Take the Bad with the Good

While wandering the aisles of Wal-Mart recently, I couldn’t help noticing how many babies and tiny tots there were — in car seats, baskets, somebody’s arms, toddling behind parents.

Every stage in life is beautiful in its own way, but I’ve gotta admit there are so many things I don’t miss about being the mom of an infant or little child:

  • Diapers. Ugh, the stench! They were like the Energizer bunny, too — kept coming and coming….
  • Interrupted sleep. You do what you’ve got to do, but that getting-up-every-two-hours stuff is for the birds.
  • Paraphernalia. Baby bottles, special toys, diaper bags, strollers, Cheerios, books — anything to keep the kid entertained for a few seconds!
  • Sleepovers. How many parents have patience to supervise six to eight small boys for an entire night, knowing those boys’ parents are probably out enjoying themselves with dinner and a movie?
  • Birthday parties. From invitations to party favors to choice of location this is a lesson in organization, conciliation, and often aggravation!
  • Candyland. Who invented that inane game, anyway?
  • Temper tantrums. Okay, mine didn’t do this one (seriously!), but having observed other parents try to coax or bribe or threaten their kids when they refused to behave, it’s going on the list.

Now, before all of you start thinking I’m a rotten mother (which My Favorite Domer will assure you I’m most definitely not!), there are some things I do miss about his childhood:

  • That “sweet baby” smell. The one that’s a combination of “sleep” and “clean clothes” and “baby powder.”
  • Impromptu flowers. Usually dandelions, but it was the thought that counted!
  • Rocks. Playing outfield during Tee-ball was a good time for MFD to fill his pockets with “special” rocks. He never seemed to know what made them special, though.
  • Reading together. Every night, we’d read stacks of books (that is, I acted out the stories while he giggled and begged for more). Silly me, I listened to the “experts” who promised that reading to a child would make a “reader” out of them. Yeah, right!
  • Crayon pictures. Art projects in the early grades are great at keeping parents informed on their child’s budding future as the next Picasso!
  • Learning new things. And watching that “light bulb moment” when an idea or skill takes hold.
  • Little notes. Sometimes it was an apology, other times it was a thank you, but often I found scrawled notes left for me after MFD went to bed — things he meant deeply but didn’t feel comfortable expressing out loud. The acorn just doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?!
  • Big hugs. Oh, yeah. Does any mom ever get enough of them?

How sad life would have been without all these special moments!