To My Future Self
Dear Future Francine,
Sometime, you will want to tell someone that some days, you’ve got this whole mothering thing down. You know that you’re no expert, but sometimes life just works out smoothly and there aren’t a whole lot of punches to roll with. Some phases of parenting are easier than others, and when one is going away, it’s easy to feel over-confident. Or even just confident. So confident, in fact, that you’ll casually mention how, in the moment, mothering isn’t so hard after all.
Almost as soon as those words come out of your mouth, your normally fun, good-natured child will turn into a whiny, dramatic fit-throwing brat. The wonderful little sleeper? Gone. In her place is a kid who cries off and on throughout the night, for no other reason than asking for 398472348908 gallons of water to drink (and we all know that means wet sheets in the morning). Your relatively good eater? No longer. You now have a child who asks for food, refuses to eat it, and upon removal of said food, suddenly wants that particular item more than anything else in the world- until you give it back. The child will run away when you call her (laughing, of course), collapse into a crying heap at the drop of a hat, and generally do her best to make your life a miserable, grouchy existence.
Do yourself a favor, and avoid this happening at all costs. Your memory of times like these may get a little fuzzy, especially when you’re absorbed in the moment of something cute your offspring just did. Learn from your past mistakes, so that whenever you’re tempted to even think about how you found your mothering groove, you can nip that thought right in the bud before it comes back to haunt you. Because come back to haunt you, it will.
P.S. How did you get Grace to stop hitting you when she throws a fit because she didn’t get what she wants or is in timeout? I’d really love to know.