All the World’s a Stage

A friend of mine, who became a Mom 10 months before me, has always been there to give me advice and lend an ear when it comes to the ups and downs of motherhood. I often use her son as a measuring stick to what I can expect with little S in the near future. One of her pearls of wisdom is that everything with young children comes and goes in stages.

This little phrase has come in handy in two ways:

  1. It reminds me to cherish and appreciate the blissful stages
  2. It reminds me to cherish and appreciate the blissful stages

That’s not a typo. When we are in one of the more likeable stages with little S, we are on cloud nine. But when we are in a tough stage it becomes hard to see the light and to ever picture an end.

Today you’ve got me in the midst of a tough stage. I can’t recall when this one started and the blissful one before it, ended. More importantly, I have no idea when this one will stop. So far I see no sign of a cease-fire.

We’re at the bossy-moody-not listening stage. She’s now telling us what to do and if you tell her to sit down, she’ll stand up. If you tell her the sky is blue, you’ll quickly learn that it’s not! This girl has a mind of her own.

I appreciate the qualities she demonstrates. The harder these qualities are to deal with as parents, the better they will serve her as an adult. For example, she often questions everything:

Me: “S, please don’t jump on the couch.”
S (still jumping): “Why can’t I jump on the couch?”
Me: “Because I don’t want you to fall off and get hurt.”
S (still jumping): “Why don’t you want me to get hurt?”
Me: “Because I love you and I don’t want to see you in pain.”
S (still jumping): “Why don’t you want to see me in pain?”

And you can imagine how the rest goes.

This little dialogue is something that I like to think of her doing at the age of 18. Not asking why and not wanting to know more can lead to trouble. No garden path for this girl.

The worst part of the stage we’re in is the blatant ignoring and not listening. We tell her one thing and she does another. We get down to her level and explain our feelings. She says she understands but runs off and does the opposite to what we explained. It’s like she’s a child! Oh wait…she is!

So what gets me through these hair pulling times; my friend’s advice. This is just a stage and it too shall pass! The silver lining is that what follows will be heart-melting, laugh-your-butt-off, happy-tear-instigating, wonderfully beautiful. And when I get to kiss those cheeks and feel those small arms around my neck, I am quickly reminded how worth it this all is.

Photo courtesy of Photographed by nuttakit.


9 responses to “All the World’s a Stage

  1. Your friend is very wise. “This too shall pass” got me through many, many rough stages. Interestingly, it helped me enjoy when my second one went through various stages as well. The sleepless nights, the teething, now the start to the terrible twos. It all will pass. The irony for me is that I now MISS those stages. I know, call me crazy 🙂 The night wakings with my little guy will not happen again, never again will it just be the two of us in the middle of the night, sharing time together when the world is quiet (amazing how beautiful I can make that sound now that it’s passed!).
    Words to live by as a parent Kel, good advice 🙂

    • You do make it sound wonderful! But I can relate. There’s something about the tough things that leave a lasting impression. Maybe it’s that we know we are truly performing our jobs as parents when it’s really tough.

      Anyone can be good when things are easy but our skills are truly put to the test when times are tough!

  2. I think this will come in handy in the very near future when I’ve got a crying newborn on my hands. I’m positive that when I look back at the blissful stages that are… ahem… not so blissful… I will miss how it and reflect on how much time has gone by.

    Love the post! Love you!

    • At least their lungs are really tiny when first born. I remember thinking it felt loud at the time. But a three year-old’s lungs can make a much, much louder sound!

      I am so excited for you Amy! xo

  3. Perhaps some day in the future S will be working in medical research, and will be told that her study method is flawed. Maybe she will continue in her stubborn way, and find a cure for one of mankind’s worse diseases.

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment Canseco!

      You hit the nail on the head! That is exactly the sort of thing I am referring to when I say these qualities will serve her well as an adult. We’ll see one day!

  4. This is so very true. Our son had colic like really bad. Like 3 months non-stop colic. But like you said, it passed. Just like any tough stage in their development (teething, growing pains, learning what the word no means), it will pass.

    • Easy for us both to say now. I don’t want to speak for you but there was no way in the midst of my ‘craziness’ back then that I could have ever fathomed that it would pass and get better. But sure enough it has! And I’m better for it. 🙂

  5. Kel, with Lauren, no, I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but with Nick, I knew it would pass eventually, that he would stop crying/waking all night long 🙂

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