I know Sue and I billed this as a humorous blog, but I was just so awestruck by Ladybug yesterday morning, I’m gonna go serious for a bit…
When she was a baby, Ladybug was perfect, like all babies. Except for the long colicky evenings/nights that lasted from just about dinner time until eleven or twelve at night. Those first few months were horrible. I can remember walking around the house with her, nursing her, rocking her, singing to her, and passing her off to Big Man when I just couldn’t take it anymore. And then getting her back when he couldn’t take it anymore (let’s be honest, the man couldn’t nurse her so he was much less of a comfort to her than I was). It wasn’t every night, but it hit all the requirements. At least three nights a week, for at least three hours, for about three months. I remember thinking that I wouldn’t make it and that I couldn’t wait until this particular phase of life ended. We found out that she was allergic to milk protein and soy protein and that phase of life did end. Her belly felt better so no more colic. But, Ladybug being Ladybug, she absolutely refused the milk and soy free formula. She was (and still is) so stubborn. I will never lose the mental image of Big Man sitting in the rocking chair in Ladybug’s room with her in his arms, trying to get her to take that bottle of formula, both of them crying. So I gave up everything milk and soy and continued to nurse her. And then I couldn’t wait for the year of nursing to be over. Few mothers have had the motivation to wean a baby that I did. And then that phase of life ended, too.
I think that whatever the awful phase our children happen to be in, we as mothers wish for them to pass. Nursing, waking up endlessly during the night, potty training, the terrible two’s, the even more terrible three’s, and so on and so forth. All of these phases end. But then each phase is just replaced by the next. Right around the time Ladybug turned five I remember wishing the phases would slow down. For a whole year I would ask her “Do you know that there’s nothing more perfect than a five year old girl?” Then when she was six, I kept it going. “Do you know that there’s nothing more perfect than a six year old girl?” All of a sudden, she’s eight. Yesterday morning I was in the bathroom getting ready for work when she came in to say “hi.” In walked this tall girl, in dark blue boot cut jeans, a blue tunic with a wide white belt and patent leather ballet flats. Her hair was pulled back in a ponytail and she had a fabric headband holding her bangs back. Who is this creature? Where did she come from? How long do I get to keep her?
Walking down the driveway to the bus, I was more cognizant of both of my children. Right now Ladybug’s most prized item of clothing is her new black track jacket with thumb holes, like my running jackets have. Of course, she wears it to school every day. I don’t mind that she wants to be like me, but she looks so old to me all of a sudden and she’s only eight. Little Man walked out of the house in cargo pants, hiking boots and a puffy, red fall vest. Throw in his backpack, and he looked like he was ready to hike the Appalachian trial. He’s five.
As much as my kids can make me crazy, if there was ever a time to try and stop time, it’s right now. They’ll be teenagers soon enough, and I know the high school teacher in me will be wishing for that phase to pass. Then they’ll go to college and who knows if they’ll be back. Motherhood is crazy and some of the stages really suck, but they are what they are, and once they’re over, we don’t get them back.
Sorry Sue, for the moment of seriousness and sentimentality. The Little Blond boys are throwing sh$t around my house right now. I’m sure they’ll do something that warrants a sarcastic remark soon!