How many mothers have heard this line from moms with older kids? First off, I agree completely with the statement. I am already in mourning over my youngest son’s upcoming birthday of 5, which breaks my heart. I can’t imagine them not little. But then there are other times, when stress is attacking you from every level, and you’re dealing with demands nonstop, and you longe briefly for them to be old enough JUST TO LEAVE YOU ALONE FOR A MINUTE!
This happened to me recently. I was shopping, and I had already warned my boys they were going to get NOTHING from the store. It was in and out to buy a few necessary purchases. This was not a fun trip. After many minutes drilling this into their heads, we shopped and I got near the checkout. Of course, the impulse buys are right there in your face. DVD’s. And toys. Crap. I try to distract them, but of course they both target something they want more than life itself. And so…it begins…
“Mommy, look at this! Isn’t this amazing?” my older one screams. It’s a plastic microphone that lights up. Yeah. Quite amazing.
“Yes, honey. OK, put it back now.”
The little one comes out with a small Batman figurine. “Oh. My. God,” he says. Mr. Drama’s eyes widen. “I cannot believe it. It’s Batman from the Brave and the Bold mommy!”
“Yes,” I say calmly. “And you have one of those at home.”
His gaze snaps up in dismay. “Do not! This one has a sword! I don’t have a sword!”
“Put it on your Christmas list.” I push the cart forward and pray for speed.
“But Christmas is sooooo long away,” he groans.
“You can do jobs for that.” The job thing has been working really, really well and this usually soothes him. Not today.
The stormy expression comes over his face. The lower lip trembles. And so it begins.
“Mommy, please, I want it!”
An older woman glances at me and fights a smile. I roll my eyes and begin my pleading and bargaining. Today, it’s just not enough. He begins to cry.
My patience explodes. I rip the toy away, throw him in the cart, and mutter under my breath about ungrateful brats who get everything they want and would DARE to act spoiled in a store in public when I had this long discussion with them in the first place. He immediately senses my anger and starts screaming and weeping openly. My older one usually takes this opportunity to point out how good he is compared to his older brother, but for some wacky reason he starts weeping too and begging for the frikkin plastic microphone.
In the middle of packing up my stuff, dealing with cranky kids who I want to temporarily kill, this older woman takes this point to walk over and shake her head, as if she could not understand why I was so mad my children were acting like horrific whiney brats.
“You know, “ she clucks, “you should enjoy every precious moment, they grow up so fast.”
My eyes widened. Are you kidding me? At this moment, I can’t WAIT till they grow up and can slam the door behind them and at least leave me in peace! I nodded, agreed, and raced out.
Yes, I enjoy my children. Am crazy about them. But sometimes, I need a break. A large one. Of course, I spent one of these past days at a spa with a girlfriend, which was my long overdue birthday gift from my husband. When I asked the massage therapist why the bone in my neck moved, she informed me it was such a large muscle knot she’d need more sessions to work it out. OH. Anyway, I get home from an amazing day, relaxed, and my husband shoots out for an evening with his buddies since we trade off time a lot. I figured my kids would chill with a DVD and I’d get to cuddle up with a Lifetime movie for the close of a perfect day.
My little one immediately attached himself to me. And wanted to read 12 of his Batman books. They came in a pack, and he needs to read all of them at once. He then moved on to a million of his other books, and begged me to play Zingo.
Guilt attacked me for actually being away from him for the day, so I promised I’d play a quick game and then I needed to be left alone so he can go to bed.
Zingo became an hour fest because I wasn’t playing with just him. I was playing with his stuffed Panda bear, his stuffed puppy, and his dinosaur. So, I had to wait while his three stuffed animals got their turn with their cards, and it took FOREVER to finish that game until I wanted to weep with frustration and I knew the knot was back in my neck.
In closing, I realized I am not alone. We adore our children when they are little, but sometimes we need to get the hell away from them.
This morning, my son’s pre-k was holding a Thanksgiving feast. I brought in supplies and stood around with some other moms, looking a bit apprehensive. No one wanted to ask, so I finally did. “Umm, do parents have to stay?” I asked tentatively. The teacher smiled brightly. “Only if they want to!” she chirped. “Parents are welcome if they want to help with the feast!”
I paused. Then said, “NO, thanks, I’ll pick him up regular time.”
I flew out the door and suddenly was flocked by three other moms on my heels, running like smoke drifted from their heels. I burst out laughing at the image, and one of the moms laughed with me.
“Hell, no, I don’t want to stay!” she said. “I have two lousy hours before I have to come back and have a million things to do! Bad mommy.”
“Yep,” I said, feeling SO much better. “Me, too. Bad mommy.”
We raced to our cars and pealed out of the lot, clocking in how many minutes left of our freedom.
Yes, they are precious. Yes, we love them little. Yes, we treasure the moments.
But not all the time.
And I think that’s ok too.
Have you had any of these experiences with your children? Don’t leave me hanging! Drop me a comment, please, and share. Hit the number at the top of the post.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!