I always find it fun to watch new parents. I know I WAS new at one point, but that doesn't make it any less fun to watch them flail and guess. I try not to offer unsolicited advice or to giggle right in front of them as they hilariously try to reason with their infants. It's fun to watch, the learning curve. But as I thought awhile about motherhood and how it morphs as the kids grow...I realized it's probably still kind of fun to watch me try to parent.
I find there are a lot of things I didn't really know I was signing up for when we made these babies. I wanted cute babies, baby showers, gifts and pampering. It turns out I am not a fan of pregnancy, but I can tolerate it for the gifts and resulting adorable baby.
I did not sign up for children that don't just eat what they're given. I did not sign up to sit at a table with a child that finds out that POT ROAST is for dinner and oh the humanity - cries at the dinner table.
Wouldn't it be nice to pick and choose exactly how motherhood goes? Here is my list. And I'm not interested in comments about how I should be happy with my children, happy I don't have to deal with X or cope with Y. I KNOW. I am extremely blessed with my girls. They are wonderful, obedient (mostly), caring, fun children and I wouldn't trade them. But..if I'm making the list anyway, I might as well shoot high.
The obvious ones...I want them to be
brave but smart (perhaps 50/50 here)
excellent sleepers (check)
I don't want...
whiners (oy the whining)
criers (crying on a dime makes me smashy)
afraid of simple things
to give the reproductive/sex talk
I think what I want are cute babies..that morph into super cute toddlers and then into preschoolers and school kids that aren't smarter than me just yet. Then I think I'd like to skip the teenage years because there is so much responsibility with teenagers. For me and for them. Those are the years I have to teach them and try to mold them..without them knowing...into responsible almost adults. It's frightening. I don't ever want to have a birds and bees talk with any child, but I know I'm a few short months from being forced to explain some of the basics to my oldest. I. don't. want. to. She's young, and innocent, and she's anxious and it will set her on edge, I'm sure of it. I want her to have the information and be smart and make good choices (abstinence) but I don't want to have to TELL HER about it :) (I will of course).
It also turns out I don't want my kids to have friends. No no..I want them to have friends..at school, at church, but not in the neighborhood. I don't want to have to keep an eye on what they're doing or wonder what mine are doing at others' houses. I don't want to have to watch out for the bad seeds that try to take advantage. I don't like it, I'm incredibly uncomfortable with it. I can't control those parts and so I'd rather they just didn't exist. I do not get this wish obviously, my oldest is super friendly and has a lot of friends everywhere she goes - which is probably just payback for this irrational wish of mine. She's a great kid, of course she has friends.
Oh well. We cannot pick a choose. We couldn't choose our own parents, so our kids cannot choose theirs. We do the best with what we have and what we're given, and with God's help, they turn out to be sane adults. I'm not worried about my children. I will work hard to raise them right with the help of my family and friends, but I sometimes wish I could just pause and remove some of the hard parts.