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Ahhhhhh, to be the parent of a 5-year-old AKA owning a miniature human being who has zero filter, hulk like mood swings, and lies better than most criminals. Sure, veteran parents warned me about the sleepless nights of newborns and the terrible tornado two's, but no one - not one of you -prepared me for the extremely complex and confusing fifth year of life. An age where a child lingers between baby and big kid. A time where your child can look at you, tell you he hates you and then accidentally poops his pants. No longer are his tantrums dramatic and easily curable, but now they are violent and almost demon-possessed like.
Of course there are amazing benefits to this age as well, but come on, do you really want to read about how much I love my son and how funny it was when he farted mid-dance party last night. Yeah, exactly, you don't. Why is it so much more fun to share the annoying traits of the little angels we've created? Easy, because this parenting job is hard as hell and if you can't laugh over the ridiculous shit that happens than you will lose your freaking mind. I find so much comfort in sharing a glass of wine with a friend and going on and on about how much both of our kids suck right now. To know their is another human out there dealing with a child who cries over his socks and laughs over sharting really gives me a sense of comfort nothing else can.
What is it about a child's foot that can be the cause of so much drama? Seriously, when talking to other parents, feet issues were one of the most common complaints. From ill-fitting shoes and incorrectly sewn socks to itchy toes and deadly smells, a child's foot can often be the cause of a full out floor tantrum. How can one child go about their day when the seam of their sock is not correctly lining up with their five little piggies?
How can we expect our little humans to walk properly when the tongue of their shoe is too hard or too soft? And are we out of our FREAKING minds to assume a five-year-old can sleep when their toes are rubbing against each other, I mean good Lord, who would create feet like that? Oh yeah, the good Lord himself. When it comes to asinine issues as such, my patience runs thin, usually resulting in a few mom moments that I'm not so proud of. Moments, that if heard by the wrong bystander, could possibly end me up in therapy or better yet handcuffs.
At first I found this quite hilarious, I mean what's funnier than a mini-you shouting insults that have zero connection to what you are actually talking about. For instance, the time my son and husband were arguing over cleaning up his toys. Instead of a sensible comeback like, "No, you clean them up, you're the parent," my son responded with an evil growl and a "Well, YOU SMELL LIKE POOP."
I mean kudos to you kid for being in touch with your sense of smell but unfortunately that has nothing to do with the matter at hand. There is also the 5-year-old favorite, "Well, you're a cry baby." Once again, how that ties in with our argument over more cookies, I may never know. After a few weeks of these confusing and irrelevant insults I find myself wanting to help the little booger think of more creative and appropriate comebacks while simultaneously wanting to slap the kid upside the head for talking to me like that. Ahhhh, such an easy job said no parent ever.
Bedtime Stories and Excuses
I'm not talking about the bedtime stories I read to my five-year-old, but rather the short stories he likes to tell me, every five minutes, after I've tucked him in, over an hour ago. Stories like, "Mom, why am I so thirsty all the time?" "Well, I don't know son, but try sipping the cup of water I leave by your bed, every night, for the last five years."
Minutes later I can always expect a "Mom, I have to tell you something important." Only to find out that what he had to tell me was either forgotten or consisting of two-minute stutters about absolutely nothing. Then there is always the infamous, "my sheets feel weird, my blankets cold, I don't like my pajamas" but my most recent favorite is the "my _____ smells." That's right folks, my five-year-old is so desperate to delay sleep that he now calls me in to discuss the smells of all the things surrounding him. From his breath or his pillow to the very air he breathes, every night we must uncover what the scent is, where it's coming from, and how to make it go away.
So, before I had children I used to watch parents run around chauffeuring their kids from school and sports to parties and playdates with no time for anything in between. I distinctly remember thinking, "When I have children I will never let their social activities run my life." Oh how naive I was.
See, my five-year-old has a lot of friends, and those friends need to have playdates, add that to the three, yes three, sports he plays, the weekly birthday parties, school functions, and doctor visits and you have yourself a calendar that is similar to a CEO. Of course I'm glad my kid is already cool and sure I think it's great he wants to try different activities, but good God who made this kid the ruler of my life?
Oh shit, that's right, I did.
As moms we all know we have the ability to say no, but right when you consider not letting little Benjamin sign up for baseball with all his other friends something called mom-guilt creeps up. Before you know it your mouth begins to form the words, "Sure babe, you can play baseball this season...and soccer...and jiu jitsu."
Lies, Lies, and More Lies.
In a child's fifth year of life they begin to mature in many ways. They begin to think more like young children rather than toddlers. Sure tantrums stick around and the occasional potty accident, but for the most part that baby phase of their life has come to an end. The cute little lies about poopy in his diapy and who colored on the wall are now replaced with more thought out tales. No longer does his face give away his untruthfulness with just a glance, instead now you must partake in a stare-off to see if what he speaks is the truth.
With most days spent in school, we no longer have the luxury of keeping an extra close eye on what they do, say, eat, and play. This new found freedom and growth has given my son the ability to create a decent lie and stand behind it. Take lunch for instance. In our school our kindergarteners are allowed to buy lunch which includes a few desserts and ice cream Fridays. Whoever thought this was a good idea, I sincerely hope you read this, because it was and is the WORST IDEA EVER! I am supposed to trust my little boy, who would choose funnel cake over his sister's life, with the choice of eating his chicken nuggets over this powdery fried delight? Yeah, effing right.
Now for the fun part. Thanks to technology I can see when and what he eats when he buys lunch. So when he comes home with a stained red and sticky mouth and tries to act as if he ate lunch and not the rice krispie and fruit rollup I know he did, nothing makes me happier than to look into his little brown eyes and play along. Sometimes, I just like to see how long he can keep the lie up. How persuasive he can be. I'll even go as far as asking for details. Was the chicken crunchy or mushy, burnt or golden, tenders or nuggets?
Sooner than later his story starts to get all mangled and all eye contact is long gone. This is when I like to shock him with my insider knowledge and convince him that mommy has special powers and knows everything. I usually give him one last chance even after I've revealed myself to fess up and come clean and for the most part he does but it still doesn't change the fact that my little sweet stinky boy tried to get one over on me.