Funny how, just five or so years ago, such an adventure would have been impossible without The Reinforcements (aka: Grandparents). They made every vacation, concert, museum trip, zoo trip, Fireworks, even doctors appointments possible. When you have four kids, in five years, it really does take a village to help you. We were blessed to live close to family during that season of babies and toddlers. And I don't know what we would have done without them.
Well, actually, I do. We would have done nothing. Ever. No vacations, no concerts, no museums, no zoo's, no fireworks and doctors appointments would have been impossible. Because life with four toddlers/babies is hard enough at home, all enclosed in a house. Much less out in the big world, where, they have to walk and hold your hand everywhere. (re: practically impossible in every way.)
So as we walked through a sea of people in a very big city, down town, July 4th Fireworks. I couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. A "WE MADE IT". We actually have fun on outings now! We can really enjoy their company. I don't have to bring strollers and up teen bags of everything we own to keep them occupied. (Cue the Hallelujah chorus!)
THEY DON'T RUN AWAY FROM US ANYMORE! Seriously, I thought that day would never come when I was in the trenches of toddler hood.
By the time fireworks started...there was no green spaces left and that sidewalk was PACKED with people. It was nuts.
A sweet cousin said to me not too long ago (She is in the trenches of toddler hood and might I say fighting the battle very well.)
"Don't you feel like discipline is sometimes harder on you than your kid? I mean, you are just making your life harder!"
To that I said and "ABSOLUTELY!"
It does make your life, much harder. If you say it, you have to follow through with it. I don't want to even tell you how many times I sat outside my toddlers door, because the toddler was in time out, and if I didn't sit and watch him, while in time out, he wouldn't have stayed, in timeout. (and I mean really, just getting to sit down was kind of a luxury, though I think most times I was nursing a baby too.) I had to do the same thing at nap time too. Sit. In front of their door, watching them fall asleep.
I think that is why it's so hard for us parents to stick with discipline consistently. Because it's exhausting, and makes our life hard.
We believe in teaching our kids how to be okay with loosing. I mean, Obviously.
But here's the thing. Because I stuck to my guns when they were two, I enjoy their company at ten. I can now have a conversation with my ten year old about his behavior, and he doesn't throw himself on the ground screaming and crying, because he learned self control, at two. THERE IS HOPE!!!!!!! Was it easy? Heck no. Did I cry probably more than my children? YES! Did I screw up? Of course.
~ Why yes...we did do the patriotic hair star. 'Merica ~
BUT I WENT TO FIREWORKS WITH FOUR KIDS AND A HUNDRED THOUSAND PEOPLE AND HAD FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So you may not particularly enjoy your toddlers company now, I mean you may have brief moments of bliss. Followed by many more moments of sheer terror. Everyone does.
He was hot, and thirsty, and refused to look at me. Whatev' because what he doesn't know, is I LOVE profile pictures.
But...one day, one day it will be all fireworks and ooo's and ahh's. Followed by your kids saying things like "This was the best day" and "I love being with you." and "I'm so glad you are my mom and dad"...okay and maybe a baby of the family that just says "Can I get my sonic slush now?" (But he didn't cry about it. Winning!)
Nothing says "Successful outing out with four kids" like having time to take pictures of your cute shoes while sitting in green grass. This would never have happened five years ago. I would have been too busy chasing many small children around.