Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I knew when my babies were really little and frustrating the daylights out of me that I would miss it one day. That fact never helped the frustration, just caused it to be on the bittersweet side.

One particular day of retrieving -- divide, run, hide-- toddlers from different sections of a Barnes and Nobles, I remember sitting a tiny Lizzie down on the stairs and sternly telling her to stay put, then turning to bark a frustrated, "get over here now" to a laughing, running Winnie. I remember it so well because I was startled by a strange smiling woman who just looked at me and with a warm sigh said, "Oh, I miss that age."

I knew my day would come, but at that point in time the tension caused by not wanting to miss an adorable moment and trying not to become an abusive parent were causing a crushing pressure on my chest. It took a lot for me to not snap back, "yeahyeah, save it!"

Of course I knew she was right, and of course I really didn't care.

"One day" happend last Friday and I was the weird smiley lady -- one of many, actually. Friday was the kid's school carnival and one of the games was a duckie game. They had filled a wading pool with ducks for the little kids to pick a duck and win a prize and this one little girl, couldn't have been much more than a year, was having the attitude of duck, schmuck -- I'm goin swimmin!

She had her pants down to her ankles and was fixing to pitch a good one as she struggled against her mother's efforts to pull them up. Then she began reaching with all her might toward that pool -- that poor mom --you know she had at least one more kid running around somewhere, and there she was, sweat beads on her brow and not at all amused while a bunch of us -- been there, done that types stand and watch and comment on how cute that baby is.

She didn't have to say it aloud for all of us to know she said, "Oh yeah, real effin cute."




Blogger Matt said...

Hehehehehe! I haven't even been there and I love to watch kids that age. I know what a pain they are, but it's great when you're not responsible for them. It makes me a little wistful -- in 10 years, I expect it will make me nostalgic.

10:59 PM  
Blogger kim said...

I expect you're right.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Cecily R said...

I would SO have been rooting for the kid!! Even as the mom dealing with it there are brief moments when I root for the kid and the pool...

I don't say that I miss the stage, I just say, "Don't worry, it will be my kid next..."

5:27 PM  
Blogger kim said...

That's a perfect thing to say -- we mom's need an, "it's not just you" every once in a while.

7:02 PM  
Blogger KATE said...

Oh I am SO the same! I say things like that too. Because lets be honest it really will be my kid next!!
I agree with Matt too, I still think it's cute when it's other peoples kids, even tho I'm still in the middle of the stage myself. I do the look & smile thing too.

6:15 PM  
Blogger wordtryst said...

My son is 24 and I STILL miss those early years. Every now and then I look at the photos and indulge myself. Or just sit around thinking of the little boy with his crazy antics and I can feel the sloppy smile all over my face.

Of course, back then, I would feel that everyone was looking at me and judging my parenting skills. Very uncomfortable!

10:47 PM  

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