Wednesday, January 6, 2010
My first piece of evidence: Big Boy has recently decided that he will not deign to eat dinner, regardless of what is served to him. Whether it be such adventurous cuisine as tofu burritos or eggplant parmesan or more standard fare like macaroni and cheese or PB&J, he categorically refuses to eat.
Some more evidence: Tiny Baby is an excellent sleeper, especially for an eight month old infant. Nevertheless, he seems occasionally scandalized by the suggestion that he lie in his crib and sleep, even when he is obviously tired. Big Boy, too, protests his naps now and then, even though he routinely sleeps three hours in the afternoon and eleven hours at night.
And I want to tell them: do you know how much I would love to be served nutritious, well-balanced meals three times a day complete with fruit (pre-sliced) and veggies (gently steamed)? To never lift a finger in their preparation or clean-up?
And I want to warn them: when you get old like me, you will be tired all the time and naps will be few and far between.
And I, the war-weary mother, want to ask them: Do you know how lucky you are? Your worries are few. Your "jobs" are to play, to absorb, and to explore. The only expectations of you are that you eat, sleep, pee, and poop. And when you do these things, praise rains down upon you. Enjoy it while it lasts, boys!
And then I think of a little girl with long brown hair and glasses. A little girl who refused to eat meat, who subsisted for several years on egg noodles and American cheese. A little girl who, in spite of being a champion sleeper, stayed awake some nights conjuring imaginary worlds in her head or exploring books with the flashlight she had secreted under her covers. A good little girl who nevertheless tried her parents' patience.
And she is tired now. Tired from spending more time preparing healthful meals than eating them. Tired from spending more time convincing other people (small people) to nap than actually napping herself. Tired from the business of adulthood.
But she is wise, too. Wise from the lessons she learned as a child, in a youth of asserting herself, of resisting the easy, of pushing back against the right-in-front-of-her. Strong from practicing adulthood even as a kid.
Knowing what you do now about adulthood, would you choose to go back and relive your childhood?
Image: A Child Sleeping by Alessandro Zangrilli via Wikimedia Commons. Image is in the public domain.