Murphy's law is so not cool when it happens to things regarding mommy hood. The ole' my angel is sleeping through the night bit is sure to stop that very evening after you exclaimed the words with glee. The ole' isn't my junior playing so well with other kiddos ceases just as you think that thought & junior whacks someone on the head with a book. Just today sitting at my kitchen table over a cup of (warm-hallelujah) coffee with a friend while the boys were watching a movie. Because honestly how else do you get to have an uninterrupted conversation with a friend? No shame. We don't have tv, but you can be sure we have a dvd collection of movies for such a time as this. I was advising my first time mom friend to not try so hard to get her sweet baby girl to take a nap. To pick her battles & that it just isn't worth it if she has to try so hard to get her to nap. But, that I was certainly happy my 2 year old had started taking naps again because that was such a gift.
Fast forward to now...no napping. In room screaming "All done sleeping" & he has been screaming that ever since he went in there. Seriously how does that happen? Do kiddos listen from afar & plot their attack of how they can best stick it to us with a surprise gotcha--I don't sleep anymore sucker! It just isn't fair. And, not matter how many times I have fallen for it I will fall for it again & again. I have totally been that person thinking smugly about how well my eldest does at other people's homes only to have him throw the fit of all fits only moments later. Or have heard myself saying oh, he does so great in the stroller he doesn't mind it at all only to then have to wrestle my son like he is a wet seal to try & get him contained in the stroller long enough to buckle him in. You know when you are using one arm to kind of try to pin them down & the other to attempt to get the strap in all while blowing your sweaty hair out of your eyes & hoping the people around you have found themselves in similar situations & are looking at you with compassion & understanding rather than thinking of the poor child to get such a crazy lady for a mom.
Perhaps it is just one big joke to keep us on our toes knowing that at any moment whatever we have so figured out about our kiddos could change suddenly & without warning. Maybe it is meant to keep us humble & to know that their reactions, character & even napping really don't have that much to do with whether we are doing a "good" job or not as their parent. Maybe it is just a reminder (that I know I often need) that they are tiny, but they are people too. They are living, breathing, thinking, growing, feeling people just like me. Not only are they are figuring different things out & feeling who knows how many emotions that are unidentifiable at all once all while there mom (yours truly) is yelling at them to clean up the legos & put their dirty underwear in the hamper instead of throwing it at their brother, but they are also trying to figure out Independence while under the control of their parents. Like what if I were to give up a little bit of that control & actually let them figure something out on their own even if it wouldn't be as clean or quick as I would do it for them.
What if I did have them crack the eggs when we were making cookies & the egg did (gasp) fall to the floor. Well, I guess we would just have to clean it up & crack another egg. News flash to myself sometimes I drop the egg too & at some point along the way I was taught that when you make a mess you clean it up. But, how will my tiny people learn this if I clean up the mess for them or yell at them when the mess is made?
It is so hard to figure out what battles to pick or what or when or how to give up some of the control. One battle I have given up that was near & dear to my heart was socks with sandels. What is a mom to do when her boys were born in the PNW & don't see the morale dilemma of it? They just truly prefer it. But, if we don't learn when to give up some of the control then there is the chance that when we fast forward a few years down the road our kids will still be living in the basement asking us to make eggs for them for breakfast even though they are in their 20's & that just wouldn't be cool. I would much rather have my adult sons come for a visit wearing socks & sandals than having to see them shuffle around the kitchen in their bathrobes day after day. So, I am going to continue to try & embrace the independence they are craving & make sure to never buy them black socks.