People just love to say “just you wait…” don’t they? Doesn’t matter what the conversation, if it’s to do with children there is always a “just you wait…”
Sometimes it’s like being with sodding Eliza Dolittle!
“She throws all her food on the floor!” “Just you wait (Henry Higgins) ’til she’s three!”
Newborn won’t sleep? “Just you wait (Henry Higgins) until she’s potty training and wets the bed three times a night!”
Baby won’t be put down? “Just you wait (Henry Higgins) ’til she’s mobile!”
Toddler having tantrums? “Just you wait (Henry Higgins) ’til she’s a teenager!”
It’s like there’s always something worse around the corner. A parent can’t have a little moan nowadays without hearing about what “horrors” await them.
I’ve been tempted a few times with friends that have new babies to say “just you wait…” but its a phrase that I’ve cut out of my vocabulary altogether because it’s just not helpful
How I wish now that Eden is a toddler that I had treasured the newborn days more. Instead of worrying about getting “stuff” done while she napped, I should have done more cuddling. Nowadays I don’t get to get “stuff” done because my mouth utters a never ending stream of “DON’T TOUCH THAT!” And “WHAT DID YOU JUST PUT IN YOUR MOUTH?” Followed by trying to fish something out of Eden’s mouth while she clamps her jaw down like some kind of dog and says “nooooo”. Or repeatedly “answering” the phone that she inserts INTO my face.
Fact is, though, I’ve realised that people don’t want to know what’s around the corner. Hearing “just you wait…” doesn’t help. It doesn’t make someone appreciate their position and it doesn’t make them feel any better either. People used to say “just you wait until she has tantrums” and, now that she does have tantrums, the fact that people said that makes no difference. I knew there would be tantrums. Everyone who has kids knows that there will be good days and bad days.
Don’t get me wrong. I miss my sleepy newborn – I do. I miss being able to plop Eden down in the Poddle Pod and go for a pee instead of having to fence her in her room and hoping she doesn’t scale the baby gate or the wardrobe or shout so loud that the neighbours think we are killing her or she’s being eaten by one of the dogs. But between all those frustrating moments are the amazing ones. Yes, she has tantrums. But, guess what? She talks. She says actual words. She says “mummy” and “mama.” Sometimes I can even get a “luff you.” She squeals when “Raw Roll” (Paw Patrol) comes on the TV and makes me crack up laughing shouting “DIE DIE! (Skye…) and “MOUSE!” (Mickey). The tantrums are a very small part of a little girl who is turning out to be amazing. I love every part of this child that Amy and I brought into the world – even her fiery, defiant streak and her ability to poop the second you get a clean nappy on her. It’s all part of what makes Eden our little girl – even if she does have an all out screaming tantrum with real tears because I won’t let her share my curry…
I’m sure one day I will miss this age too, because there will be a new set of challenges that are not better or worse, just different. New things take some getting used to and kids change every single day – sometimes I swear they do it just to keep us on their toes. Who knows what is round the corner.
I think we need to switch our phrases. Let new mums moan! Let veteran mums moan. Let dads and grandmas and aunts and uncles all moan if they want to. Sometimes things in life are worth a whinge and it’s good to get that out. It’s not the pain olympics here – telling someone who shared their woes with you how much “worse” they’ll have it in a year or so does not help. And in a lot of ways, it’s just not true.
So, when folk tell you how hard they are finding something, don’t say “just you wait…” Go right ahead and tell them you remember. Tell them it did suck. Tell them it will pass. And most importantly, tell them that they are doing a bloody good job. Because that’s what I needed to hear when things were frustrating me – that it would pass and that I was doing everything I needed to do.
Support your fellow parent, because we’re all the same really.