As humans, we don’t eat our young. Lots of species do you know. Sometimes I think it would be easier. Imagine how much less stress and worry, fear, indecision, embarrassment, frustration and overwhelming feelings of failure we would have to contend with we could just swallow them whole and go back to life before…
Have you ever watched guppies? They swim around and with out so much as a pause, swallow and just keep swimming. It seems easy enough.
Then again, it is an awful lot of time and discomfort to bring a baby into this world. After the initial enjoyment of the creating – it just goes downhill. Hormones, nausea, hemorrhoids, the list is pretty long. Never mind the actual birthing part. So much time for just a snack.
And too, there are so many other things out there to worry about keeping our kids safe from that if we had to control an odd impulse to eat them, I am not sure the human race would survive.
As each of my children has reached the age of 5, I have breathed a sigh of relief that they are beyond the age of becoming Mom lunch. If you are a parent I think you know exactly what I mean. I bet there is an age that your child reaches, a milestone birthday, that you had to pat yourself on the back and say We did it! We made it! On to Phase 2.
For me, as I stated earlier, that age is 5. And today is an even bigger Pat Myself on the Back Moment because each and every one of them made it to 5. Without serious injury or sickness and all their limbs and faculties in tact. And so did I. Well for the most part I did. But the importance of the day is the kids more so than me.
I count myself lucky that it isn’t 200 years ago because although I am not precise on the numbers and statistics, from what I hear, there is a good chance that this wouldn’t be so. Families like mine weren’t uncommon, in fact I think they were the norm. They had lots of kids and hoped like hell some of them would make it past that magic age, then the next phase and eventually at least one would make it into adulthood. They didn’t have reliable birth control either but that is a whole other matter.
Even in my family, far back on the tree, there are children who did not make it past 2. I don’t know how I could have ever lived back then and been a mother. Was it the opposite of today’s times in that they just took it for granted that they would lose a child rather than that they wouldn’t? The equivalent of eating their young in a way.
The number of things that can happen between birth and 5 is mind-boggling, sleep depriving and just plain torture to think about. Five is my number because it is the age when they become… kids, not toddlers anymore.
- They are able to speak, so if someone hurts them they can tell.
- They are able to reason with enough to explain to them why they can’t do things just because it looks fun.
- They have heard you shriek at them enough that even if they don’t quite understand what could happen (exactly) if they climb out their second story window with the thought of flight in mind, they can deduce it might be bad.
- At the very least they are a little more cautious because they don’t want to see Mommy’s head spinning and hear the racket of her incessant worry.
After 5, I loosen up a bit. There are some that might say I loosened up before I even had number 6 kid. But I didn’t, I just hid it well. And there is something to be said for repetition. You do learn things like which plants you should call the poison control center about, when to go to the dr. and when to provide mommy care. A lot of it is intuition that is reinforced by repitition.
By just knowing that I have to wait until my snotty nose kid spikes a temp of 103 to take him to the dr, instead of rushing in at the first sniffle, I may appear lacking in my protctive mothering skills. Not so I tell you. I have done it both ways and it is a fact (for me and my kids ) that going in too soon is a wasted trip and co-pay. They say oh its just a bug and send us home so that we can come back in after the fever spike to be told it’s an ear infection and get antibiotics. I have learned to cut out the middle step – the freak out panic step of Holy Shit!
But the constant worry is still there, like a slow burn. Worry about all the boogey men and the things I can’t even name that I had to get them past which included my own feeling of ineptness and worries I might trip on them or something horrible that I couldn’t foresee.
Until today that is. And as relieved as I am that this day is here. I am also a little sad. My almost 5 yo, has become a legitimate 5 yo. He is a real boy. He speaks and eats and can tie his own shoes. He lets me know in no uncertain terms if he is uncomfortable in any way. He tells jokes that make me laugh. He is beautiful as ever and that much closer to making it.
But he is my last child to get over this particular hump. My baby. And I will miss all the sweet moments of babyhood and toddlerdom that I have witnessed and been blessed to participate in over this last many years of my life.
This child is more than just a sigh of relief at 5. He is a symbol of the milestone of my own changing life. All my kids made it. I didn’t drop them down the stairs, or any other number of things that my brain plagued me with. I got them all to 5 without swallowing a single one of them.
Yes there are a whole new set of worries… and I will soon have to explain that all the decorations are not for him in the way he thinks they are since he is a day after Christmas baby. Undoubtedly, the I’m a big boy I can come and go as I please without consulting you era will rear it’s obnoxious head in Phase 2 as he sees this type of stuff with his older siblings who are actaully in that phase. Phase 4 – Cell Phones are a Privilege not a Requirement – for those of you curious about it. He just doesn’t realize that they only appear to have such freedom. I always know and if I don’t they no longer have a cell phone.
He is precoscious always a little ahead of the game.
Being on the last child there isn’t much trial and error anymore, I have it down to a science.
Duct tape works wonders in Phase 2! **
~Lizzie Cracked (not broken)
**Cover my Ass (CMA) Disclaimer
the reference to duct tape being the solution is metaphorical. You don’t need to call CPS on me because I never have nor will use duct tape on my children it is a humorous reference only. Nor do I have any desire to swallow them whole – that too was a metaphorical note – thought that by swallowing them I would protect them from all the meany bad bads in the world I find it incredibly disturbing I feel any need to include this Cover My Ass Disclaimer to protect myself and my young…. HUMOR not child abuse – Please read responsibly…