On Aging 3 - parenting

I might as well continue my theme on aging for the week as I seem to be having many ah-ha moments.

I had a moment last week when I was at the zoo with my kids.  It was a warm spring day, which by a southerner's standards probably feels like winter but up here in Saskatchewan, we're in shorts.  We had a couple hours to kill so we thought we'd go for a walk at the zoo and see the new kimodo (?) kimono (?) dragons.  Off the kids ran down the path ahead of me, letting me walk, virtually carefree while I sipped my dark roast and breathed in that fresh spring air, trying to avoid being attacked by a crazy goose.

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I'm that parent that lets her kids walk around with pants too short (Willis) and pants on backwards (Lucia)[/caption]

It was a freeing feeling, being able to actually stroll through the park without someone hanging off me, wanting a treat or screaming because they missed the train.  But it was in the enjoyment of that freeing feeling that I had my moment and realized just how quickly my kids are aging and maturing.  You see, the zoo to me is a place that I associate with little kids.  It was the one place that we could congregate to with our giant strollers and heavy bags and get a chance to talk and sip a coffee while the kids were entertained.  We spent so many afternoons wandering the trails and staring at the animals that all of a sudden it felt so strange to be there without all the baggage.  These tiny humans are growing up.

And it was then that I realized a shift in parenting was happening.

No longer am I lugging around diaper bags, strollers and praying my kid won't pee the bed.  I have moments where I want my kids to stop talking, which means long gone are the days of fretting over words and developing a vocabulary.  The shift is small and hadn't been very evident to me until that one afternoon at the zoo.  So while I'm not dealing with many firsts anymore, I'm dealing with a different side of parenting that, I have to admit, I'm not entirely ready for.  In fact this week had a plethora of examples of me being wacked upside the head with parenting a different age of kids and not being ready:

  • I was unprepared when we were sitting at Willis' basketball practice and Lucia came bouncing in, wondering what those things were above the water fountain.  I quickly distracted her with ants because THEY WERE CONDOMS. Sorry, to clarify, the ants aren't condoms...it was a condom dispenser above the water fountain.  So I'm not ready to answer those questions for her yet.

  • I was again unprepared when faced with a situation that had occurred at a birthday party that found Willis in a confrontation with another kid.  He referred to the kid as "the black kid"....because he didn't know his name.  When I called him out on this, he was utterly confused as to why that was not appropriate.  Huh.  He has no clue what racism/discrimination are and now I have some teaching to do.  I stumbled in my reply but settled on that we don't call people out on their differences.  I asked him if he would call somebody "the fat kid" or "the ugly kid" or "the kid with the pants that are much too short" and he quickly replied with a no.  So I tried to explain that doing that with skin colour is the same.  I have no idea what I'm doing.  So I think we'll watch 42 this weekend so I can show him what it was like with something he can relate to- baseball.

  • I am also completely stumped on where I stand with kids and telephones/social media.  Willis' group of friends communicate through google hangouts on their phones (I'm assuming their parents' old phones without numbers, like Willis has?) but then he has been asking if he can "put his face on Youtube"....the fuck is that?  And then he tried downloading Snapchat.  I just don't think I'm ready for that. Ever.

I kinda want to take a walk back through that zoo and reverse the years....somehow dealing with potty training and tantrums seems less daunting than the tasks that are coming up to bat.  Can I request a time out so I can think these things through? Experienced moms....any wisdom? If not, just send wine, pretty please.

Have a great Easter weekend.







Comments

  1. It's so fun as they get older. My 15 year old hates social media and rarely ever goes on but my almost 13 year old daughter is on Snap a lot! Of course I have her passwords and go on a lot to check it. 7th graders are gross. Ha!
    Jaymie

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  2. I had tears in my eyes as I read this. I am not a super emotional person, at least not in front of others, but when I think about the years flying by I just feel my heart breaking. As exhausting as little kids are, I want them to stay toddlers to age 6 forever in a lot of ways, probably because that's what I've envisioned. I often feel that this part of my life I am completely unprepared and unequipped for. If you find a way to always just stay in the moment and not get annoyed with the kids let me know.

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  3. Such a great read Deena. As a mom who has seen 2 become adults, I will tell you there will be many more stages and many more times when you have to let go just a little more and every stage will have it's beauty and it's struggles. I too am struggling with the boundaries for my 15 and 11 year old with social media. The best advice I can give you is to continue to be present, continue to ask questions and spend time together and continue to build the trust between you and you can be assured they will turn to you. The other thing I can tell you about letting go...it's not all that bad and the one thing I know even with a 26 and 23 year old...they still need their momma. :)

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  4. Oh man. I'm still in the younger stage of parenting, but heck, when the snapchat or whatever comes along I just don't know what I'll do and I even teach a class about appropriate social media use!

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  5. oh my goodness! You just gave me a whole new set of anxiety...so I'll be calling you repeatidly because we seem to have the same parenting style. I am also that mom who let's their kids have too short pant/backwards/no sweaters on because they say they don't need them. I love this post so much...Happy Easter friend!

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  6. Oh man, this resonates with me too. Kinda makes all of those little things not seem too bad eh? Why do thw years pass so quickly.

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  7. It all happens in the blink of an eye really! I know I'm at a different stage of parenting but seeing baby having all these firsts is so bittersweet. You see them growing up so much and know it won't be long before he's as grown up as his big brother. Who too me feels much too grown up, haha!

    Hope you are having a lovely Easter and enjoying the long weekend.

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  8. I’m turning 35 in November and I’m having some serous ah-ha moments also. The backward pants reminds me of my Mom, as long as we were clean she could care less about the particulars. Kids grow up fast, I can't wait to experience it for myself. :) Happy Easter Deena

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  9. The hardest part of parenting - just when you feel like you know what you're doing, everything changes. You're an awesome mama and you'll continue to find your way. I agree, wish I could take a time out some days and figure stuff out.

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  10. Okay so this post really spoke to me. I have an almost 6 and almost 3 year old. We don't take a stroller anymore and now I just have a large purse. No diapers. No bottles. It is a strange feeling and my kids are still small. I think every parent has situations come up and you kind of feel lost. (it happens to me a lot) I just sometimes have said I don't know let me think about it. Those tween and teen years I'm not looking forward to, but hoping we can ease into them slowly.

    http://www.mylittlenest.org

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  11. Ya, I feel the same...totally heart breaking...but weirdly I'm also excited to see what kind of people they become? I have zero pointers for not getting annoyed. Yikes. Something I have to work on.

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  12. I think I would definitely be checking all the time too. I love that your 15 yr old hates social media!

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  13. lol- we are freakishly similar, aren't we.

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  14. Well at least you'll be creating responsible digital citizens! So high fives on being prepared for that.

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  15. Ah, Shelly.....this made me smile, especially your last point :)

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  16. Especially bittersweet when you know they're your last baby. I can still distinctly remember my last breastfeed session with Lucia and bawling that it was over.

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  17. Ya, which makes me think that these problems will seem small not far in the future.

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  18. I'm going to start taking time outs. Regularly.

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  19. Ya, I didn't even think about the ah-ha moments for myself that have also been happening.

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  20. I like your reply of " let me think about it"...I have a feeling I have a lot of thinking to do. Thanks for the comment :)

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  21. Yep, it's a different feeling celebrating the firsts with your last! Some days I think we will be stopping breastfeeding soon, other days feels like we never will, haha! I'm sure I will be sad when it ends.

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  22. Ummm...how many cases do you want? You are doing an amazing job. It's not an easy job but you are handling it just fine!

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Have a lovely day!