Recently I had the GREAT honor of speaking to my dear friend (Tim Burri's) 5th grade writing classes. As our state's BIG standardized test approaches, in preparation he saw that the students may have 'blog' come up as one of their options for an on-demand writing piece. Because he is the best at tooting my horn, Tim asked if I would come present to his classes and give them some more information on what blogging is, and how voice specifically is important while writing. I had the BEST time with those kids, I'll actually write a full post about my experience there later. One of the questions in particular fits my day today JUST perfectly: "What about when you have a bad day?" a boy in the very front row asked. "Do you blog about it?" Several students actually said super quickly, "No!!!" and I kind of laughed.
"You know what, Buddy?" I replied. "The BAD days are sometimes the best TO write about."
So here I am, on a Friday afternoon, my head actually splitting, wishing that our morning had been easier than it was. I am not sure what it is about my son being 'almost five' that seems to have changed his disposition so greatly, but oh mercy has it ever changed. Why is it always something? [I know the answer to that: this is life with little kids, period. But still.] Two was pretty much magical for both of our kids [terrible two's was NOT a thing here,] but both sets of THREE had extreme difficulties. My husband and I have always said that four is the magic number, but some days? I'm not so sure.
This isn't meant to be a "you-know-what-fest," because my son is wonderful. And I think 95% of the time, he is the sweetest soul. He is considerate, gentle, sensitive, thoughtful, funny, loving, creative, intelligent, he is everything good. But lately, many of his moments are spent being argumentative with me. I feel like I am constantly trying to help him re-word his phrases, to ask for things in a kinder way, and to explain to him when he asks, "why?" that it's BECAUSE I SAID SO!
Didn't you hate that phrase?! Yet, it seriously comes out of my mouth more times than I care to admit. There is only SO long that you can try to have a rational conversation with a four-year old. Or three-year old. And I'm guessing with a ten, eleven, thirteen, sixteen, eighteen-year old? [Parents of older children, feel free to fill me in in the comments below. Mom, I'm guessing you have a thing or two to say here? Ha ha.] The other thing that has been challenging is that he wants me to force my daughter Reese, to play with him, ALL the time. And Reese will happily play with him for 10-15 minutes [is that short? It feels like a decade....] when suddenly she'll change her mind and say, "I don't want to play with you!" and leaves the room. Even if it's her room. And he SCREAMS for me, "MOM!!! REESE SAID SHE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY WITH ME!!!!!!!"
Well, now I'm teaching the 3-year old how to politely express that she may want to play alone, and then the 4-year old that it's OKAY if his sister doesn't want to play. It's just felt like a lot....and tomorrow he'll be super obedient, sweet as pie, and I'll want to eat his face off with kisses. And as I'm sitting here typing, I'm realizing that I don't really like the word 'bad.' Today wasn't bad. It was just hard. It was a lot of saying their names, sitting them down, mediating, teaching, discipling, and mothering. But that's what I want to do. Is to mother. And to teach them, and help them, and be here for them...so really what I'm realizing, is that days like today ultimately just teach ME something, the mom, the grownup, the adult in the room.
I learned that even in the bad, there's nowhere I'd rather be.
But now I want to hear from you:
-What ages and stages were the most challenging for you as a mom? The two's, three's, four's, teen's, twenties....HA!
-Specifically, do you remember when your kids were three and four? Did your kid have a "threenager" stage? What do you remember about four?
-What do we have to look forward to about five? Because I'm literally depressed over the fact that my first BABY is turning FIVE in just two months. And he reminds me daily. It's good, right?
-What have been your FAVORITE stages of your kids' childhood? If you say ALL of it, I may slap you.
-Next, share ANY single thing you want to share: the good days, the bad, the funniest most recent memory, the most horrific...I want to hear them! Comment below or contact me via the contact page!