As I was giving my daughter a bit of love & snuggles yesterday, she suddenly broke away and said “That’s enough loving for today”. Not long after that, I was bent over looking at something and suddenly SHE is back on me, smothering me in love so I said “Hey, I thought you said you had enough loving for today!” She giggled of course, and then kept right on loving me.
I cherish these moments and this was one of those that I just never want to forget. (Makes up for all the other moments that this same daughter may have me ready to pull out my hair!!) My kids are 3, 5 & 8 and the 2 younger ones are fast approaching their next birthdays. Come to think of it, the next big birthday is MINE! & I am definitely feeling my age!! Sleep deprivation is so ironic in that you WANT to remember all the wonderful moments, but you are so tired and in the grand scheme of things, really remember very little. My kids aren’t up most nights anymore, but some mornings I am really dragging.
My sister & her family slept over last night. They live about 3 hours away so, while we don’t see them ultra frequently, we see them way more than we used to so I’m pleased! Between us, there were 7 kids on residence. 1,2,3,4,5,8 & 8. It was only a little loud & chaotic!!! Actually, it was wonderful!
We always want to do what’s best for our kids and I know it is often a big mystery as to the best way to respond to various things and that definitely cornered a bit of the adult conversation.
When my first big boy was born, I had read all the books, had all the “NEED” equipment and he was cared for in a text book fashion. I found with my middle man, it was largely the same, but since I had to accommodate a bigger boy’s needs at the same time, I had to show a little more flex. And the pattern continued even MORE for my 3rd. It was for her that I discovered all the COOL things. Like cloth diapering, baby wearing and nursing long enough to make others raise their eyebrows (I’ve always been one to push people’s comfort a bit, so there I go!) I was way more relaxed!
I won’t get into the nitty, gritty details of each of their birth stories, but suffice it to say, they each got here in their own way. Each of their care has come from my heart and while the process had definitely relaxed by the time we had 3, I came to realize what was really important. I stopped stressing about what the books said and took to paying more attention to my individual kids NEEDS.
I did say NEEDS, not WANTS. Ooooh, I wanted all the great baby stuff!!! While I have trouble shopping for myself, give me kids things and a need I can semi-justify!! Really? It’s just stuff. The car seat is a NEED and a few other things from a safety (legal) standpoint, but so much of it is just frill.
In developing countries, our want lists would raise a few eyebrows. Wants? What the heck are those? Excuse me, I don’t have access to clean water and thus struggle to produce milk and therefore my child is dying because I don’t have the ability to meet his NEEDS. Time for a gander down the road of “let’s rethink this”.
After a pleasant outing with all the cousins (in which I got in some extra special snuggle time with a precious 2yo niece), we all went to the restaurant of choice (majority ruled and 7 kids age 8 and under picked McD’s – any surprise?). So, of course the kids have to check out what the current toy is and decide which one they really NEED (yes, I’m aware we have work to do in this department).
Once the food was in front of us we noticed one of my sister’s boys was disappointed that the other 3 boys all got a different toy than him and so one of the adults was about to go to the counter to request a trade when MY middle man offered to trade with him! Well, everyone is happy and once more eating our high calorie meal when we realize my middle nephew is once again sad. What happened was MY middle man decided to renege on the trade and had carried out the swap. This was highly uncool of course, so we enforced that our middle man must stick with his earlier decision. Well! I will tell you that when my middle man decides to wail, it is like a fog horn. Embarrassingly, I wish I were exaggerating, but I am not.
I commented to my sister about the young couple sitting at a nearby table. I figured this will certainly scare them off from ever having children. She laughed and said yeah, they’re likely figuring their kids will NEVER behave like this.
So, nearby diner’s lunch was somewhat disrupted (although really, what do you expect if you are dining at McDonalds?)
As we were leaving (because really, it was just time), a McDonalds employee steps out from behind the counter and hands my son another toy. GRRRR. Um, thank you for that moment of undermining the parent McDonalds!
We still had a serious discussion with our son though about integrity and sticking by what you said. (We likely used more 5yo type words, but that was the general idea). And then 2 minutes later, he was asleep (likely partially a contributor to the lack of good judgement).
Kids NEED what we teach them. Love, empathy & respect for others and a full sense of character. The stuff is just stuff.