The Toddler Years
The days go slow, but the years fly by.
They said it would happen and I tried to listen. I didn’t really believe it could be possible. They had gone before me, and were the voice of wisdom. The “elders,” they had been where I now stood.
Time after time I heard from perfect strangers, "You're going to miss these years when they are gone. Ours are all grown now. You’ll look back and cherish these days."
In the midst of the chaos of childhood, I found it hard to believe that I would miss diaper changing, temper tantrums, and complete exhaustion. Somehow though, deep inside, I knew what they meant.
The squishy little palm that fits completely into your hand, the snuggle that says you’re the most special person to me, the exuberance of childhood and all it’s wonder. I have loved my children with all my heart, and I have tried my best, to be my best.
I just wish the exhaustion of raising children would disappear. Some days were so trying, it was hard to be what they wanted. I only hope in the end, I will have been what they needed.
There were many moments of playing in the leaves, making snow angels, baking cookies, or reading books, but there were also many times when I was too tired to enjoy their little faces.
There were times when I would summon all my patience and say “I’m really glad you like to ask questions, but mommy’s brain is too tired to answer anymore tonight” when what I really wanted to do was scream and throw things, but I didn’t want to squelch their young curiosity.
There were many nights when I would collapse, singing lullabies next to them at bedtime, because I had been up with them since the early darkness of morning, and I would not wake up for hours. I was amazed when my husband was angry one night because he thought I was spoiling them. “If I could have gotten up, I would have,” I grumbled at him. It never came up again.
There were years when I was too tired to put on my own pajamas, months before I changed the bedsheets and weeks when the thought of making love was just one more demand on my time.
I remember telling my husband that anytime he wanted romance all he had to do after coming home from a long hard day of work was to fix dinner, give the kids a bath, get them ready for bed, read them a bedtime story, say prayers, sing songs and tuck them in, and if that sounded like a lot, it was! He never took me up on my offer.
I am still close enough to the toddler years that I don’t miss the reality of them. Those years were full of so many ups and downs. I have no doubt that when they’re finally grown, I will probably forget the more difficult moments and cherish the beauty of them. My children are only 9 and 11, and I have already begun to miss them.
Since my husband is no longer alive to defend the above comments, I feel it only fair to mention that eventually he began reading books and singing to our children too, which helped balance things out and make my nights much more enjoyable. It became my favorite part of the day, to sing my children to sleep. I’m also pretty sure that he benefited in the romance department once he started this as I had more energy at the end of the day!!
My children are now 28 and 26 and I can’t honestly say that I miss the toddler years. I have appreciated my children more and more as they have grown and have become fine adults. I do miss those special moments, but I definitely do not miss the temper tantrums, diaper changing, and exhaustion! LOL!
My children still seek out my company, so in the midst of it all, I must’ve done something right. I guess the point is to just appreciate your children and know that while the days may be slow, the years fly by!