Monday, March 4, 2013

Forgive the Serial Posting

You'll have to forgive the serial posting that I've been doing over the past week.  Apparently I had much to get out.  I think after this I'll be back to a more normal schedule.  At least, I hope so.  Still, I have some things I need to say, and then I'm done.

I think.

I've been griping that my son (in particular, though my daughter is not immune) has been acting toddler-esque lately.  And he has.  But he's 10, and there are definitely some perks that come with having older kids.  Without further ado...

Things I am grateful my kids have outgrown:

1.  Diapers.  There's nothing more to say about that.

2.  Car seats.  I don't have to worry if they're installed right.  I don't have to worry about the food underneath them.  I don't have to lift them out.
     2a.  They can buckle themselves in.  And open and close the doors.
     2b.  They can haul their own crap in and out of the house and help me empty grocery carts.
     3c.  They can clean the vehicle if they spill something.

3.  Sippy cups.  Those lids are impossible to keep clean without having them develop leaks.  And they leave them EVERYWHERE.  At least with upright cups, even ones with lids and straws, they are normally found on a flat surface where they're visible to others.

4.  Me cutting up their food.  It's very nice to be able to sit down, fill plates, and eat without watching mine go cold while I mince up someone else's dinner.
     4a.  Me fixing breakfast.
     4b.  Me fixing lunch.
     4c.  Me fixing snacks.  Do we see a theme here?  I fix enough breakfasts on weekends (or sometimes overnight in the crockpot) for them to find their own meals each morning, and they enjoy scrounging for leftovers or making sandwiches for lunch.  I make one meal a day.  I love to cook *meals,* but the other feedings I can take or leave.  And I generally prefer 'leave.'  My mother I am not.

5.  The "helping" phase.  Don't get me wrong.  M2 loves to help.  But almost-8-year-old help is far more useful than 2-year-old 'help.'  Standing around watching a toddler splash water around in a toilet is far more cringeworthy than handing your elementary-age child a brush, some paper towels, and a bottle of homemade cleaner and telling her to go clean the bathroom.

6.  Getting up in the middle of the night.  Scratch that.  M1 still does it.  And if I catch him, I do, too.

7.  Mall play areas.  They always looked like giant germ playgrounds.  I took my kids once in a while, don't get me wrong.  But it wasn't my favorite way to spend a morning.

8.  Nursery rhymes.  Again, it's cute for a while.  And they're fun to reminisce about.  And yes, they have a purpose.  But I find them inherently nauseating, and I'm grateful my kids no longer beg for 'Farmer in the Dell' and 'Little Bunny FooFoo.'  I love that they ask for The Rolling Stones or Johnny Cash or Tchaikovsky.  Or Green Day.  *cough*
     8a.  Preschool TV shows.  M1 adored Teletubbies.  That is all.

9.  Bathtime.  OK, this one I'm almost sentimental about.  There's something adorable about wrapping a tiny child up in a towel and cuddling them dry.  Still, my knees are grateful I'm not bending over a bathtub every night any more.

10.  Teaching them to read.  This sounds insane, but as much as I adore reading and I'm so grateful my kids adore reading, too, I hated teaching them to read.  I am just not patient like that, and I hated watching them struggle.  Also, one can only watch the Leapfrog videos so many times before CVC words and 'blends' become anathema.  See 8a.

There are probably more, and of course there are a million things I miss about the kids when they were tiny (like the way I used to be able to snuggle them both on my lap comfortably for ages and ages [M1 tried to sit on my lap today while we talked about the March on Washington led by MLK Jr. and my legs almost instantly went numb]), but it's good to remember why I like the kids the age they are now, too.  And I'm not nostalgic, anyway... I much prefer the here and now.

What do you miss or NOT miss most about your kids when they were young(er)?


Kim said...

I don't miss the complete lack of sleep. I have to admit though, I miss everything else. I wish I had my son at every age. Well, now that I think about it, I don't miss digging wet cheerios out of the car seat cushion...

Anonymous said...

To be honest, I'm not thrilled about dealing with all of these things again, since my son has long outgrown them.

What have I gotten into?!

farmwifetwo said...

Although I have thankfully, outgrown diapers - one at 5 and another at 9 - I still have to make certain the younger has his daily "sit" and make certain he's tidy afterwards. The other he doesn't need any help with nor being told.

Bath's - the younger can get himself in and out but needs someone to rinse out his hair for him. He's been washing himself since he was 8 using a strip of instructions along the tub wall. This winter I also have had to make certain he's moisturized and put the cortizone on his feet - excema.

The elder hasn't needed me in... years.

Sippy cups - they are wondeful in the living room. The younger still cannot use an open face cup. Sensory mostly. It tickles or burns his upper lip. It took him until he was about 7 to be able to close his lips around a spoon/fork.

Elder uses both.

Eldest can make his own breaky, lunch, snacks. It's on the list for the younger shortly.

Gotta go.

Unknown said...

I nodded at everything you wrote. Except the reading. We used Dick and Jane readers to learn to read. It's quite effective. However, I don't miss having to purse my lips and not giggle (I know, real mature of me, right?) at the sentence, "Oh, oh, Dick! Oh Dick! Oh!"

Addlepated Monkey Mama said...

I'm sure there are tons of annoying things that I don't miss, but Number One definitely has to be the constant sleep deprivation. My daughter did not sleep through the night, EVER, until she was two. Most nights she was awake for an hour or more in the middle of the night. I thought I would go insane. Only in the last year or so has she stopped waking me up at night or asking to sleep next to me.

And yes, booster seats are good. Real cups are good (and mugs are better because they're hard to tip over). Not pushing a double stroller up hills is very good. Not having to sit on the floor and amuse them for every waking moment is fantastic.

Mindful Homeschooler said...

Great list! I sometimes have to remind myself that there are plenty of perks outside of the "baby" thing :)

Beth said...

I H-A-T-E-D teaching them to read. I swear I thought they would both DIE. By my hand. These 2 are both brilliant but that phase of learning from sounding things out to actual reading was the WORST phase of life EVER. If I feel the urge to snuggle cute things that need baths, bottles, and other cutsie things.. I get a bunny, kitten, apparently a goat.. And viola. Feelings are gone!

Anonymous said...

Sleep. Sleep is the #1 reason my son is an only child.

Not that reflux and washing cloth diapers were awesome, or going through baby clothes and gear constantly. But if you could've guaranteed me a good sleeper, I probably would've gone for a second kid.