Children Grow Faster Than Parents Would Like

'So Many Toys' photo (c) 2006, B. Carlson - license:

I haven’t written about my boys for awhile but they continue to grow and change much to my chagrin. I realized yesterday that Destruction is almost a full inch taller than me.  I tried to take comfort in my youngest Mayhem, to find that he barely fits in my lap any longer — so I did what any other totally obsessed mother would do — I pulled out the family photos and zeroed in on the baby pictures.  As I ooohed and aaahed about how little and cute they were, I would by lying if I said I didn’t develop a large lump in my throat.  How did these sweet little baby boys grow into the kids they are today?

The reality of the passing of time sometimes just becomes so real.  I remember going into a toy store to do Christmas shopping this year and realizing that I could no longer buy anything for Destruction and leaving sadly. When it comes to him, I am no longer tripping over toys and cursing eloquently and instead, I am yelling about unplugging electronics before he burns the house down. Believe me, no one loves an extension cord like that boy.

Mayhem is in a rush to join him because he looks up to his big brother and wants to do everything that he does.  I know I have babied him more but it’s largely because I know that each phase he passes through, will mean the end of that era in our home, unless or until, the boys decide to have kids one day and I get to invoke the mother’s curse (may you have a child exactly like you LOL).  When I call Mayhem my baby, he is now quick to tell me that while he may be my baby, that he is no longer a baby. 

No longer being a baby means that Mayhem now desires some evidence of this in his daily life. To that end, we are talking about updating his room. He has also strongly hinted that it’s time to get rid of his “baby toys,” and get something more age appropriate. When your child starts clearing out their toy box on their own, you know that things have changed. As you might imagine, I want his room and apparel to still look young, but he has other ideas.  Somewhere there has got to be a compromise right?  I thought that shopping for my kids would only be about saving money and spending intelligently (hello coupons), but it turns out that it’s also about making sure that whatever I do buy, fits where they are in life right now.  For me, this means hours online because thanks to Fibromyalgia, touring the stores in the winter is absolutely out of the question.  It took awhile for them to get used to shopping this way, as they are both very tactile, but once they realised that online stores offered them options that would never be available to them in our half a horse town (yep, it’s so small my city doesn’t even qualify as a one horse town) they were in with both feet.

Now they hit the internet themselves, looking for things that they want and expect my credit card to come leaping out of my wallet.  Mayhem being the diva of the family, is far more particular than his older brother; the colours and style have to be just right. Shopping with him on a beer wallet and his champagne tastes, often encourages me to remind him to stay in school, so that he can get a good job and pay for the things he wants when he is an adult.  For now, I will have to content myself with clipping discount coupons whenever I come across them and looking for sale. At the rate he is going, his future partner is going to be hard pressed to get any closet space with him around.

At least I can say that no matter what the sacrifices have been (and trust me, there have been many), I have never ever felt bad about the money I have spent on my kids.  At the end of the day, I just want them to be comfortable and happy – which I suppose is my job. What they give back is worth far more to me than money, even if it does occasionally come with aggravation and whining that we are ruining their lives.   My only regret is that time seems to be moving much faster than I ever thought possible.  Battles about home work, toys and bedroom decorations may be happening today, but I know all to soon it will be about curfews and dating.  In the end, that’s the problem with kids, they don’t stay little long enough.

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