Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Ever since the kids were old enough to be in any sort of a routine, they have gone to bed around 7:00 p.m. That has always been the light at the end of a long, tunnel-like day, a time that I can look forward to, with no one making any demands on me. So imagine my frustration when, for the past three nights, one or both of the kids has been up until 9:00 p.m. Tonight, everyone was down for the count by 8:00, so that's an improvement. Little Natalie was so tired that she zonked out in the middle of the first bedtime story. I had both kids on my lap, and Natalie started to fuss, so I turned her to her side (her preferred sleeping position). It wasn't ten seconds later when I heard little baby snores coming from her. Sammy was a tougher nut to crack, but after threatening to take his binky away if he didn't stay in his bed, he finally gave up. We were planning on getting rid of the binky this weekend, but there goes that idea. I don't know what I would threaten him with to keep him in his bed otherwise. Funny, because I just recently told someone "We never had that problem with Sammy" - in regards to the whole toddler-not-staying-in-their-bed issue. Famous last words.

I recently read a quote in a parenting magazine, something to the effect of "Your job as the parent of a toddler is to keep them from killing their fool selves." Easier said than done, though. Tonight I was folding laundry, and Sammy pulled out the folding step stool that I keep beside the dryer. He climbed up on it, then tried to use the magnetic appliance bar (which holds a maximum of three pounds) as a foothold to climb up on top of the dryer. You can probably guess what happened next. THUNK, followed by shrieking and wailing. If everyone has a guardian angel, I think toddlers must be provided with fleets (flocks? hosts?) of angels. I also have thought toddlers are a major argument against evolution. By this point in time, humans should have evolved to be immobile until an age when they have a bit of common sense. On the other hand, I've known a few 18-year-olds who don't have a whole lot of common sense, either, so maybe that wouldn't be practical.

I just realized all this seems really negative, but there have been good moments too, in the past few days. Like last night, when the kids were taking a bath, and Sammy was playing with his foam soap. I squeezed out a long, rope-like length of soap, and said, "Oh, there's a snake in the bathtub!" and Sammy, playing along, said, "Who pooped in the bathtub?" His imagination is working overtime these days. He also brought a Scotch tape dispenser over to me a few days ago and said, "This looks like a snail!" and you know, it really does. And then over the weekend, he had some mandarin oranges for lunch and pointed out that one looked like a seahorse.

And even though this has been a trying week, I can't help but think that in another 15 years, the kids will be so busy living their own lives, that they won't have a lot of time for me anymore and I'm going to wish I could re-live these days. This is something that I remind myself of every time that the kids are being high-maintenance or whiny, and it really does help get me through the moment.

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