Ok, we got really deep around here for a few days … which I love because I am deep down dramatic and love sappy and warm talk.
However, yesterday as I sat and watched my three toddlers play in the sand and fight over bubbles, I realized something that I wanted to share. It’s not serious, but maybe it is… ?
I’m usually (can’t believe I’m saying it out loud) bored when we play at home. At first it felt like I was a daughter of a dairy farmer declaring “I don’t like milk.” Since they are my OWN flesh and blood, shouldn’t I have a genuine interest in our play? I look at other blogs where the mom has colors, shapes, textures and playful snacks lined up for the day, ready to tackle a 12 hour period with energy, gusto and creative juice attractive enough for the most busy toddler on the market.
Most days our “play” looks like this: Whine and try to get in the cabinets while Daddy showers for work. Cry because we all want that toy. Push the baby stroller. Throw blocks. Open the media center, turn head half way with a grin and wait for time out. Disconnect all lines of cable on the main floor. Color on Elmo, but mostly color the windows and floors when mom looks away. Read books, until we realize mom’s lap only has seating for two. Blow bubbles, until someone eats bubbles or re-enacts “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and shakes it up, all over. And I’m usually trying to figure out a way to eat a meal or make a coffee and TRYING really hard to be present.
And I am going to say this out loud – this gets old. AND this age is REALLY hard for me.
I love them the same. I like them….ehhhh, depends on the day.
A few months ago I was sitting with a friend helping her feed her new triplets when she asked me when it got easier. And I looked at her, decided to be honest and said, “It’s easy now – for you – you just don’t know it. Now – as in when my triplets turned 18 months + and got really whiny, clingy and hard to please – that is THE hardest. This age, right now. I am struggling.”
She looked at me, with a straight face, recalling her older child’s toddlerhood and said, “Really??!! I loved it all! Truly – I loved every second!”
And as I recall this conversation, I can take a deep breath and I actually get it. This whole parenting thing – I get it. You just can’t possibly be in love with every stage. But you can be in love. And you can be a good parent.
Some of us like chocolate instead of vanilla ice cream – but still love ice cream,. Some of us don’t love this stage or that stage of parenting, but still love our kids. And that’s OK. We can still be a GOOD parent.
And to all of you that I secretly judged in my head when you said you didn’t “really love” pregnancy (because I was one of those people who had an opium ‘life is beautiful and everything tastes better and feels better’ when I’m pregnant type of pregnancy) – I am sorry and I get it. It’s OK you didn’t care for pregnancy. Maybe you are the mom that likes to finger paint with your 20 month old.
And I ask you, mother of loving every second of your toddler’s day – what is your secret?