For example, every night both kids crawl in bed with us. We are very proud that we did sleep training with both kids at a very early stage of infancy, and both kids sleep very well. Avalon typically crawls in bed with us around 2am, Loudoun following around 5am. Rick and I are totally fine with this because it still allows us "adult" time while also accomodating kid snuggle time. Everyone wins.
Or do we? First, Rick and I spend the entire night sleeping on edge, worrying if they will roll off the bed and bonk their heads on the hardwood floors. Plus, both kids start out ok, but quickly switch over to what we like to call the "H Formation." Rick and I are the vertical lines of the H...they are the horizontal line. By 6am, Rick and I are on the extreme edges of the cal king mattress. Sometimes with no comforter.
I could let this get to me. Instead, I try and see the positive side and view it as a built-in alarm clock. Because really? In just a few short years, neither kid will crawl into our bed anymore, and I will miss that snuggle time for sure.
My kids are also filled with shrills, screams, cries, yells, arguments, tantrums, etc. on a weekly basis. Used to be a daily basis, but they seem to be growing up a bit lately. Some days it is NON-STOP. Other days are completely easy and fun, and of course other days my kids show levels of maturity I didn't know they were capable of. One day, these kids will lock themselves in their rooms or go out on dates, and the air will no longer be filled with kid sounds. There is something about a toddler/kid sound, whether it is a cry or a laugh, that just cannot be matched by anything else.
I constantly have to remind my kids to throw away wrappers. Candy, juicebox straws, fruit by the foot, granola bars, kid tattoo wrappers, etc. It never ends. I literally could make a career following them around picking up little bits of trash. I always find little pieces of paper from "scissor snowflake " projects. Their feet are always black from the pavement outside. Mac and cheese is permanently crusted to our dining room table. But they are here with me, and we are "living." I have retirement years to enjoy a clean house. If I even decide that's important to me. I'm not so sure anymore.
Right now, Avalon struggles to get in her carseat...EVERY time. It must be that she is having so much fun where she is at and doesn't want to miss out on anything, but I swear if I have to go through one more argument about buckling her in, I'm going to go crazy. But, as I sit in the front seat waiting for her to calm the f*ck down, a peace comes over me because one day soon enough, my kids won't even want to ride in my car anymore. They may want to borrow it, but driving with mom won't be cool anymore. So I take comfort in the fact that in 5 minutes, after the seatbelt charade is over, I will be driving down the street, chatting with my kids.
I know this realization comes from 3 things:
1. This is the 2nd time around doing this toddler parenting thing, and it comes a little easier. I know what the end of the tunnel looks like now, so going through the battle isn't as frustrating.
2. I am not drinking anymore and I'm seeing the parenting situations with outstanding focus and a clear head.
3. I am done having kids and I know I need to appreciate every moment to the fullest.
I also chose to write this post the day after I returned from a week long business trip. My kids missed me, and showed me love and affection like they thought I was never coming back. I better press publish before they revert back to their normal, obnoxious selves*.
* Totally kidding. 2 year old tantrums aside, my kids are the best ever...I wouldn't trade them for anything.