4 more years. 4 more years.
It’s the mantra I tell myself on a daily basis. It’s my, “I think I can.”
In four years, my children will be 9, 6 1/2, and 4 1/2. That means everyone will be pretty much self sufficient. It means no more diapers. It means that I will be down to only one tuition payment. It means our cars will both be paid for. And it means that vacations will be more of a vacation and less of a relocation. I’ll be the first to say that having our third child was a huge surprise. He is loved beyond compare, but we never even considered having a third child. We were so close with two. I could practically see the light at the end of the tunnel. We would be down to one tuition payment and no diapers. Life would be easy!! But the baby put a delay on our plan. That is ok. We are now back on the 4 year plan.
People always say that you should enjoy the babies and this toddler time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it. But only so much. Tell me the last time you found wiping poop butts enjoyable. Or when was the last time you thought, “Oh how cute my kid just used my shirt as a napkin and now I’m covered in yogurt!?” Or, “This tantrum over nothing is just the best.” Yeah, those are the moments that I just want to fast forward. I don’t long for them. I will not miss them. And when they are happening, I question my sanity and parenting skills. I try to embrace these moments. Everyone says I will long for them or that compared to the teenage years, this part is easy. Apparently, the grass is always greener.
We recently came back from a beach vacation. Yes, it was a lot of fun. It was also exhausting. The baby wouldn’t sleep in the pack and play. The big kids were wide awake by 6 a.m. Going to the actual beach meant lugging way too much stuff only to have the kids want to leave after an hour. Lunch was at 11 a.m. and dinner was 5 p.m. And the one fancier dinner we tried to eat was not a complete disaster but also not a huge success. There were lots of tantrums. It was during this vacation that the “4 more years” mantra came to me. After seeing how easy it was to transport and handle the 5 year old, I looked at the infant and thought, “Yep. In 4 more years, you will make it much easier to travel.”
So here is my list of all the things I look forward to in 4 more years:
- my children being able to buckle themselves in
- finally burning my diaper bag and getting to use all the designer bags sitting in my closet
- not being tied to nap schedules
- no more strollers
- no more diapers
- no more sippy cups
- bye, bye crib
- children who are mostly self sufficient
- being able to walk out the door without checking to see if I have all the baby “stuff”
I know I will miss all the baby snuggles and silly toddler stage. I promise to look back at that time and think of all the happy memories. When I see a new mom, I will stare fondly at the baby and let that moment wash over me. Then, I will do a happy dance as I walk away with my small purse, knowing that stage is behind me.
4 more years.