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Be A Baby and Grow Up Already!

The past few weeks, I’ve noticed my tolerance level decreasing and my impatience increasing for my oldest daughter, Peanut. It seems she has regressed behaviorally, stalled academically, but she’s an expert at manipulation, lying, and being an overdramatic, babyish little…well, brat. I hate using that word, but really, she is. Don’t get me wrong, she has her moments where she is the most wonderful, loving, caring, sweet, nurturing, well-behaved child that ever walked the planet. Usually, it’s when we’re out somewhere so I’m pretty thankful for that. However, being a stay-at-home mom, I’m home with her most of the time and that’s where the action is.

I just keep telling Bloke that I can’t wait until Peanut can do this, that, or the other on her own. I can’t wait until she stops asking crazy questions like “Why can’t I marry my brother?”, “Why is it not ok to shoot people?” and “How is God everywhere and in Heaven?” I can’t wait until she can make her own food, pack her own lunch, dress herself (every day, every time), brush her own teeth, wipe her own bottom, eat with a fork and knife all the time, and clean.

Bloke keeps telling me she’s “FOUR YEARS OLD.”  Most of the time I could care less about how old she is when I am irritated.  I just want it to stop.  But after some reflection, I realized that all these things I want her to do or not do, all the ways I want her to behave, all the questions I want her to stop asking…these are all things that will happen as she grows up.  I’m wishing her life away because it’s convenient for me.  It’s just another reminder of the many ways I am so very selfish and self-centered.  I’m not cherishing her the way she is.  I’m not accepting Peanut for who she is (a recurring theme in my life I’m afraid) but trying to force her to be someone she’s not yet – an older version of herself.  It’s odd.  I’m always so petrified of my children growing older, so saddened in many ways (happy too) to watch them change from baby to toddler to little girl, yet I am constantly willing Peanut to do things that will make her grow up maybe a little more quickly than she needs to.

Sometimes I ask my mom about my own milestones as a child.  When did I start bathing myself?  When did I brush my own teeth?  When did I get up and make my own breakfast, dress myself, pick out my own clothes?  When did I stop being a baby and start being a little girl, a teenager, an adult?  My mom’s answer was, “when you wanted to.”  When I was ready, I just did it.  I didn’t need prodding, goading, harassing.  I just decided that I could and I wanted to.  And with that, my behaviors also changed from baby to toddler to girl to teenager to adult (well, I’m not sure I’ll ever really be an adult, but that’s a different story altogether).

My sweet Peanut is quirky and loving and sharing and fairly well behaved.  She is just the way she should be.  She will grow and change in every way that is needed as God has intended and in the time that He has intended it.  I am here to make sure she is safe, to teach, to present information, to love, to care for, to guide, and to cherish her in every stage of that development.  In the mean time, I need to stop being a baby, and grow up.


4 responses »

  1. If any mother ever denies wishing her child would grow up already, well-she’s lying! I really appreciate what you shared. I have found myself actually saying those words before: Grow up! And then I immediately think, “But I don’t really want her to grow up!” You and I are going to keep having those moments, but we have the balance of knowing that it is just irritation talking and knowing we need to put things in their proper perspective.

  2. Who said raising kids, especially girls, was going to be easy? (I say that ’cause I didn’t have any boys!) Anyhow, I think there are always times when we butt heads with our kiddos. For me, part of it was seeing myself in my daughter(s) like an attitude or something. I would get irritated by it only to realize later that she was behaving just like me. Thankfully, the Lord helps all of us through and we can begin enjoying our little ones right where they’re at in their little lives.

  3. lol I soooo understand! And let me say it’s a double-edged sword too. Once she starts making her own lunches and stuff, and peanut butter is smeared across the kitchen countertops… you’ll wish you were still making them! lol

    It’s tough. And let’s face it, you have your hands filled with little ones. If you can catch a break here and there, from some of the little things it will increase her confidence and make you very appreciative.

    Maybe on Friday night you can fill a ziploc baggie with cereal, put the bag inside of a bowl, set a spoon out and fill two individual cups of milk (one to drink, one for cereal) in the fridge. Tell her that on Saturday morning when she wakes up and is ready she can make her own breakfast with the cereal and milk.

  4. Being a SAHM is an adventure emotionally. We have honest feelings and so often feel guilty about those feelings. We think because we are blessed to be at home with our children, we shoud be more than human. It doesn’t work that way. We are VERY human and frustration with our child’s behavior is normal.

    Hang in there. Enjoy as much as you can (and I know you enjoy MOST of it) and don’t feel bad about enduring some moments.

    I understand!!!!


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