Thursday, January 02, 2014

That parenting thing

A lot of Benjamin's clothes are hand-me-downs from the early 2000s...and the 1990s and the 1980s and possibly even the 1970s. No stranger to hard, scratchy tags (kids these days have it so easy with their decal tags), Benjamin is our hipster baby, unabashedly reviving the trends of the past.

Miriam picked out Benjamin's clothes for him today and even tried to help get him dressed. This was not as easy of a task as she had imagined.

But it all worked out in the end. (This picture was actually taken by Rachel. Benjamin was watching her take pictures of her bedroom walls, which are covered from floor to ceiling in her artwork.)

Lately he's been climbing into this little doll stroller and hanging out until... of his sisters comes along to push him around.

He thinks it's pretty fun.

Doesn't he look like a kid in this picture? What happened to my baby? Perhaps it's because Benjamin's suddenly been displaced as the youngest grandchild and I've been faced with comparing him with this (see exhibit A) that makes him seem so grown up:

Meet exhibit A: Cousin Gavin. 7 lbs. 6 oz, 19 inches. 8:30(ish) PM, January 1, 2014.

He's so cute, chubby, handsome, perfect, and...infantile. Enjoy every moment, Emily and Morgan...or at least enjoy every good moment.

You don't have to cherish the frustrating parts like when your child yells, "Momma!" every 30 seconds all day long (and sometimes even at night—you think I'm kidding but I'm not). You don't have to cherish the really nasty parts like the numerous encounters you'll have with bodily fluids (and sometimes solids) that you'd rather not (Emily's quick at getting out of the way though so this shouldn't be a problem...for her). You don't have to cherish the fighting or the food thrown all over the floor or the many, many pieces of lego you'll inevitably end up stepping on.

But by all means, cherish everything else!

Every last snuggle, smile, and sigh. Every time simply being with you makes the whole world better. Every first step. Every silly sentence. Every family meal. Every bedtime story. Every trip to the park. Every time he holds your hand. Cherish all the good moments.

With your first, I think, it's not easy to believe that "they grow up so quickly" because the days are long and the nights are longer. Seriously—time dragged by when Rachel was an infant. Now, though, it seems like the kids are older every time I turn around. Because I remember this:

July 20, 2007 (Orem, UT)
 And this:

October 25, 2009 (Cairo, Egypt)
 And, oh, boy, do I ever remember this (just breathe, baby!):

June 3, 2012 (American Fork, UT)
...just like yesterday. Seriously. Yesterday was busy. No wonder I'm tired. I suppose that's why they say "the days are long but the years are short."

I was so ready for bedtime tonight. A certain little boy I know yelled my name every thirty seconds today. He peed on my lap during story time (through his diaper somehow). He picked fights with his sisters all day long, threw half his dinner on the floor, and even left his lego out. And I'm typing this one-handed because he woke up and was screaming "MOMMA!" at the top of his lungs, frothing at the mouth, and jumping up and down in his crib.

I picked him up and he melted into my embrace. He wrapped his not-so-little arms around my neck and rested his proportionately ginormous head on my shoulder while he sniffled and caught his breath. Now he's resting easy, fast asleep, against my chest.

Already I can see that my magical powers are draining. It won't be long now until just "being momma" will cease to solve his every problem.

I know because just "being momma" no longer solves all my girls' problems. It hasn't taken away the sting of not being invited to that birthday party or the pain of being called that horrible name by a friend-turned-unfriendly.

These kids! They grow up too fast. When did they start being invited (or not invited) to birthday parties? And how did they manage to find the time to make a friend that wasn't me in the first place? Goodness knows my social life has taken a few hits for the team the past six years or so!

I wouldn't trade it in for anything, though, because having a family life beats out having a social life, hands down.

Now that I've gone and waxed all sentimental, I'll leave you with our parenting mantra: kids are resilient.

Andrew and I remind each other of this all the time.

Will you make mistakes? Sure, but kids are resilient. You'll figure it out.
Should I breastfeed or use formula? Kids are resilient. You'll figure it out.
Oh, no! My baby just fell off the couch! Kids are resilient. They'll figure it out.

Parenting is just one of those things that you just have to figure out. Every single day. For every single child. For an innumerable number of circumstances. It's kind of a headache (when it isn't a joy) that makes for long days...and short years.

Let me sum up now: Congratulations on the new little one! Thanks a lot for making my baby look like a gigantic kid. Have fun with that parenting thing!

Don't turn your back.
Don't look away.
And don't blink.
Good luck!


  1. That was a beautiful post. And aren't you LUCKY to have figured out about the long days and short years so early in your parenting career. It took me longer to learn what a treasure those long days are. And I even have fond memories of crying, bodily fluids and even lego all over, everywhere! They just grow up too fast!

  2. Kids sure ARE resilient! They have to be to put up with the mistakes of their parents (and I definitely make my fair share of them!). Great post, Nancy! I love the pictures of grownup Benjamin! :)

  3. I was thinking lately that Benjamin looks so much like a kid now! Great post!

    I enjoyed seeing the newborn pictures of your sweeties.