Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I should know this by now but apparently I don't

When it comes to kids, I'm absolutely convinced that if you are content with things the way they are, you should never, ever, ever even casually mention it. In fact, don't even whisper it at three a.m. when they're sound asleep dreaming about a heaping bowl of Lucky Charms- the real kind too- drooling all over their pillows becasue somehow, in some bizaare way, they will hear you. And immediately they will change their ways, go against the happy little routine the two of you have built together, and you will be left crunching down the candy that was supposed to be for the kid's valentines while a pile of wrappers grows along with your confusion.

For those of you who need a little clarification as to what I'm getting at here- so you can smack yourself in the forehead and go, "Oooh! Yeah, that!" allow me to explain. It's quite simple really, but it's a technique that is not typically mastered in any immediate fashion. I don't consider myself experienced in any form of parenting, however, one might infer that after three kids I might catch on to this simple phenomenom.

So, for instance: if you enjoy the fact that your baby is sleeping through the night it, don't even think about how wonderful it is to crawl into bed at night and not set your feet back on the floor until either a) your alarm sounds or b) the kids tell you they just ate those moment-of-complete-weakness-Snickers bars you bought from the Dollar Store last night for breakfast.

I'm serious- if you feel the thought coming on, grab your preschooler and start belting out the ABC's or quickly get on the phone and imerse yourself in some type of intelligent conversation, like the tale about the Snicker's bars, to someone who has long forgotten what it's like to be in this stage of parenting and has now been reduced to laughing and choking out, "Enjoy it," like you might forget lest they remind you. Anything. Because the second those words soar out of your mouth, or enter your brain, there's no changing your mind. Even if you look at your sweet little baby and give her a some goofball grin trying to disguise what you just did with a high-pitched, "Just kidding!" it's too late. From that point forward (well, until some undetermined point in the future- like maybe next year?) she will start waking up just to visit with you at two in the morning. And then again at five. And, maybe on those really lonely nights she'll call for your attention once again at six or seven at which point you will haul her into your bed and she will proceed to slap you in the face and giggle every time you say "Ow!"

Ah, the codes us mothers must decipher. Mastering the unwritten rules and jumbled up paraphrases is much worse than those tricky paragraphs full of funny looking phrases like IXLD NZR that give you the all-telling clue of A=K. OHhh! Aaaa eaquals Kaaaay! I get it! Uh-yah-huh. If only the clues to motherhood's rules were quite that simple.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. Love it. Especially the slapping the face part. Totally! Brita

Amy L said...

Hahaha -for sure you can never say such things within their earshot.
Happy Birthday to Hannah - thinking of you today!

Megan Lorraine said...

Travis has been a joy at night lately. The other night he was up at two am and dindn't go back to bed til three thirty. Then last night he was up at one a.m. again, and wouldn't let anyone do anything with him except rock him upstairs..... and to tkop it off he woke up Jenna with his screaming, and she's not very resasonable at two a.m. I hope he gets over this before the new one comes and we're up four times a night with two kids.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, dear Hannah Lou!