Right now we are going through some "difficult for us" phases with our kids. Phases that involve lots of crying at bed time.
Ava is having some issues that keep her up way too late at night. These are things that aren't just straight forward, "here's some Motrin and go to bed" kinds of things. This is hard for me. It makes me weary. I can't help but ask myself what I've done wrong in guiding the first six years of her little life.
Jaina has a mind of her own. She's still three and tests all kinds of boundaries. She's mischievous and likes to break toys. Just today, I heard the front door slam. When I went to see what was going on, I found that Jaina had put on her boots and hoodie and tromped over to the neighbor's house for milk and cookies, bare legs and all. It was -4 degrees today and it felt like -25. She also doesn't like to eat food that I cook. Tonight we had chicken. We had the same thing a couple of nights ago and she loved it. Tonight she said, "this chicken tastes like rainbows! EWW!" and refused to eat it. But then, of course, she wanted applesauce for dessert. She too has a bedtime routine that gets a bit tiresome.
Oscar's phase is to be expected. He can't talk. He says "mama" and points. He clings to me all day and melts when I tell him no. (which is often) He's really good at carrying random things around the house and it has me constantly picking up after him. He eats constantly but he eats nothing at all.
I know that none of this sounds horrible and most these things are a natural part of little people growing up but all of the little things add up. (It's also probably nothing compared to what we will be dealing with in another 10 years) Ack!
I'm learning that kids are constantly changing. If it's not one thing, it's another. Every week is a new battle, a new phase.
So, I've drawn one conclusion. Less is more.
Remember my favorite three year old who likes to break things?
Well, I'm tired of finding princesses with only one arm,
I'm tired of picking up toys day in and day out.
We encourage the kids to clean up too but the reality of it is that it's usually me that cleans up.
I'm also learning that we live in a world where "more is more."
Kids are not happy with more. In fact, it's the opposite.
A few days ago, we packed up the mini kitchen that I made for Ava's 2nd birthday and put it in the basement. I killed me to do it but they haven't missed it and I don't find random pieces of food laying around or frying pans under my bed.
I'm very tempted to pack up all of the princesses and figurines until they are ready for the responsibility.
My struggle is in thinking "Well what will they have to play with if I pack everything up? How will they learn? How will they have imaginative play?" Honestly, they have more fun with pillows and blankets. They play outside. They color. They read books.
This isn't a forever thing but right now, it's what I need to keep my sanity. I need peace. More toys don't bring peace....or thankfulness. I want my kids to be thankful for what they have.
So, when I'm tempted to buy the kids more "stuff" (like the Dusty airplane that I bought for Oscar last night and he absolutely loves. Haha), I need to remind myself of this:
Laura Ingalls Wilder had one homemade doll to play with and she was thankful for it.
I'm also trying to apply this to my own life because - less is more.