Kids: From Infatuation for Frustration in Under Five Minutes

The other night, I was putting my three-year-old to bed. I had turned down all the lights, we had brushed our teeth, and I was trying to get him in his PJs. He was anything but sleepy, and he squirmed away from me and did a silly dance around the room. I watched him and laughed out loud. He was so full of life and so funny, singing a nonsense song and cracking himself up. We laughed for a bit, and then I reached out to him, “Ok, honey, time to get on our PJs.” But he squirmed away from me again. I laughed, this time a little more curtly, and said again, “Ok, honey, we gotta get ready for bed now.” But he was out of control. I practically had to sit on him to get him to calm down. By the time that I had finally got him in his PJs and in his bed, I was worn to a frazzle.

I’ve found that this is often the case with my children. One minute, I am absolutely infatuated with them, and I could eat them up, they’re so precious. But in five minutes time, they can make me want to pull my hair out. Here’s another example.

This weekend, I was rocking my sweet baby boy (13 months) to sleep. He was so precious lying there in my arms. His eyelashes rested on his pink cheeks, and his hair was all askew, and I just thought he looked adorable. I sighed, thinking about how he wasn’t going to be a baby much longer, and then I put him in his crib. I gazed on him a moment, and then I turned to leave. But something was wrong. I slowly looked back over my shoulder. Hmmm, he seemed to be waking up. Surely not. He had to be exhausted, as he hadn’t slept well the night before, and he really needed a good nap (and so did I). But to my dismay, he sat up and started to cry. I rushed to him, laid him back down, and commenced emergency bottom-patting procedures, but to no avail. He was coming to full alertness, which meant that neither he nor I would get a nap, and further meant that we would both be cranky. Nothing I did could coax him back to sleep, so I finally gave up and pulled him out of crib. He was still cute, but at that time, he would have been much, much cuter asleep.

From infatuation to frustration. From the mountaintops to the valleys. Kids can definitely put you through the gambit of emotions. But the good thing is, there are definitely more highs than lows. It’s part of the journey of motherhood, and I’m just incredibly grateful to be along for the ride.

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