Parenting is all about the stages, isn’t it? There’s the pregnancy bit and the waiting till your baby arrives.
Then you enter the first stage of labour, followed by the second and wait a minute – there’s a third stage??
Shoulda read the small print.
Along comes the sleepless stage followed by the regression stage. But there’s loads of those. I won’t list them all out here but a bloody good example would be when your baby finally sleeps through the night and you hardly dare hope they might continue with this good behaviour. And they do! You finally relax a month later and bam!
Regression. A developmental leap or something. I don’t know, I’ve lost all of my baby jargon but I do remember regressions. It’s the sleep regression where they decide they’ve had enough of this sleeping through lark thank you very much and want to wake up at the crack of dawn again.
It’s great fun. Not.
Roll on the teething stage. The weaning stage. The solids stage. The crawling stage. The cruising stage. The slapping (you) stage. The pulling of hair (yours) stage. The walking stage. I’ll only eat beige food stage. I’ll only eat cardboard stage. I’m afraid of everyone and everyone stage.
All of the damn stages and then they hit school.
I’ll leave that for another day.
It’s great though when things begin to level out. They can put on their own coats. Get the shoes on the right feet. Click on their own seat belts. Carry a small load of washing to the washing machine for you. Nice things like that.
My favourite stages were when I didn’t have to sing like a mad woman in the car anymore at 5pm of an evening and little eyes were closing. When I could flush the toilet and feel secure in the knowledge it wouldn’t wake anyone up. When I knew I could leave the house for an hour or two alone and I wouldn’t be missed. Much. What I mean by that one is, they could help themselves to the fruit bowl or some yogurts in the fridge.
The latest and much welcomed stage is two of them are now able to fetch frozen bread from the freezer, toast it and put spread of their choice on it without assistance.
I surely do love that one!
But there is another one roaring up at alarming speed. The cinema. It was great when Smallest Boy was old enough to come along. He would sit happily for maybe an hour before becoming restless and wanting to climb on top of me to fall asleep. Really nice.
We would sit there, mother and four sons, watching the movie and everyone would come out all smiley and full of the joys of life because it was something
we they all wanted to watch.
But not anymore.
Oldest Boy is a ten-year-old with a sophisticated taste in his movies. Not for him The Jungle Book or The Chipmunks or Capture the Flag.
That ship has sailed thank you very much and if he is forced along to watch something that is not of his choosing I am assailed by a barrage of complaints about how unfair his life is and how he’s bored with that kind of stuff now.
I understand his pain. I do. I thought I would never get out of the cinema that time we went to see the thing with the minions in it. I thought The Good Dinosaur was forty minutes way too long. I didn’t love Frozen at all. Oh wait. They saw that with someone else. Brave was only ok.
So I understand. I do.
But if I have to suck up the crap films, I am not doing it alone and he’ll have to join me.
Either that or stay at home.
Where I’ll be this Saturday movie night with the three younger ones watching Chipmunks: The Road Chip and crying into my wine as I do so. While he is off on an overnight camping trip with his rugby buddies.
Did I tell you I was off the wine for a while enjoyed two glasses at the Communion last weekend? No? Well I was and I did.
I would stay off it this weekend too but there’s high pitched voices ahead and annoying songs going to be sung so I’ll need to dilute the pain somehow.
Yeah, so stages. Dontcha just love ‘em?