Daylight Savings Time, otherwise known as parents personal hell, was this weekend. And because my four year old’s body does NOT understand what this whole “fall back, spring forward” BS is all about, that meant Sunday was especially challenging as he woke up at 5:00, thinking it was 6:00 and woke up the small animals that also do not understand this whole “get an extra hour of sleep” concept.
So it was way before dawn that I was awake, and throwing produce at the furry babies and cereal and milk at the human boy. And coffee at me. Lots and lots of coffee. And spent the rest of the day wishing it was alcohol.
Early wake ups mean less sleep mean cranky kids. By the time lunchtime rolled around my sweet little boy had dissolved into a puddle of cranky, whiny, crying mess of a child when he realized I would not let him eat Halloween candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A nap helped some but it still was a rough day. I was more than happy when bedtime rolled around.
And while in the moment I struggled with staying calm and kept reminding myself time changes are rough enough when you’re my age and able to understand what DST is all about (even if you don’t quite understand why we are still acknowledging this archaic tradition) I still try and remember he’s four and this is normal. Also? He won’t always be four. Very soon, sooner than I would like, he will be five. And six. And seven, eight, nine…it’s true what they say. It goes by SO fast.
I know this first hand because my oldest is talking colleges and life when she is no longer under our roof. In less than two years she will be done with high school and onto to starting her adult life. And while in the moment it seemed like we would never make it to this point, I look by and it seems to have flown by.
So I am cherishing the chaos that four year olds bring, reminding myself it won’t always be so hard to do things, pretty soon trips to the grocery store won’t include a plead for cake and ice cream and “just ONE SMALL toy car Mommy, pleeeassseee?” Pretty soon trips to the store will mean I go by myself because he’s off being a little boy, then a bigger boy, followed by a teenaged boy and eventually, a grown-up boy who forgets to call his mother unless he needs something.
Cherishing the chaos helps when times are tough, like this past weekend. No it didn’t mean I got more sleep. Three days later and I still feel behind, despite taking a nap almost every day (but I mean, this blog isn’t called “The Exhausted Mommy” for nothing). However when I stumbling half-awake trying to throw milk and cereal at the four year old and get him settled in with a favorite show so I can (hopefully) doze back off on the sofa, or when I’m picking said cereal off the floor because he’s spilled it, or when I’m wiping up the spills because he tries to “help” me make dinner, or I’m dragging a whining, crying toddler out of the store because I won’t let him buy 16 flavors of ice cream (I really mean and said NO ice cream at all!), or when I’m picking up legos that find their way to the hall, the bathroom, and even my closet, I remember that pretty soon this will all end. And my baby will no longer be a baby, but all grown-up and hopefully I’ve done such a good job raising him he won’t need me around to do all those things.
And hopefully he still WANTS me around to do some of those things, like iron his shirts or make him his favorite meal, or even just hang out and chat with. Because at that point the chaos will be gone, and I will miss it. I know I will.
In the meantime, I will cherish my chaotic life and remind myself I can sleep when I’m dead. At least until someone wakes me up for something…