Friday, March 30, 2012

A Brief Recap

I’ve learned several (thousand) things since I’ve become a mom, and three of the big lessons really hit me one morning about two years ago.

We’d gone to First Watch (kid-friendly breakfast restaurant) with my in-laws. The kids chatted happily with their grandparents, so I looked around the restaurant and spotted a family with a newborn at the table next to us.

The baby, decked out to perfection, slept peacefully in her car seat bucket on top of the chair pulled up to the table. The clearly exhausted parents, in shapeless, rumpled clothes, the mom’s hair scraped back in a ponytail, said not a word to each other, but gazed adoringly at the sleeping baby. I smiled, remembering my own adoration of my newborn children.

Just past them, in a booth, two parents ate quickly while their just-sitting-up baby (and I mean JUST—probably four months old) sat solo in a wooden restaurant highchair. I use the term “sat” loosely—mostly the sweet little guy rested his chin on the tabletop. I chuckled, remembering how anxious I’d been for my oldest to hit each milestone.

Then I heard a scuffle behind me. Two frazzled, stressed parents were not eating at all. They were trying to convince their eighteen-month-old (my pediatrician describes kids that age as “pound for pound, the toughest things in the world”), very logically and with lots of words, why sitting in a high chair was better than sitting in a booth like a grown-up. I shook my head, remembering my own adventures with that stage.

I wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t been there, but the universe provided me with a snapshot of how parenting had forced me to deal with three of my biggest challenges—making time for myself, allowing the future to unfold in its own time, and learning when NOT to talk.

I still wrestle with all three, but I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay if the kids watch TV while I dress myself nicely. I know that the milestones will zoom by at the speed of light without any prompting from me. And I’ve learned (most of the time) that less is more when it comes to persuading your kids of things. “Because I said so” was invented for a reason.

Not that it would help with an eighteen-month-old.

Any other big lessons I’ve learned? Sure. Finishing tasks with multiple interrupt—Hold on, honey! Just don’t touch anything…..

Hit post, sprint--now!

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