After being a mother for 18 years, 12 as the mother of three, there are some things about raising children that I just know to be true.
These include the following:
A child can take a shower for over an hour and not only not wash his hair, but somehow miraculously not even get it wet.
This same child can water the flower garden and not get one plant wet, yet can manage to get themselves completely soaking wet and covered in mud.
You will never own enough towels or socks.
Even if your sweet little sunshine has never been sick a day in their life, they will end up with an epic case of something the night before you are supposed to leave on the big family trip you have been planning for months.
This also applies to when you have tickets to a show or concert that the whole family has been looking forward to.
A child who was sleeping soundly all night will wake up and come to your door the exact minute you and your spouse decide to get romantic.
It is on days when you absolutely MUST get out of the house on time that a child will lose their shoe, clog the toilet, or bang their head on the driveway and need a trip to the emergency room and 30 stitches.
When you hear a loud sound coming from the room your little one is in, and they say, “I’m fine mom. Everything is fine. Nothing is wrong.” All hell has broken loose, and you’re stuck with another trip to the emergency room or costly home repairs. Or both.
Be wary of the child who asks you a question when you are knee deep in work on your computer or talking to your mother. You may end up agreeing to them building a swimming pool in the basement. Hopefully you will prevent them from bringing buckets of water downstairs before it’s too late.
It is times like this that having more than one child can be helpful since every family needs an informer.
The child who can never wake up on time to get to school will invariably wake up extra early on vacation days. This will happen even if the days off are not planned, such as a snow day.
The present that your child desperately wanted for Christmas or their birthday, the one they spoke about every morning and night for months, will be happily opened and loved. But it will be the present that cost under five dollars that you grabbed on impulse while waiting to pay for the coveted gift that they treasure above all else.
If you host a sleepover for eight 10-year-olds the night that they have had the required sex ed class, you will learn all sorts of things about sex you never knew.
The days that you let your kid jump in the puddle, play in the mud, or shower in the sprinkler will be the ones you both remember as they get older.
Listening to all your children giggle and talk together, even if they are planning to conspire against you, will fill your heart with joy.
As hard as you think raising children is, it turns out that it’s 100 times harder.
Whether your kid is a baby, toddler, school age or teen, some older person will tell you how fast it all goes by and admonish you to enjoy every moment. Nine out of ten times you will hear this at the very minute you are fantasizing about sending junior to boarding school.
One day you will be the older person watching a mother with a baby or toddler and find yourself saying, “you should enjoy every moment” even though you promised yourself you would never become one of “those” people.
As much time as you have gotten to spend with your child, and as hard you have worked to enjoy every minute you could, it won’t seem nearly enough when they are about to graduate high school and go off to college.
This piece was first published on Kathy’s site, My Dishwasher’s Possessed!