Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Hardest Part of Parenting (So Far)

Being a parent is hard. I will not take that away from anyone 1 or 15 kids, it's tough and we're all faced with different decisions and things to consider at every stage of development. I remember thinking it was hard when we only had one child, of course, now I realize how "easy" it was. But you have nothing to compare it to, so it's hard to judge until another one comes along. Having a 2nd child was my most difficult transition and to say I was shell shocked would be a little bit of an understatement. But we hit our stride and before too long we were good at managing 2 kids. Or should I say, 1 kid and a baby. See, there's a distinct difference between managing 2 kids or 1 kid and a baby. With managing 1 kid and a baby, there are definitely challenges since they are so different developmentally and their needs are so vastly different. It's hard to keep them both happy and you struggle to keep your older child's small toy pieces away from the younger child. However, looking back on that, I also realize there's a sense of "ease" to that as well because now, we have 2 kids and that is what's tough. 2 kids means they both have developed enough that they can both speak (and yell) fluently and that means ARGUMENTS. They are able to control their own bodies which means FIGHTS.

I remember having these totally naive thoughts about how nice Bryce would play with Caroline when he was old enough and yes, sometimes that does happen and I acknowledge how nice it is that they have someone to play with. However, what's more likely to happen is that it all starts out nicely and crashes and burns within minutes. There are a variety of reasons why this happens but the end result is fairly similar. Screaming. Yelling. Shouting. Hitting. Biting. Pushing. "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM!!! Not always all of the above, usually a variety to keep me on my toes.

And it's not just the actual commotion that drives me buggy, it's the noise. The constant picking at one another and bickering. The he said, she said. The request for a referee. The tattling. It really is enough to make you go crazy sometimes.

Don't get me wrong, they do play well together and when they do, I usually commend them on it (positive reinforcement, anyone?). But these mini-explosions are quite frequent. And what scares me is that right now I have 2 kids and a baby. How am I going to manage when Piper becomes a kid? (Please don't hurry up on this, Piper.) I think it's been Piper's babyhood that has made me realize how much simpler life is with baby siblings as opposed to kid siblings. I'm sure before I know it we'll have an entirely new dynamic forming with siblings ganging up on one another. Maybe my head will explode. Or maybe Jason's. The early morning bickering has been known to make him a little hot under the pajamas on more than one occasion.

Of course what also frightens me is that someday I'll look back on THESE parenting days and complaints and realize how easy I had it. In these days where my childrens' entire world is in my hands and I pretty much have complete control of it. I'll miss this. I know that. So, for now, I'll take it for what it is and enjoy the good with the bad. And hope that all this rivalry will be funny dinner time conversation when we're all together in 30 years.

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