My dearest children,
Someday, you will come to me, thinking that maybe you aren’t cut out for this whole ‘parenting’ thing. You’ll confess to me that you feel like an awful person because sometimes, your precious children can act…just really, really annoying.
Maybe not being able to pee without an audience will be the catalyst. I will share a tale of a bath I tried to take, after BabyBoy had gone to bed, only to find that one of you ‘had to poop’…three times…and one of you ‘just wanted to watch you, Mommy’…
Maybe you will find yourself irked that you cannot sit down for a meal without little eyes (who had just freaking eaten lunch, for goshsakes…) inspecting your plate and eyeing it up with wistful sighs because for some reason your mac and cheese looks so much cooler than theirs. I will tell you of how, for years on end, I did not have an uninterrupted meal, did not go one meal without someone other than me sampling my meal.
“Mom,” you’ll say, having long ago left behind ‘Mommy’, “Mom, am I a horrible person for thinking that my children are acting…” and you’ll look around, because god forbid someone hear you whisper the parental blasphemy you’re about to say… “annoying?”
You probably yearn for the days when you didn’t have a little audience following you everywhere, shadowing you closer than…well…your own shadow. You might find yourself wishing that you could go to the store without a chorus of little voices begging to come with. Heaven knows that there were days when I wished that the choir would make a little less noise, or not have so many “buts” for me when I asked them to clean their room, stop fighting, eat their dinners…today happened to be one of those days. I was sick, I was tired of being the first person up in the morning and the last person to bed…and I just needed to go to the store for literally three things. After a day of whining, fighting, complaining…I was looking forward to the silence.
However, a little chorus of voices asked to come with me. Grudgingly, I agreed. I loaded you kids into the car. I was not happy. I was not looking forward to the added effort of unloading three kids from the car. I was not looking forward what I knew would be a million “Can we haves”. The added demand of vigilance on my brain, already strained from exhaustion and being sick. But as I sat for a moment before pulling out of the driveway, I decided to appreciate it. Let me tell you why you should too.
There will be moments where the last voice you want to hear is that of your kids and/or spouse. But your children just want to soak you up all they can. Because, as I explained to you as we were cruising up and down the grocery store aisles:
There will come a day when you cease to be children, and become teenagers. You will think you know it all. I thought I knew it all, but I knew nothing, and so shall you know nothing. And you will still be children to me. Then you will cease to be teenagers and you will become adults. At least, you’ll be adults in the eyes of the law. You’ll still be children to me. At the beginning of adulthood, you will be shocked to find that maybe you know less than you did as a teenager, less than when you were a child.
When your children hit a certain stage, Mommy and Daddy become Mom and Dad, and go from being ultimately cool to infinitely lame. They will no longer bother to beg you to ride along to the store. You’ll find yourself begging them to come along, pleading for a moment of their precious time.
SchoolGirl and KinderGirl, when I told you today that we were going to have a nice little trip to the store because there’d come a day when you wouldn’t want to come along anymore, you both swore up and down that would never happen. That you’d always want to spend time with me. I know that it probably won’t hold, but I hope it does.
Because yes, my dears, Mommy likes to be left alone from time to time, and I’m sure the first few weeks of the “Mom is lame and I can’t be seen near her” stage will be welcomed by me. I am sure I will cherish the silence for a few days.
But then I will want my children near me. Then I will have to plead with you to come along with me. And it will be like that for maybe a decade, and then one day, maybe it will be over a broken heart, a broken bone, an injured spirit, one day you will come back, Mom and Dad will be, maybe not ‘cool’, but definitely ‘wise’, as wise as one could be, I suppose, and in time, we won’t be so lame. But I can imagine that the “You’re so lame, Mom” years, while freeing, will be somewhat lonely, and will probably stretch on for what seems ages.
The simple answer is no, you are not a horrible person for thinking your children are acting annoying. You’re human, and that’s okay. Everyone needs their ‘alone’ time.
And I’m definitely not telling you to always have the mindset of “Let these kids be up my butt all the time, because one day they won’t want to”. You still need space to breathe, you know. And sometimes, those kids are going to want to tag along, and you’re just going to grit your teeth and think “No! Mommy/Daddy needs to be alone for a few moments, if only at the store/in the bathroom”, and that’s okay too.
But sometimes, just take the annoying, adorable little rugrats along. You never know, you might have fun, and those little faces might just snap you out of a foul mood. You guys did that for me today. Thank you.
But no, there will never be a day that I am soaking in the bath and say to you “Sure. Pull up a chair.” No…if Mommy’s in the bath or taking a shower, you best keep your little butts out of there.
PS. I have photos of each of you, making the “I’m pooping right this second” face. The day you stop calling me Mommy, and start calling me Mom instead, is the day you’ll find all your friends imitating that face after I’ve plastered it all over the high school and taken out a full-page ad in the yearbook. Love you, darlings!!!