It’s just a phase…it’s just a phase…it’s just a phase…

Dec 5, 2012 by

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!”
Anyone have any to add? Does anyone else have any plans to “remind” their kids of their former selves later on?

“Of COURSE I will hold you while I cook pasta primavera with one arm!”

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Sarah Bernhardson

Sarah lives in eastern Connecticut with her husband, Dave, and their two sons, Nate and Joshua. She recently completed her Master's in Elementary Education at Eastern Connecticut State University and now works part-time as a museum educator at a local children's museum. While pregnant with her firstborn, Sarah was puzzled when more seasoned mothers she knew broke into raucous laughter when she complained that she might be bored while her newborn napped all day. Perhaps she’d brush up on her French, remodel a few rooms, or maybe learn to quilt? Now a mom of two active boys, she is wiser, and has learned the fine art of typing a research paper at 1:30 am while nursing a baby, and, perhaps more importantly, the ability to laugh at her pre-baby image of life as a mother

Latest posts by Sarah Bernhardson (see all)

  • Lisa

    I love the picture! That’s what my 18 month old is doing to me these days. It’s exasperating. I had to pry her off me and listen to her cry for 15 minutes while I made dinner last night. After a few minutes of feeling like a terrible mother I started chuckling because I realized she was just crying to get my attention, not because she was truly upset. It was almost more like she was trying to see how long she could make wailing noises.

    • bernhardsonbunch

      YES! Hahahahhaha…oh, don’t feel like a terrible mother for that, haha. My 18 month old will stop crying when I leave the room, find me, and start again when he sees me. He gets mad when he loses his audience :) but I can’t hide for long!! Sigh. Thank goodness he goes to bed early, at least, hahaha :)

  • Mgpeak

    Oh Sarah I am right there with you on every point you write so eloquently about! I really love your future “compensation plan” and plan to use some of your ideas :). Hang in there mama.

    • bernhardsonbunch

      Hahahhaha thank you! :) These kids better take VERY good care of us when we’re old, that’s all I can say…hahahahahaha.

  • Elise

    LOL! this is great!

  • Kate Street

    Oh, this is great! Man, those “phases” can be tough ~ I once heard most only last 2 weeks, but truthfully I think it takes us two weeks to acclimate to them and we just don’t notice it as much. As as aside, my 4 year old seems to be going through an orange-food phase himself with clementines, carrots, and cheez-its! I must admit I like my orange foods too. 😉

    • bernhardsonbunch

      Yes! The clementines! Out of control! We’ve gone through 8lbs in a week…over a pound of day?! Eeek!

  • Amanda Pierce

    I was laughing so hard, thanks again Sarah! Too ads to your collection…

    Ian, I plan on attending your first day of high school, and everytime you go to talk to one of your friends, I am going to tap on your belly until you acknowledge me just so I can say”I love you”.

    Jacob, I will yell everything I say to you, and get even more mad when you say you can’t understand me.

    Alexander, I will always say,”I don’t want to.” When you ask for a ride, favor, our for money.

    Lol Sarah, thanks this helped a lot.

    Amanda Pierce

    • bernhardsonbunch

      Hahahahahah!!! I love it!! :) Those are hysterical. The high school plans for Ian are especially funny…I hope you do it 😉

  • Marie5k

    Sarah- I love that you approach these phases with your usual calm and collective -just breathe and drink wine- personality!! And the fact that you still have your humor? Love you even more!

    • bernhardsonbunch

      Haha!! :) Thank you…it’s a survival mechanism these days- Ah!!!

  • christaallard

    These are hysterical. We have payback plans related to Nora’s sleeping habits, but it sounds like I need to up my game!

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