This week has been a bit stressful. The kids are getting restless in these last few weeks of summer, and their behavior is taking a turn for the worse. I have also been working less over the summer which means two things. One is that I have more glorious free time to spend with my little cherubs and we can make fun memories together. The other is that I regularly consider dropping them both off at daycare (you pay to keep your spot which means it’s technically always available) because my cherubs are actually hellions 75% of the time. Seriously though, I took them to daycare last week and watched six straight hours of The Handmaid’s Tale and it was freaking glorious.
I love my kids, I really do, but we all like each other a lot more when we all see a bit less of each other each day. I know I’m not alone in this.
The past few days, I have definitely been finding myself with a shorter fuse, and I feel kind of bad about that in retrospect. My smart and energetic four year old is starting to learn how to be manipulative, and he will say things like “if you really want me to be happy, we should go to Target and buy me a toy.” Clever boy. He found something that we both want to do (go to Target) and he figured out how to use that to his advantage. He has also taken to saying no to absolutely everything that I have asked him to do lately, and sometimes in dramatic fashion. It’s not just “no.” It’s “never ever times a million.” I seriously don’t know where he got that from (thanks daycare, why you gotta do me wrong like that?).
And he has also taken to trying to murder his baby sister on the daily. Seriously, every few minutes I find myself yelling, “don’t smother your sister” or “don’t push your sister off the couch.” To his credit, his sister has developed the fun new habit of crawling up to him and smacking him in the face, which is super fun to mediate.
It’s days like these where I find myself longing for bedtime like I used to long for a pedicure or the new episode of Game of Thrones.
But in between bedtimes, I’m finding that there is more than just chaos and yelling. Every so often, I try to take the special and fleeting moments of pure joy and just envelop them for a few minutes. Like those times when we are in the car and my son says something super cute like “you’re my favorite mommy.” Or when he asks really thoughtful and inquisitive questions like “why does the sun go around the earth” and we launch into a whole conversation about the solar system and he takes it all in with wonder. Or when my baby girl is eating her breakfast and she sneaks a piece of bacon right out of my son’s hand and instead of getting mad he says “you sneaky Pete!” and laughs and laughs.
It’s when my son climbs into our bed at 7 a.m. on a Saturday and says that he wants to cuddle and that he will cuddle with me forever, even when he’s a grownup. Or when my daughter smiles at me and I see that she is going to have a great sense of humor when she grows up and I can’t wait to have my Rory and Lorelei moments with her.
These are the moments that I want to put in a jar so that I can look back on them whenever I want.
Because just as fast as I can blink, my babies will go off to college and leave me forever. I know, that’s super dramatic, but those stupid going to college commercials on TV are NOT helping. I can’t wait to see my babies grow into the really cool people I know they will be. But some days, I want to stretch the moments out into forever and slow down the clock just a little bit.
And then my son will make a fart joke and I am fine with speeding things back up again.