Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Trade Off

My apologies for the long pause in writing.  Our son was recently diagnosed with a substantial injury which necessitated a lot of doctor visits and physical therapy.  My "free" time turned into a job as a physical therapist, drill sergeant, and chauffeur, shuttling him from one appointment to another.  He is now on the upswing and I am getting used to my new "normal".  Thanks for sticking with me and for your kind words of encouragement during this time!

After having our first child, we stumbled around, utterly sleep-deprived, not knowing which way was up for months.  It was during this time when we were assured by friends and family the infant stage was the hardest part of raising a child.  Everyone told us as our children grew older, things would become easier.  We clung to that hope through the sleepless nights, countless ear infections, teething, fighting croupy coughs, and the more-than-I-can-count fights over food.

We held on tight to that ray of hope like a castaway bopping along in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean.  For the first couple of years we waited anxiously for the day when our boat would hit dry land and we would be "rescued".  During the long wait, we were so sure we were approaching our smooth sailing days, we even had another baby.

As we clung to our sanity, we made a most unexpected discovery.  Our family and friends, who loved us dearly, were all a pack of liars!  Raising children does not get easier as they get older, you just trade off what you are currently doing for something different, but equally as difficult.

Yes, gone are the days of struggling to strap an infant carseat into a vehicle at just the right angle so it locks into the vehicle's restraint system.  These days I'm trying to get a pack of giggling tween girls into the different rows of my car, without anyone losing part of their toes to a falling backpack which is weighted down with more school supplies than Grizzly Adams would dare pack onto the back of a mule. 

I no longer hear the annoyed cry of a baby who is frustrated over a dropped pacifier or treasured toy just out of their reach.  These days I am bombarded with a teenager screeching "Mom! He/she is touching me!" or "STOP!  You're on my side!  Don't cross that line!".  

I thought having to hear Barney singing "I Love You" five hundred times a day was more tortuous than what some third world countries use as interrogation techniques........ until my children discovered and downloaded the Clash of Clans and Talking Tom apps on all of our electronic devices.  The gutteral grunts of cavemen and of enemies attacking bases has surpassed that dinosaur.  Being awakened in the middle of the night to a weird sounding voice coming from my cell phone telling me he is lonely and misses me, is more disturbing than a purple dinosaur singing and dancing.

I also almost miss the days of changing a baby's dirty diaper in the backseat of a car on a 100° day.  The odor back then was definitely a lot less pungent than what wafts from my son's gym bag these days.

But, even with all of the trade-offs, we would still do it all over again.  Yes, our friends and family definitely lied to us.  Whether it was in order to ensure the procreation of our species or so that we could sing the Dora the Explorer song along with them has yet to be determined.  We have gotten even though.  We told them that there is nothing quite like seeing your children take care of their very own puppy...... and fish ......... and guinea pigs.

Christie Bielss

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