It’s just a phase…it’s just a phase…it’s just a phase…
I was planning to write this week’s Wisdom Wednesday about when to start household chores with your children, but we have had one of those weeks here this past week. You know what I mean, I hope. Tantrums. 3 am wake ups for seemingly no good reason. Flippant little remarks peppering my day. Crankiness about things like…wearing pants. I decided this was a more pressing issue, since I’m hoping I’m not alone in my plight.
The one sure thing parenting has taught me so far is when the going gets tough, the tough remember that it’s likely just a phase. When I’m feeling smug, like I’ve figured it all out, BOOM! Curve ball. Sleeping through the night for three straight years? Let’s start the nightmares! Eating everything on your plate avec plaisir? Time for the “I-only-eat-orange-foods” phase! Along with deep breathing, wine, and counting to ten, something that has helped to lighten the mood for my husband and I around here during a”tough phase” is putting the current problem in the context of high school aged kids to see how funny it sounds. Sometimes, we even plot against the high school versions of our sons. Let me elaborate:
Josh, my 18 month old, had been sleeping really well. The first rule of parenthood and sleep is “Thou shall not boast about the awesome sleep of one’s child, or the powers that be shall taketh your sleep with the fury of a thousand suns and replace it with the sleep of a 3 day old newborn.” My bad. I forgot this rule, and Josh started waking at 1 am, 3 am, 4 am, and for the day at 5:20 am. His doctor diagnosed him as “teething”, i.e., “good luck, Mom and Dad!” So, to keep our sanity, my husband and I have decided (sarcastically, of course), that when he’s in high school, we’ll wake him up a few times each night…you know, just to give him a hug and let him know we’re there.
Our other plans, inspired by this past week and ones like it that we’ve lived through in the past, include:
- “Oh, 200 pound, 6 foot-3 inch high school-aged Nate, you wanted the delicious, hot lasagna that Mommy made? No, no, I won’t put you through that. Here’s plain peanut butter on wheat bread with milk…just what you love the most! Dig in!”
- “Come on guys! Wake up! It’s 5:45 am! You’ll miss Mickey Mouse Clubhouse! Get up! Get up!”
- “Here! You can use my vacuum as long as you want to today. Oh, and boys? Don’t fight over it! I bought one for each of you! Josh, you can take this vacuum and do the bedrooms upstairs!”
- “Hi Nate? Yes, I know you’re sleeping at your friend’s house tonight, but don’t worry, Mommy is getting the car right now and coming to tuck you in. No, no- I insist! I remember how you told me you could never fall asleep without snuggles!”