This evening, Thing #1 came out of his room. He couldn’t find the third chapter in the book and wanted me to turn to it for him.
I escorted him to his room, where he proceeded to complain about his itching back. Would I please oblige and scratch it for him? I began to scratch; he wallowed in itchiness. Somewhere in the midst of whining and fussing, the light dawned. Um…aren’t these things he could *kinda maybe* do for himself? How totally duped / trained am I to totally run back there and do that all for him?
I took his hand, pulled it across his chest, positioned his fingernails right over the offending spot, and said, “Hey, look at that. You can reach it too! That’s cool.” Quick kiss on the forehead goodnight, followed by a “Mom, can you pleeeeeeease get me an ice pack to put on here?” met by a tender yet firm “I love you.” (preceded by a long, internal sigh) and punctuated by the flipped switch. Heartless. I know.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Right on, sister! Tell ‘im!” I know who you are. You have kids like mine, the younger ones who will suck every last little bit of energy, patience and sheer brain power from your every living pore. Kids who will excite, challenge, entertain and frustrate you in the span of 30 seconds. Kids who drive mamas to go on strike or move to Australia.
‘Course, there may be some of you thinking, “You say that now. But pretty soon they won’t want you in there. Before you know it, you’ll be missing those nighttime exchanges. Kids grow up way too fast.”
Every problem can be a bad problem to have.
Every problem (tho’ sometimes you have to dig deeper than other times) can be a good problem to have.