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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Enigma of Children

There are days when I sit in one of those rare quiet moments, and I realize that I have an easy job as a parent. Those are the moments when I can sit back, relax and contemplate the things I am doing right to raise my tiny humans to be good, solid, contributing members of the community. 

In those moments, I relish my children. Their good manners with all the "please" and "thank you" and the willingness to clean up after themselves or to get the dogs food. Then, suddenly, my moment of contemplation is decimated by an Earth shattering battle cry. All the happy moments vanish like a magician in a Vegas act with one word... "MOM!!!" Throw a little volume behind a tiny word, and it is nothing less then a nuclear bomb going off in my brain.

Suddenly, Sweet Little Girl becomes Obnoxious Devil at war with her arch nemesis, Annoying Little Brother, aka Adorable Little Boy. In my frustration at having my peaceful respite crushed like a bug, Happy Mom turns into Yelling Mom, and the vision of perfect children morphs into nothing more than a pleasant memory shelved for another day.

Kids are sent to their rooms, Mom calms and thinks of chores to punish them. The kids, not unlike caterpillars, emerge again as beautiful butterflies, totally in love with each other again and play perfectly well together (as now they cannot watch TV or play any kind of electronics) for the rest of the day. This leads to a conundrum. Why do these two beautiful children who love each other suddenly turn into monsters who hate each other, and then almost as suddenly back into beautiful children who love each other?

The enigma of children.

Now that they are tucked warmly into bed, I can sit in peace and relish their good manners, brilliant minds, and willingness to help out around the house. I know in my reverie that tomorrow morning it will come to a screeching halt again, at precisely 8:36 am, when I realize that for the millionth time, Liza has failed to wash her bangs and she will cry when I ask her "Why, again?!?" while at the same time Porter will be getting the daily "Seriously? Get your freakin' shoes on!!". Then we will all go to school, and come home and do what we do every day. We will have dinner and get ready for bed, read, brush teeth and tuck them in with hugs and kisses and a big "I love you!" and it will all start over again.

Every day. Every night. Forever. God willing.