In January, a most fabulous article made its way around facebook and parents everywhere rejoiced. Glennon Melton’s “Don’t Carpe Diem” resonated with so many of us. One of my favorite excerpts comes from her story of an older woman approaching her in Target with this this message: “Sugar, I hope you are enjoying this. I loved every single second of parenting my two girls. Every single moment. These days go by so fast.”
I can’t tell you how often I think of the fleeting time that is my son’s toddlerhood. Infancy already well behind us, my warped brain looks at old photos and videos and wonders Who is that kid? That is what exhausted us? That cute itty bitty thing right there? Nah! Can’t be! The rest of my brain remembers and sometimes wishes it could go back and say I hope you are enjoying this; these days go by so fast. And that same brain realizes that in a few short years, I’ll be saying the same about this crazy toddler who lives in my house. That kid? That giggling lunatic? He drove you crazy? Dude, what’s your problem?
In spite of this knowledge, holy crap. Toddlerhood is not fun. And I assure you I am not enjoying every minute. Oy! You’re catching me on a particularly challenging day (hence the sudden motivation to write). Boo is coming up on three and quite frankly, I don’t know what to expect. Emotions are running high around here — crying at almost everything, defiance, screaming. And yes, all of that is coming from him. All normal, I know. All nevertheless insanely maddening.
We’ve been dealing with an overtired little boy who, in spite of needing a good deal of sleep, isn’t sleeping enough. And then we’re living with crazy boy. Boo’s amount of sleep is in direct proportion to the quality of my day. And well, his lack of sleep over the past several weeks has been just a tad rough. Let’s just say I’m not particularly enjoying every minute.
Today when I thought he was asleep during nap (silly me), he did this:
What the hell? Is he a rabid dog? Go on, laugh. Someone should get some amusement out of it. The look on my face must’ve shocked him into repentance because after I expressed my upset (not so calmly), he kept saying, I’m so upset that I did that to my pillow (like 25 times).
I know some day I’ll look back at this and laugh: Remember that time he tore into his new pillow? The one your friend made pillowcases for? Wasn’t that funny? To that self I am saying right now, No. It wasn’t funny, chica. You were pissed. It’s only funny now because you’re wishing that’s all you’re dealing with.
I’ve worked with lots of teenagers. I know what’s coming our way. I know there will be a time when pillow wreckage will be, no pun intended, child’s play. I’ll long for the days of triple time-outs and hitting. Of throwing toys and screaming bloody murder. Of crying at every.damn.thing. I’ll think Please give me that back! That’s nothing!
I remind myself that these moments, challenging (ahem) as they are, will collectively be gone before I realize. And I’ll be watching videos of this smart, talkative, beautiful little boy and missing him just a little. But right now? In the moment? It’s wine-thirty, y’all. Carpe diem, indeed.