Recently I caught myself looking at a cutie patootie toddler and thinking “Oh I miss my kids being that small.” I also caught myself telling a mom who was bemoaning her toddlers recent temper tantrum “You will miss that when your kids are 15 (and still throwing temper tantrums).” I have since stopped saying these things because I realized:
THEY ARE NOT TRUE!!!
The truth is: I don’t want to admit I’m old enough to have a child in high school. I don’t want to think that in 3 years my oldest will be going to college and my youngest will start high school. Feeling nostalgic about my kids younger years is way more about me wanting to not admit to getting older than yearning for the toddler years again.
I mean honestly let’s think about this; who misses having to take 2 bags full of diapers, bottles, wipes, 6 different outfit changes, pacifiers, toys, and a stroller just to go to the grocery store after surviving on about 4 hours of sleep? Do you really miss the meltdowns at age 2 because they want to stay on the slide at McDonald’s and you want to leave because you’ve been trapped in the Play Place for 45 minutes with some psycho mom who keeps showing you pictures of every day of her child’s 730 days on Earth? The answers to these questions are “No.”
But look at these cute pictures……
See aren’t they just adorable? The reason you have thousands of adorable pictures lying around your house and hung on your walls is because nobody takes a picture of them when they are being bad. I don’t have a picture of Teagan after 45 minutes of non-stop crying the night I made her give up her pacifier – affectionately called “boppy.” I don’t have a picture from the ER visit we made after calling Dave over while he was on duty on the ambulance after Dawson made some daring leap off the top of the couch and hit a table and feigned a broken leg. It was later revealed he really didn’t hurt himself he just acted like he did because he wanted Daddy to come home – later at the ER… after an X-ray. I guess technically I do have a picture of it, the perfectly normal X-ray of his leg.
But it’s so easy to remember how cute they are when they are six and telling all the family they are playing in the “Pee Wee Baseball World Serious.” Or the time when you catch your 4-year-old “reading” to his baby sister after he crawled up in her crib with her. It’s much nicer to remember those things than when he microwaved her bottles for 4 minutes – and that icky melted plastic smell that lingered in the house for days.
It’s nice to think about the times they were cute and caring and thought you hung the moon. Because now they talk back, they know everything and think you are the stupidest person in the world. Ok well the full-blown teenager does, the tween is still cute about 75% of the time with the other 25% pushing the edge of full-blown teen.
If I had to truly pick a “favorite” time frame – I think it would be somewhere between them needing help tying their shoes to about 3rd grade – when they start understanding what the older kids are talking about on the school bus. Of course technically I still have to tie Dawson cleats from time to time – well more specifically if I don’t want to watch him have to stop 3 times during a soccer game to re-tie them I have to tie his shoes.
Just like puppies. Puppies are so cute! Who doesn’t want one? Until you remember the time you had to Google “Is Tire Slime hazardous to dogs?” It is not, in case you were wondering. Or the time you had to rush to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy a new baseball glove 1 day before a tournament and try to get it broken in because the bulldog thought the one that the 12-year-old left out in the yard looked like a good chew toy.
So while I may comment on how cute and adorable your 3 month old is or how sweet your 3-year-old is I vow not to say “I wish my kids were still that age” or “you will miss this when they get older.” Because you really only miss the cute stuff – not the tantrums, tattling, screaming, saying no, potty training, and whining. Actually minus the potty training it’s not that much different from having a teen ager. And down the road when Dawson graduates or finishes college or gets married – I will remember the good stuff about him being 15. I’m sure there’s good stuff…… I’m just kidding; currently he can crack me up with some of his one liners, he can surprise me when he texts me with an idea to raise money for kids with cancer and although he pushes the ‘I’m-the-man-of-the-house’ thing when Dave is at the fire station he is really becoming very responsible.
Maybe I should start saying “you will miss them being that cute when they get older – but when they are older they will still have their moments.”