When You Don’t Want Your Children To Grow Up

mymax.com

“Now, Maxie?” Josephine shouted.

“Not yet, GoGo!” Max responded.

They were sitting on two little roller coasters that you push with your feet, waiting one for the other to go down the little slope.

And, because her big hero brother said “Not yet” she waited and said, “Okay, Maxie…”

Then he would count, “One, two, three, GO!”

Their chubby little feet would paddle the ground and they would begin the slight decline down the coaster to soar onto the open floor.

Smiles and joy and squeals accompanying their little rides.

Then one would shout, without hesitation, “Let’s do it again!”

And off they’d push their cars to the top to begin again.

Friends—my two Littles are utterly exhausting.  I’m like super tired.  And they fight.  And they roll on the ground.  And they don’t like their food to touch—or when I cut their toast the wrong way.

My eyes are held open by VERY strong coffee…

But it’s ALL so worth it.

And my stomach is already nostalgic for the future loss of my Littles.

My decade daughter, as she calls herself, was once my Little…and I enjoyed every minute of it (let’s not relish in her own toddler tantrums that also split my hairs ūüėČ )…

She, in all of her innocent wonder, was my sunshine on any cloudy day.  And, believe me, in Poland there are a LOT of cloudy days.

Now she’s the epitome of beauty and grace.  She is tall and slender and lovely with a touch of awkward.  And growing.  She will, without any doubt in my mind, be a beautiful, successful, creative, and compassionate young lady—I already see that in her.

But it does not mean I don’t miss my Sweet Adelyne that used to skate on flour and make tea parties for her daddy with all of her dollies.

She has phased into young lady—that, very thankfully, still likes to occasionally play dolls, too!

And as my little miracle approaches his fourth birthday, I think.  No, I know that I am already missing him.

My toddler, naked bottom Max—without a care in the world.

Can I squish him into Little-ness forever?

Probably not—but I capture every moment of each of our days—the good and bad—on the reel of my on-going memory maker—the core of my heart…because I know that, as they grow, I will enjoy each new phase—but it will not mean that I will not miss the last one.

Josephine asked Maxie if he was ready—and he said “Not yet.”

Maxie—I am not ready, yet, either.

Please don’t grow.

But just like they paddled their feet and took off, I know what fate awaits me…

Their wild ride.

***

Photo credit:  Inga Rurek

How to live with the toddler tornado season of your life.

tornadoes1and2

Yesterday started and ended in a tornado. ¬†If we had a storm cellar, I may have hidden down there. ¬†I don’t have twins, but I have toddler-like twin tornadoes that swirl through my home daily—and I just can’t keep up.

In a few short months, I will be 40.  Did you read that correctly?  FORTY!

That’s like the beginning of Phase 2 of life. ¬†And I feel great and look so forward to it.

But there is this thing. ¬†Having a baby at 30 versus 40 is a new ballgame. ¬†It’s like the NBA Stars in their prime versus the Dancing Grannies that move and kick at all rhythms, even though they are suppose to be kicking together.

I am kicking at my own rhythm and the toddlers are not kicking with the nearly 40-year-old me.

And when I feel worn down, I look the tornadoes in their faces and realize that, although I am in the eye of their storm, too quickly this storm will pass—and I will miss the mess!

I feel as if I failed miserably raising my first daughter who is now 9 (my toddler-like-twin tornadoes are respectively 1 & 1/2 and 3).  I feel like I pushed her too hard, disciplined her too much, and expected her to grow too quickly.

Perhaps I feel as if I had to prove to the world that I was a fantastic 1st time mom? ¬†Perhaps I had to feel as if I had the world’s greatest daughter? ¬†Perhaps I just had too many expectations for myself in my mind—even though everyone around me told me to Stop. ¬†Enjoy. ¬†Love. ¬†Care. ¬†Laugh. ¬†Don’t stress. ¬†And Just be.

But I didn’t heed any of their advice. ¬†Before I knew it, my daughter was no longer the tornado toddler, and I miss every naked moment when she was running around in nothing but pink cowboy boots or singing and skating in flour skating rinks on the kitchen floor.

I miss the days when she invited the dogs to sit at the table to eat with us.

And I miss the days when she told me I was greater than Santa and any present he may bring.

Therefore, although I am nearly 10 years past the birth of my oldest — and far more feeling 40 than 30 — technically “nearly” the middle-aged mom of toddlers — I am TRYING … OH TRYING SO HARD — to get it right this time.

If you feel as if your life is a toddler tornado zone—remember me. ¬†And remember how I already miss the toddler tornado moments because I have already seen one child exit the zone and have come out on the other side. ¬†Oh how I wish that I could relive every moment with her in that tornado again.

I would actually throw open that cellar door and run out into the storm with her and say, “OH! ¬†Look! ¬†It’s snowing inside again, is it?!” ¬†And simply vacuum up the baby powder that dusted her doll house and carpet later.

Because, after all, how much longer will she truly believe that it snows inside?

But my other 2, my toddlers, are still there—living every moment of that beautiful snowball of imagination. ¬†Yesterday reminded me how glorious their brilliant imaginations are—and I intend, in my aging and wiser years, to soak it up this time.

And not rush it out.

I hope you throw open the storm cellar and run into the tornado with your toddlers.  May snow grace their bedrooms and monsters be slayed in the halls.

May little Batman briefs and diapers with tutus grace your living rooms…

And may crumbs tumble onto your floors.

Because the toddler storm will end and your house will seem far too clean and quiet—and you will wonder where time went.

Seize the day, my toddler mom friends. ¬†Which means—you will hardly get to eat, sit, shower, or breathe—but seize the day in toddler imaginations, mess, and a good ol’ squeeze them tight and watch them squeal sort of day.

Enjoy your storms.

I do!

***

Here is my Facebook post from yesterday where I was inspired to enjoy the tornado versus get myself upset over the newfound work before me:

i walk up the stairs during maxwell and josephine’s nap time —this is what i find:

max in the hallway in his batman pajamas, hello kitty pink ballerina shoes, and gold princess gloves—wielding a pop-gun “sword” shouting, “I am fighting the monsters, mom!”

to which i think—is josephine sleeping?¬†

so i walk into their room — where i find:

josephine trapped in her bed, standing up, , wearing a ballerina skirt and superman baseball hat shouting “UP! UP!”

i don’t stop there—i look around the room === this is what i see:

fish and turtle food everywhere.

every clean sheet that was once (only a mere hour earlier) tucked away waiting for the future use—strewn about the floor covered in fish food and turtle food.

but at least max is keeping our house free of monsters, right?  wink emoticon

hope your day is made up of the most beautiful of memories. i know mine is! 

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED:

and the night ended with baby powder all over the floor—because, you know, it snowed ūüėȬ†haha!¬†¬†#whenthemessendsiwillmissit