I try saying things like “Holy Mackerel” and “Good Gravy!” in front of my kids, but I’m afraid the odd s-bomb has escaped my lips without very much apology. To be honest the Disney swearing just tickles me pink and even when I’m around regularly sized humans I enjoy throwing out a “Oh, Holy Nights!” or a “Good Night Nurse!” every now and again.
Going to the store with three children under 5 is not easy. The afternoons make it worse because they have all just woken up from their all too brief naps, and aren’t energized by breakfast or 10+ hours sleep like they would be if I took them in the morning.
I bundle them in the car, check for shoes, sweaters, pacy and toys for the baby… I grab snack and drinks, jump in the car and pass out the snack only for my oldest to whine “I don’t want THAT snack mommy!” and my toddler to scream her agreement that I am apparently rubbish for selecting THAT snack.
ADMISSION: Half the time when this happens I say “Rough, it’s THIS or nothing”, aaand the other half I heave a giant frustrated sigh and stomp back in the house to get a couple of different items that I know will soothe the little beasts and guarantee a smoother outing.
I do, on occasion, have grocery trips which go seamlessly, and I feel elated by my tiny brood and their ability to exist in a state outside of whining and candy induced happiness.
I think the hard thing is when you get the sweet idea to take your wee ones out for a treat and you’re all excited thinking how much they’ll love it and how you’re about to become their favorite person… Only to have your intentions fall flat and your kids react as if you have just surprised them with a trip to the dentist.
Today I said to my kids “Surprise! Mommy is taking you out for milkshakes!” Only to have my girls scream “NO! BUT WE WANT CANDY!!!!” My oldest even fell to her knees in fits over not getting what she wanted.
I feel so confused. Like, ‘wait, don’t you get it? Did I speak English? Milkshakes are delicious. I don’t understand what’s happening..’ It’s not that they are meaning to be ungrateful. They’re just little kids, who sometimes act like jerks. There I said it. They are also sweet, happy and polite. They loved the milkshakes, but I had never taken them for milkshakes before; they had no frame of reference for what that experience would be like and so in their tiny immature minds they just transposed memories of being forced to try peas or something I suppose.
I have to remind myself in those moments of that simple fact. They are immature. They have yet to mature.
Remember that scene in Hook where Peter Banning says to his son Jack “stop acting like a child” and his son smiles and squeezes out a laugh as he says “but I am a child.” I love that part.
My two and a half year old is the rascaliest child on the face of God’s green earth. She is hilarious and silly; she is sassy and loud. I love it and also she drives me nuts. I say to her “Annie, lay down in your bed and go to sleep. Just close your eyes and relax, do you understand me?” and she says “Mama, wuz ‘a-lax’ meen?” and it hits me… she’s still very much a tiny little miss. She is developing. She is pushing the boundaries and trying to understand what is right and wrong and what she can get away with. It also hits me, as I look down at her cheeky little face and struggle to find the words to describe to her what “relax” means, that I really wouldn’t wish away her cuteness even if it meant that she was a better listener.