13 Observations on Parenting Young Kids

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1. Bladders and bowels are apparently very active at night. How many times have the kids needed “to go poop” or “potty” after they’ve put down for the night? Countless times. Every time actually. It’s very convenient because how can you tell your kid, “No, I’m sorry, you can’t go poop right now.” 8/10 they don’t actually go, but for those 2 times they get lucky…I usually cave and let ’em.

2. Also, at bedtime…water suddenly tastes good. All day long I offer water. “No, I want juice.” or “Can I have milk instead?” Suddenly, after a child has been tucked in, there is a deafening imploring for MOMMY! “Yes, dear?” I yell up the stairs. “I NEED SOME WATER!” Just a minute, your waitress will be right with you.

3. Making your kid eat something until they gag serves very little to no purpose. We have a rule. You have to try ONE bite of new foods. Sometimes you can just guess it’s not going to go well; like when our son was gagging at just the smell of a Brussels sprout. Well, we took a stand because that’s our rule despite his after persistent protesting. It ended in full on cookie-tossing into the trash. My hubs and I looked at each other and wondered whatever we were trying to accomplish with our stand. Maybe we needed to chill out a little bit.

4. Stuff-management has become a part time job. Puzzles, socks, art, papers, clothes, shoes, art, toys, diapers, hair pretties, markers, small cars, bats, bikes, balls, laundry, art, books, snack wrappers, empty juice boxes, art. You get the idea. All. My. Time. Putting. Stuff. Away. (Sweet as they all are, managing kids’ art projects is my top pet peeve, can you tell? If I keep it, it’ll make me sad someday. If I throw it away it makes me sad now. Lose-lose.)

5. It’s only clean for 5 minutes. Whatever it is. The first outfit of the day. The window after you wash it. The van after you clean it. The laundry. The floor. You name it. You only get 5, so enjoy them.

6. I’m not quite as patient as I thought I was. Do I need to explain this to any other parent on the planet?

7. My need for quiet has become insatiable, and rarely met. I took up blogging for a reason post kids. I need a minute with my thoughts, and putting them on paper is therapeutic.

8. My abs will never quite look the same. I read every single article about how stretch marks and sloppy tummies are sexy because they created wonderful babies. I get the point but…well, honestly, I wish I could have my beautiful babies and my old stomach back. I’m reading a book called Say Goodbye to Your Mummy Tummy, so we’ll see if that produces any miracles.

9. Life revolves around the kitchen. I spend hours and hours a day in the kitchen–cooking, baking, homework, dishes, lunches, etc. The shift ends somewhere around 9:00pm every night. My parents had this book on their shelf growing up called, Sex Begins in the Kitchen. I bet you anything it was 10 chapters on, “If you help your wife do kitchen duties, she will want to have sex with you because then she might have a little time and a little energy left at the end of the day.” Because I would write a book like that.

10. Children have an internal sensor that makes them turn up their volume when a parent is on the phone. Just why?

11. 74% of the time I’m saying one of two things: “Shhh” or “Just a minute.”

12. Grace abounds for parents of young kids. I usually don’t return the carts to the cart corral at the grocery store. I take the parking spot as close to the door as I can at church even though I should reserve it for visitors and people with mobility problems. I can take weeks to write a thank you letter or months to call a friend. I produce lots of trash. And you know what? People are so gracious. They don’t judge. They don’t blame. They understand that we have a house full of young kids.

13. It’s super challenging. And life’s biggest blessing. Wouldn’t trade it for the world. And love time away. Carry on warriors, we’ll get through the young years…and then we’ll be sad they’re over.