Monday, December 10, 2012

There is Hope

Well, the day has finally arrived.  Or I suppose I should say "season."  I have been a parent for 15 years, and I am finally baking with my children (without losing my mind, or ending up with boogers in the frosting).

So let me encourage you, mothers of little ones.  They do grow up.  They don't stay little and incompetent forever.  Some day, you will be able to recreate the Norman Rockwell moments with your children.

My children are now 15, 10, 8, and (as of tomorrow) 4.  I finally am in a place where I get a full nights sleep about 80% of the year.  Exceptions include bouts of sickness and the occasional nightmare.  I don't have to change diapers or worry about where the closest bathroom is at any given intersection on my errand runs.  My youngest still has the occasional accident, but overall she is unbelievably good at going potty in a toilet without needing my help the whole time.  I can even send her with a sibling at times if it's necessary.

My 15 year old is now old enough to babysit his sisters.  I can't even begin to describe the bliss of being able to run to the store for a bit while he holds down the fort.  I have to say that right now I am really reaping the rewards of being consistent and down-right hard nosed when he was younger.  Be encouraged, young mommies.  If you stick to your guns, grit your teeth when it starts getting hairy, and stay consistent with them, someday you'll be able to walk out the door without them in tow and be assured that the house will still be standing when you get back (and you won't be getting a call from the ER).

I know that it's exhausting.  I know that they don't know when to shut-up.  I know that if you hear one more complaint about dinner you're going to smack some... thing.  I know how difficult it can be to punish them AGAIN for the same thing.  I know that its nauseating when your friends without children brag about all the sleep they got when daylight savings ended, while you were up at the crack of dawn because your little one's alarm clock doesn't run on analog or digital.

So let me ease your weary mind.  Someday they will be older.  I know you're getting lots of advice to cherish them while their young.  If you're like me, you're probably starting to feel guilty about not appreciating their starry-eyed wonder while simultaneously visualizing how to make a strait jacket look cute.  The great thing is, when they're old enough to start doing fun things you'll still have a good ten years left with them.

Sure, they may not say "pasghetti," or do silly dances to the music playing over the loudspeakers at the mall.  They may be too tall for the play-place at McDonalds, or two gangly to keep on your lap while you read them a book.  But you'll still have plenty of moments to cherish with them, and those moments will start to get closer and closer together.

I hope this encourages you.  I hope that you can take a deep breath as you listen to the silence of your little ones getting into mischief (because if you've read this far, they're either sleeping, or getting into something), and realize that "this too shall pass."

P.S. The Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting were delicious.  :)

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