Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Frank and I have an observation about parenting young children..or at least our kids. It seems that for a few months everything seems the same. And then suddenly it seems like the kid will change personalities, learn all these new things and become a different new little person. The parents are left trying to adjust to the next stage and play catch up as best we can!

Up until now the kids were good at taking turns at this type of thing. One would be changing but at least the others would stay the same. Lately it's like all three have decided to change at once and it's become more than catch up. It's chaos management!

My little girl is turning into a big girl. She no longer needs Silky, the slip turned security blanket. I "caught" her watching Suite Life of Zach and Cody the other day. Up until now, shows like that were distained as "shows for teenagers," and I was asked to turn the channel. I am also getting daily questions about dating, marriage, and how old you have to be to have a baby. (Run away!!) I'm beginning to suspect she's getting bored with life at home, too. For some reason, Mommy and little brothers are not quite meeting all of her social expectations. Can you be a moody teenager at 5 years old? I think she'll be really happy to make some friends her own age at kindergarten soon. Makes me sad, but happy, but sad again.

My Joey in the Middle is on his own "big boy" journey. For a child who refused to acknowledge his third birthday and wanted to stay a "little boy" for months and months...he now is excited to proclaim that he is 3 and a half. (Well, almost. I'm not bursting the bubble and telling him he still has a couple weeks until the official 3.5.) The potty and underwear- both former evil enemies- have become sudden friends. This is a good thing. This is a bad thing. He's become really proficient at number 1 in the potty. Number 2 is still a mystery not yet realized. This results in a lot of washings of cars and dinosaur underwear. Sigh. Probably too much info, but such is the life of a pre-school mom! Joey is also much more confident in some things. He's been so brave about getting in the pool. He was scared to death of it last year. He's no longer content to watch his sister play on the computer or the Wii. He wants a turn, too! This results in a lot of sibling fights these days. But the little boy in Joey still lives in his little imaginary universe a lot and likes his cuddle time.

Baby Jay is now Big Baby Jay! Well...he was never that little...but gone is my baby baby. I used to be able to lay or sit him somewhere and get stuff done. Haha. Those days are gone! He's a crawling pro and has just started pulling himself up on furniture so he can get into more stuff. It's so great to see his little personality developing. He's fascinated by the dog, a bug, the TV- everything! He's so sweet when he claps his chubby hands or gives a hug or says "Da, da, da!" But trying to keep things out of his mouth and protecting him from falls is a non-stop job. And when he's not on the move, it's food time. His six teeth are getting a good workout these days. He prefers feeding himself table food now, thank you very much. If we're eating something, he wants it NOW.

So between answering relationship questions on a 5 year old level, potty trips and retrieving God-only-knows from my baby's mouth...I don't seem to be getting much else done lately, including blogging. But we've adopted a pretty good motto around here:
"You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit."

At first I thought it was just a fabulous way to stop the "It's not fa-aaaair"s and "Whyyyyyy"s around here. But it's very good advice for me, too! True on many levels. Even though I'm a pretty good fit-thrower...it's hard to give those up, darn it. But most of me knows that soon we'll settle into a new normal. And all too soon my kids will not need me 24/7 and then THAT will probably make me a little sad. And a little happy. And a little sad again. It's a good thing I'm surrounded by encouraging friends and family. You all keep me from a permanent stay at the nut farm. If I haven't said it before...parenting is hard.


Billy Coffey said...

Can you be a moody teenager at 5 years old? Yes. I have two of them.

I may be turning into my father by saying this, but boy to kids grow up fast nowadays. I keep walking around with my hands pushing down on their heads in a vain attempt to keep them little.

It isn't working.

Helen said...

I am sorry it has been rough lately. Hang in there.

Wendy said...

Around here the motto has been "What do you get when you whine? NOTHING!" Sometimes it works...

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

I remember those days. Your kids are close to the same distance apart in age, so the time when my youngest finally became mobile and vocal just about killed me.

It seemed like I was needed all the time, and not just by one person at a time. They ALL wanted me, and they ALL wanted me NOW. It's one thing to choose not to be at their beck and call; it's entirely another when you realize you CAN'T be all things to all people. So it feels like you're letting down at least one person every minute of the day.

Maybe that was just me. But at any rate, you ARE at a hard stage. And yes, it does get better. If for no other reason than you learn how to give yourself grace in the midst of it.

(And get used to someone being mad at you 24/7. I finally learned that having a kid upset did NOT mean I wasn't doing my job as a parent. If they're mad, it usually means you ARE being a good parent.)

sherri said...

My dear Beth, I remember being exactly where you are...and this was what my Mom would say--"And this too shall pass."

It seemed like the days would never end sometimes! But the good news/bad news is, they will.

But in the meantime, you and ole Frank derserve some R & R (in So. Illinois, of course!).

Really, when our kids were young, even when we didn't have 2 nickles to rub together, we found time to be alone. Whether it's a picnic in the park, a trip to the library, sharing an ice cream cone and some laughs, driving around town looking at "dream homes" , ANYTHING to get a break from the kids we loved who were driving us up the walls! If you can do an overnighter without the curtain climbers....all the better!

Some adult perspective is always helpful. Those kids can chip away at your joy, and strength and confidence! While at the same time bringing you more joy than ever imagined! DO you think maybe God does feel this same way about us? Hey, even Jesus went out on a boat ALONE.

I say, "Come to Sherri." My house will be your Bed and Breakfast for a weekend.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

My daughter turned a "moody teenager" around 4 or 5. My boys became arrogant know-it-alls by 8. Now that they're all grown up, I can laugh at how they were, and realize how easy it was back then, because every stage challenges you more and more as a parent. So when my 84 year old mother calls and says "I've been worried sick about you" I realize our jobs as parents will NEVER end. The sands just shift a little.

You hang in there and know that you're being the best parent you know how to be. That's all God asks of you, and it's all you can expect of yourself. I think you're awesome!

katdish said...

5 year old teen angst? Ah, yes - that's where it all started with Rachel.

We went to one of those pottery places where you paint something yesterday afternoon. She missed a spot and I was trying to fix it. Do you have any idea how demoralizing it is to be yelled at by your 7 year old daughter? It was not pretty.

Hang in there. Praying!