With a toddler in the house I have the mixed feeling of wanting to fast-forward time a couple of years, but at the same time wanting to stop the time because it is going too fast.
I want to fast-forward events so that I have no more terrible tantrums to deal with, no more messy table manners, no more smelly pampers, no more interrupted nights and no more fights about the necessity of holding my hand when crossing the street, among other things.
I want to fast-forward time so that the whole family can go skiing, bicycling and snorkelling together. So that my toddler can start ballet lessons, which she is desperately longing to do, so that I can have a proper chat with her, reason with her, compromise and negotiate instead of constantly telling her off and yelling at her, with little result. If she only was a couple of years older, she would be more street wise and careful and I would be less of a nerve-wrack, perhaps. I have this idyllic picture in my head of how things will be when she is a bit older.
But at the same time I also want to stop the time, because I know that my little child will never be as cute as she is now. She will never be as funny and innocent and eager to please as she is now. She will not be such a hilarious parrot in a couple of years when she has learnt to talk properly. She will not chuckle when I blow raspberries on her tummy and she will not give me wet kisses all over my face because she missed me while I was on the toilet.
I know I can’t change the time. The clock will forever be ticking, so it does not really make sense to even think about it. And honestly, if I could choose, I would probably neither go forward nor backwards. Life is good now, so I should enjoy it and be able to deal with small challenges without having to wish that my child was older.
But sometimes it is just so difficult. Last week my two-year old gave me a real fright when I was in a crowded group, waving good-bye to my eight-year old, who went off to her scout camp. My two-year old simply disappeared and I panicked, without knowing which way to go and look for her. There were lots of people, cars, buses and she was nowhere to be seen. People started searching for her and eventually a friend found her. She had just gone to explore. Again I was thinking about how life must be a little easier when she is just that much older and will understand not to run away from me.
I know I need to change my way of thinking. I know I need to not bother about the small things that irritate me. Today I might get upset when my two girls jump up and down in my bed, making it untidy and frighten me when they nearly fall off. But there will come a day when my bed is perfectly done and there are no giggles coming from underneath the duvet.
Today I might get annoyed with all the crumbs and smells in my car, but there will come a day when I am driving around in my perfectly clean car, all alone, with no kids’ activities to go to, because they don’t need a lift from me anymore.
Today I might get angry with my disobedient little mademoiselle, but there might come a day when I have a rebellious teenager and I wish that she was small again. Therefore I have promised myself to enjoy life at present, instead of dreaming about tomorrow. I have noticed that there are plenty of Internet sites to help me with this. Finding all these sites was already a relief, because it shows that I am not the only one struggling to fully enjoy the challenges of having a small demanding lady in the house.