We’ve all been there. Scrolling through your Facebook feed and you light upon a heartfelt poem about how we should cherish every precious moment with our little ones. It’ll be a touch vomit-inducing and definitely feature the line “the days are short, but the years are long.” (Bleeeurrgh)
I used to cry real tears reading these poems, especially late at night. But fast forward to 8am the following morning and I’d be embroiled in an argument with one of the little cherubs over it NOT being ok to bring their entire collection of Kinder Egg surprise toys to school.
An argument which usually follows the format,
“Pleeeeeeeeeeeease!!! I won’t lose any of them I promise!”
“You lost the ONE ruler you brought at the start of September! So, no, you are definitely not bringing 848 Kinder toys!”
“Did you count them????!!!!”
“No, I was being sarcast….. never mind, you aren’t bringing them and that’s final!”
“If you let me play the iPad when I come home I’ll not bring them.”
“Right well I’m bringing them then.”
“No you are not.”
“Well then I’m playing the iPad when I come home.”
“Well it’s one or the other so you have to choose!”
“No to both.”
“Fine I’ll bring my Barbies then…”
And by 8.45am, when I’ve herded them all out to school and am left grappling with a toddler intent on a life of licking shoes and never sleeping, I find that little voice in my head sheepishly asking, “Would it be so awful if they were grown up….just a little?” Then my mind starts to wander and before you know it, I’ve mentally prepared the following list …
Things I Fully Intend to Do Once the Kids Can Wipe Their Own Bums and Possibly Drive:-
1. Sit looking extremely laid-back in a coffee shop, sipping my latte and snickering into my highbrow newspaper at any parents trying to wrestle wildly uncooperative children into highchairs.
2. Blatantly adjust my posh Yankee Candle car air freshener when I’m parked at lights next to a young family. Chuckle to myself, knowing that my car smells like clean cotton and theirs sour milk and shite.
3. Saunter leisurely around the shops swinging my unburdened arms gaily and laughing smugly at the AWOL toddler sticking its head into GG bras in the underwear section.
4. Go on a cruise, relax conspicuously on a sun lounger and enjoy the spectacle of any parents who a) hilariously thought it would be a good idea to bring kids on a cruise (BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!) and b) hilariously thought they’d see any of the ship other than the indoor cinema and chips section of the kids’ buffet.
5. Not find kiwis in my dishwasher. Our toddler enjoys carrying kiwis around (I imagine telling an educational psychologist this in later years) but, having the attention span of a Minion on Skittles, she doesn’t always have a planned drop-off point. And so, I’ve discovered pulverised kiwi carcasses in my dishwasher more times than you could shake a bin bag at.
Look, as I said, I love my children fiercely. And no doubt I will miss this stage eventually. But possibly more so when I’ve forgotten what it was really like and how hard it was.
We grow, life moves on, our journey twists and turns and, as with any good book, there’s no harm in looking forward to the next chapter.
Think of the cruise.