Thank you for smiling at us today, especially since my four year old was acting like a real tool about not getting the toy she wanted. I was getting enough stink eye from the mom with the brushed hair standing over by the organic produce and salt-block deodorant, so it was nice to see not everyone hated me.
It was also very sweet of you to come over and say hello to my girls, and for reminding me, as most strangers feel compelled to do, to "Enjoy these moments. You'll miss them one day." Really, thank you. I do forget that fairly often so it's nice to be reminded.
However, I'm still confused as to why you came over when you did...
My five year old was running around playing human pinball with strangers, my four year old was screaming because I wouldn't buy her the new My Little Pony Equestria Girls Twilight Sparkle that sings and comes with a brush, and my one year old was chewing on the cart because her molars are coming in. It was loud, chaotic, and disturbing to everyone's peaceful shopping trip. So, as sweet as it was of you to come over and say such kind words, it doesn't make any sense. I put some thought into it and can only come to the conclusion that you are probably crazy or on your way there. Because, no, I won't miss this part of parenting. And now that you brought it up, there are a few other things I'm not going to miss either.
I know this won't be a forever thing (please God no!) but between a diaper-wearing one year old, a still-can't-figure-out-how-to-wipe-myself-without-leaving-skid-marks four year old, and a five year old that needs the occasional "bend over and spread 'em" check-up, I spend a good part of my day staring at tiny butts. Will I miss those tiny butts? Absolutely. Will I miss wiping poop, potty, and the better part of a green crayola that finally made its way through my toddler's intestines? Heck no.
This topic doesn't touch a sentimental bone in my body. I've even gotten to the point of giving the tantrums a catchy name so I can one day remind my children what they put me through:
"The Doctor's Office:" While in the waiting room, I told my kid to not stand on a chair and she proceeded to scream, empty out my purse, and hold her breath until she turned blue.
"The Bathroom Breakdown:" My children are TERRIFIED of toilets that flush automatically so my latest trip to the grocery store included a bare-butt child running out of the stall (and into public) while screaming, "It's gonna suck me in!!!"
"Girl, You Streakin' Crazy!:" When my middle child was two, her tantrums were epic and her go-to move was to take off every piece of clothing (including her diaper) and scream until she eventually gave up or I cracked.
"The Triple-Threat:" This is when all three of my girls decide to lose their cool at the same time. This is the most popular of tantrums as far as the kids are concerned.
Nope. Not gonna miss this.
Barney and other annoying shows
For five years I have only watched Barney, Sesame Street, Blue's Clues, and Daniel Tiger. Has it made me a better person? Yes. Can I now get the results I want from my children by rhyming a little ditty and putting it to a song? Occasionally. But will I miss the unrealistic parenting, the maniacal dancing, and the high-pitched squeal of Baby Bop every time she finds her favorite yellow blanky? Heck no.
Breastfeeding (eh, maybe)
This one is bittersweet. I had a rough(ish) time breastfeeding and as much as I WILL miss getting that special time with my infant and providing meals for her, I will not miss not being able to leave home for more than an hour and a half for the first six months of her life because she wouldn't take a bottle. And I definitely won't miss her treating my nipple like a corgi treats a Kong full of peanut butter.
In my (humble) opinion, potty training is waaaaay overrated. I mean, when your kid is in diapers or pull-ups, you don't have to stop at shady interstate gas stations or drag a cart full of groceries into the grocery store bathroom. It's a much simpler time.
My potty training principles have changed drastically between my first and third child. The week before my first daughter turned two, I covered the floor in newspaper, stripped her from the waist down, pumped her full of juice, and sat her princess potty in front of the tv for four days straight. It still took her over a year to get the hang of the toilet though, so it was probably just a gigantic waste of everyone's time.
With my second, I created a reward system for each time she went potty, and she was day-trained by three years-old.
My third girl is only one right now, but I'm fairly certain I'm just going to purchase pull-ups in bulk and wait for her to leave for college.
Oh, potty training, how I loathe thee. I shall miss you the least.
It can start as early as a few months old and can stick around for YEARS to come. Teething is a not-so-silent killer of sleep for every parent known to man and causes your beautiful, calm, loving child to turn into a screaming, drooling, biting lunatic.
My youngest daughter's canines are working their way in and sometimes I wonder if they'll just keep growing and turn her into a vampire. And then I realize I haven't slept in two weeks and she probably won't turn into a vampire. Probably.
I need a nap.
Hygiene (or lack thereof)
Thankfully my kids are pretty young and I still do most of their "clean up" for them. But in what little experience I have in this area (which mostly consists of scrubbing skid marks out of a toddler's Queen Elsa panties) I am certainly dreading future lessons in basic hygiene. I absolutely rue the day when we're out shopping and I realize the horrific stench of bad onions isn't coming from the produce section. Or she smiles at yet another one of my hilarious jokes and reveals dinner from two nights ago spread across her (formerly) white teeth.
It hasn't even happened yet and I already know I won't miss it.
Basic Human Etiquette
"No, we aren't walking over to the strange hippy with the long braid so you can hug him. It's not Elsa!"
"Please stop farting in my face."
"The automatic toilet will NOT suck you down! Just pee!"
"Little girls don't push their bare butts against the window to moon the people driving by."
"It's not polite to tell your grandma that her roast is the worst thing you've ever tasted."
Okay, maybe I'll miss a few of these.
This Phase (whatever it may be)
Whether it's a grouchy teenager slamming doors and blaring Ace of Base's All That She Wants at extreme volumes (that's still a thing, right?) or maybe it's a toddler hell-bent on turning you into a sweatpants-wearing lunatic, there are definitely phases we won't miss when the kids are grown and out on their own.
So, strange lady at the grocery store (and all future strangers to come), no I will NOT miss the part of parenting that makes me believe I am just a crazy lady who yells at little people all day, or that if I'm not careful the yoga pants I'm wearing may permanently adhere to my body.
I will, however, miss the smell of my baby, and the cuddles, play time, and hilarious things my children do that make everything else worth it. It's a good thing too - because if it wasn't for those moments, I probably would have kicked you in the lady junk for telling me to, "Enjoy these moments. You'll miss them one day."