Watching your kids grow older and wiser is one of the supreme joys of parenthood. I myself have touted, on this very blog, the triumphs and freedoms that my kids’ evolution have brought to our family. But I’ve recently realized that there are also negatives to growth, and I don’t mean the sappy, emotional oh-gee-where-did-the-time-go kind of negatives. I mean the now-there-are-more-people-in-my-family-pointing-out-what-a-moron-I-am kind of negatives, like these:
1. The separation anxiety is shifting off their shoulders and onto mine. Gone are the days where they would cry hysterically as I walked out the front door. Their shrieks stabbed me over and over in the heart as I waited for the elevator to rescue me from the torture. I remember thinking, “C’mon guys! Buck up and let me go to work just once without making me feel like I am leaving you with an axe murderer and/or inflicting lifelong emotional damage that will turn you into one. Get it together!” Now, I practically have to beg them to pause their lego-city-building marathons to say goodbye to me. Now they’re thinking “C’mon mom! Buck up and get out of here so we can finish our legolopolis. Seriously, can’t you go on a twenty-minute errand just once without acting like you’re not going to see us again for a year? Get it together!”
2. They can talk in full sentences. Full sentences that include gems like: “I am NOT going to cooperate because you screamed at me and that is NOT nice!” or “I smell poop. Mommy, did you just make a fart?” (uttered during pick-up at school) or “Mommy, why does your breath smell every morning?”
3. They’ve already discovered that I am, at times, more gullible than they are. Several nights ago, I was getting Zack ready for bed and he didn’t want to pee. I decided to show him who’s boss and insisted he get on the potty. A few minutes later, he chimed, “All done mommy!” in his sweetest, sing-songiest voice. Doubting his speedy toggle from uncooperative whiner to model citizen, I asked, “Really? I didn’t hear any tinkles.” To which he replied, “I did! It smells like pee and the water is yellow.” Impressed with his scientific list of evidence, I took him for his word, even though I didn’t smell pee and didn’t think the water looked that yellow. But alas, Zack showed me who was boss when I was forced to clean his urine soaked pull up less than an hour later.
4. And on the subject of being dumb, they point out the fact that I am just that by asking me more and more questions that I can’t answer. The other day, Addy typed “34,760,058,382,847,574,033,854” on the ipad calculator and asked me, “Mommy, what number is that?” Uh, I have no f-ing idea…which was also my response to these questions:
“Mommy, how did they build the George Washington Bridge?”
“Mommy, how does the remote control make the TV turn on?”
“Mommy, why can’t penguins fly?”
“Mommy, why can we see the moon during the day sometimes?”
“Mommy, what is Daddy doing in the bathroom for so long?”
5. They commit punishable offenses, but are immune to punishment. Addy was temper tantruming about somethingorother a while back, so I threatened to put one of her baby dolls in The Black Box (a shoebox we use as a toy prison) if she didn’t calm down. A few minutes after things settled down, she matter-of-factly handed me her doll and said, “Mommy, you forgot to put the baby doll in the box. Here.” This, of course, was preschooler speak for, “Hey idiot, you forgot to enforce your lame-o punishment. And by the way, I could care less if you take this doll. You bought me seven of these, remember?”
So the moral of the story is: I better find a way to up my game before my kids evolve to the point of rendering me completely powerless. At this rate, that’s on track to happen by the time they’re, oh…let’s see….probably four.