as good as it gets

by humanmama on April 21, 2010

Anyone regretting never having kids, or especially those who have chosen not to have kids and are wondering if they’ve made a mistake, since their friends and families are always saying “I guess I’ll never have a grandchild/neice/nephew” followed by a big sigh… those people should come here for a weekend and spend some time here. I guarantee you’ll be respecting your choices within a day or two.

Children are so, so wonderful that it sometimes escapes your memory, when they’re older, and out of this stage, that there is a time of intense mania where they just whine all day and all night. I mean, if you saw my children out in public you’d think, my, what lovely dolls. But if you came home with me, for a while, and just listened, you’d be thinking, okay, how about a dog? Or a cat? Definitely an animal instead. Maybe a fish?

Lillian is almost one year old, which I absolutely cannot believe, and also means that she’s currently 11 months old. I’m not sure if I wrote about this before with Helena but at age 11 months or so (give or take a month), children realize that they have free will. You might think your 6-month old is getting a little difficult, but let me tell you: you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. They go from, “Oh, well, you want me to play with this teether instead of that one? Waah, well, sniff, okay, …hmm…why was I upset anyway?” to “WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T PLAY WITH THIS ELECTRICAL OUTLET AND SPOON?!??! YOU’RE THE WORST MOTHER EVERRRR!” Of course this is all in baby language, which is just a bunch of whining and crying and unintelligible gibberish. I used to tell Helena at this age “I’m sorry, I really don’t understand Swahili.”

Helena is actually getting out of a pretty tough time, which is 2 and 1/2 to age 3 and 1/2. I kept talking to parents who were saying, “Terrible two’s? HA! Try TERRIFYING Threes.” That worried me somewhat. But we got through it, both of us, and she’s getting older now and a little more refined. She got pink eye (thanks, preschool) last week and I would say, “Time for your eye drops” and she would begin to freak out, and I’d say, “Well, you just let me know when you want to do them in the next five minutes,” and she’d say “Okay, I’ll just say ‘time for eye drops now.'” And in about 2 minutes, she’d just say “Time for eye drops now,” and I’d put them in. What a kid! She said they burned, so she’d maybe cry for a second, but then it would be over, and on with the next thing. At the moment, Lil’ is NEVER on with the next thing. I seriously believe that I upset her at 6am when I remove something dangerous from her, and she spends the next 12 hours yelling about it in Swahili and then 1/2 hour whining about how tired she is before bed, and then it’s bedtime. It’s pretty tiring around here.

Now, you know, a fish, or dog, or cat will never take care of you in your old age. (I mean, they can’t be, like, power of attorney or anything.) They won’t love you in the same way as a child. They certainly won’t give you grandkids, for heaven’s sake. But I tell ya, they don’t whine, either. Good heavens. Kids can make you feel like the best and worst person in the world all in five minutes. But before you have one…well, at least, visit the pound.

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Jessica May 19, 2011 at 12:44 pm

Complete truth. Although my cats irritate me and throw up on the carpet, they don’t hold a candle to the boys in the whining department. Unbelievable. Theo is almost Lillian’s age, and he is doing the same things. I don’t understand Swahili either, much to his dismay…

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