Steph said...

I don't miss the snarky remarks, the slamming bedroom doors or the fights over who's turn it is to help with a household chore. Oh, and also, that's my shirt, why are you wearing it! I loved having children, but I really love having adult children... does that make me a bad parent?

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