Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Middle

All three of my children have recently developed annoying habits that drive.me.crazy.

J forgets he's only eight-years-old and tries to keep up with the big kids. 
K2 has a bossy streak and constantly instructs everyone to, "now say you're sorry" which sounds cute. Until you've heard it 46246457 and two times. 

And K1. Oh, K1. 

He is so the "absent-minded professor" type. Smart as a whip but he'll forget something almost as soon as you tell him.  It drives me nuts! He'll ask the same question eleven times in a row because he wasn't listening the previous ten. 

Yesterday evening, he was driving me INSANE, not going to lie.  I had to ask him three times to get his school pants so I could wash them. Then he couldn't find the pants. Then he asked me four different times if Mike Tyson ever played basketball (my kids have a weird Mike Tyson obsession.) Normal kid stuff, yes, but I was tired and he was on my nerves and I kept snapping at him. 

"Just go find your pants!"
"What do you MEAN you can't find them?"
"I really don't even care that Mike Tyson might've never bit a guy's ear off if he played basketball instead of boxing!!"

I was not exactly delightful.

Later the evening, I was adding something to the calendar we keep in the kitchen when I noticed this:

Mom is eating lunch K1

I melted. 

May 8th is the day before my little man's birthday. He doesn't want me to check him out for lunch because he doesn't want to mess up his perfect attendance. But he's asked me to have lunch with him at school. And he's so excited that he even added to our calendar.

Yes, the age he's at can be completely annoying. Yes, he can drive me crazy sometimes. But the age he's at is also wonderful: he's learning and growing everyday. He asks so many questions because he's curious about the world around him ... and he asks those questions over and over because he's distracted by the world around him! He's fun and he's funny. And he still loves his mama so much that he can't wait for lunch together and some one-on-one time (that doesn't happen a lot for a Middle!)

I love that kid. 

And I can't wait for our lunch together - and one-on-one time - either!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

All of the Sudden.

(When I was looking for pictures to go with this post, there was no way I could NOT use both these  Sum up life with three babies perfectly!)

I was telling someone the other day that when K2 first started walking, I moved the trash can - that had formerly set in the kitchen - into the laundry room where I could close the door to keep her from getting into it.

 She's now five.  My trash can is still in the laundry room.  Never mind that she's been able to open all doors for years now.

I also moved my snack bucket to the top of the fridge.  It's still there.  Even though she can climb onto the countertop to reach it.

It's like . . . one day, you have these babies or toddlers or little people who get into EVERYDAMNTHING and you think you might lose your mind.  Then, all of the sudden, you wake up and your baby is just a few months away from starting kindergarten.  No one pours maple syrup all over the living room couch anymore.  No one turns on the jets in the bathtub, sending a spray of water all over the bathroom.  No one pulls the keys off your laptop.  No one NEEDS THEIR MOTHERLOVING DIAPER CHANGED EVERY SIX SECONDS. 

I'm not sure if this is an "it gets better" or a "let them be little" post.  I'm so confused!  I've always had babies or toddlers.  I've never been in this position . . . where all of my children were school-aged or nearly there.  Where they could all fix their  own toaster waffles for breakfast on a day when I'm too harried (or too lazy.)  Where they're all so . . . not as needy . . . of me.  Never mind that one of Karis's favorite things to say is, "I need you!"

I've said it before but I really do LOVE the ages my children are at right now.  Sure, it has it's challenges.  OH BOY does it have its challenges.  Don't get me stahhhhted.  But it's also . . . well . . . I'm in that easy spot where the teenage angst years haven't yet (entirely) begun but we're past the complete and total exhaustion of the toddler years.  They still test me.  They still drive me crazy at times.  But it's not as hard as it once was and it's easier than the years to come.

And it truly does seem like it happened all of the sudden.

Like I blinked and all of the sudden my fat, curly-headed toddler was this aspiring basketball player.
Like I went to sleep and woke up and my needy little Mama's boy was all of the sudden trying his hardest to ride a bike without training wheel.
Like it was just this sudden thing that my precious baby girl WILL BE GOING TO KINDERGARTEN IN AUGUST and is bossy and sassy.

All of the sudden.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What About the Kids?

I have a really bad habit of taking commentary on someone else's life and applying it to my own similar situation. Recently, it was comments about someone going through a divorce and they were mostly of the "I can't believe she's uprooting her children's lives for own happiness" variety. These people weren't discussing me or my situation but I still had to side-eye. Yes, I also have the bad habit about becoming defensive.  At least I can own it?  At any rate, I'm much more a "walk a mile in their shoes before judging" person these days.

When I got married, I didn't go into with the thinking of, "well, if this doesn't work there's always divorce." I went into it thinking it was forever. Life throws wrenches and curveballs, though, and here I am. And if I've learned anything over the course of my marriage and the time since it ended it's this: my happiness and my children's happiness is intertwined. The saying "if mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy" is often said in jest but there's a lot of truth to it. 

I think everyone should fight for their marriage (obviously, there are things that could happen that mean you immediately need to get the hell out of dodge.) I don't believe in throwing in the towel just because you're going through a rough patch. But I also believe this: it is FAR better for children to have their "lives uprooted" and deal with divorce than to live with parents who constantly argue or fight, who are unhappy to the very core. Unhappy parents can often lead to an unhappy childhood.

Kids are much more observant than we give them credit for. Recently, one of my children spoke to his school counselor. She told me later that when they talked about divorce he told her, "I was upset at first but now I'm okay. My parents get along better now and they're both happier." Not going to lie, the "they get along better now" kind of broke my heart. Mostly because I was in "fake it till we make it" mode and tried to shield my children from marital problems. But they did know... they picked up on tension or maybe they could just feel the mood on the house shift after we decided to divorce. Who knows. 

As previously said, I never intended to divorce. I didn't go into things thinking it was a mistake. I still don't think it was a mistake. But I know this: I'm infinitely happier since making the decision to divorce. And you know who else is happier? Three little people who depend on me. I'm happier so they're happier and they're happier so I'm happier.

There are situations where people pull asshole moves and put their own selfish motivations ahead of their children.  It happens.  But, I'm an optimist to the core, and I like to believe that for most of us divorce was an agonizing decision, one we put off for months or, more likely, years.  It's not easy.  At all.  But the best decisions usually aren't easy.  The reward in the end, though, is happier parents.  Happier kids.  And that's my main goal as a parent: to raise happy, well-adjusted children who grow up to say, "you know what?  My mom didn't always do things right but she put us first and we always knew we were loved."  In the end, the graphic I posted above is the most true thing ever: I really AM the only one who can give my children a happy mother who loves life.  And right now I'm trying my hardest to do just that.  (And I'm loving the heck out of life!)