As my oldest approaches her eighth birthday, I've discovered one of the reasons why our children growing up is truly a magnificent thing. (Also, why having a girl first is such a blessing.) As kids age, they start to get useful!! Who knew?
I remember we used to accuse my mom of having so many kids so she could have slaves. At the time it seemed plausible, looking back, it's laughable. There's no WAY my mom (or any mom) would have gone through what she did with us, for the minimal (very very minimal) amount of chores we did, which would have been infinitely easier for her to finish herself, in a fraction of the time, and with MUCH less headache. But, she wanted us to learn to work. She was a good mom.
Anyway, I've had a vastly different experience. My eldest seems to have a delightful defect in her makeup which makes her even more fantastic. I'd like to take this moment to brag. (Also to gloat that she's apparently missed the "parent's curse" where they say in a moment of rage, usually with clenched teeth "I hope you have a child just. like. you!") Anyway, Sariah seems to think that obedience is expected of her, and that helping around the house is just part of being a family. Then after I thank her for her help, she'll turn around and thank me for being such a great mom, and tell me how much she loves being a part of our family. So yeah. Brag. Brag. Brag, and more Brag.
(Before you get too jealous, I'm fearing that Essi will more than make up for the parent's curse (to the 10th power), and it's already quite obvious that these two children do not have the same tendencies when it comes to obedience and helpfulness. Also, she's at a phase where she's telling me a couple times a day that she doesn't like me, and that I'm "da wurst mom in da wurld!!" Yeah. 3 going on 13..)
Back to my brag blog. I have not had to do the dishes more than twice (if that) in the last three weeks. On top of that, I only have to ask her once to do it, and then they are done. Sometimes, I'll forget I've asked her to do them, and then I'll come back into the kitchen and she's already finished. (This is the opposite of how I was as a child. My poor mom would have to ask us over and over all day long if we'd done whatever chore we were supposed to have done that day, and we would have never started. (Except for Trista, she'd do it.) But, my mom was the queen of follow up. For weeks sometimes, and we couldn't play with friends till we were done. (I didn't play with friends much as a kid.))
Not only have I not done the dishes, I've only made maybe 3 of the last 50 peanut butter sandwiches that have been made in our home. She'll also lovingly make lunches for her dad, a chore I quit about the time he and I got married, and I'm happily gifting to her. (Hey, he's happy, she's happy, and I don't have to do it! It's a great thing... unless she decides to pull a prank on him for teasing her about her crush on Indiana Jones... but that's another blog entry altogether.) She'll clean her room, find Essi's socks, and she's recently started vacuuming. Granted, she's eight, and she doesn't do as well as would be expected for BYU cleaning checks, by Nancy the Nazi, (We probably shouldn't have called her that.) but hey, it's good enough, and I'm not the one doing it.
Can I just say that this is FAN-TAS-TIC!?!? It is!! This totally makes up for them growing out of the cute 2T outfits! I'm loving this growing up thing. I'm really looking forward to the day where I no longer have to change diapers, cart kids around like they're glued to my hip, or worse ~ in those (heavy) carseats, buckling them up and unbuckling them every time they get into the car, loading them into grocery carts, or finding my three year old hiding in the middle of a rack of clothing when I didn't put her in a grocery cart.
As we're having another baby in October, and he most likely won't be our last, (after all, I've got to breed myself some more slaves) I've still got a while before we're out of that stage. But, I'm thinking, as my older kids get older, maybe I can pawn off a bunch of those other non-fun jobs on them, and just spend time cuddling the sweet baby! Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!! (So, part of me feels guilty for thinking this way, a bigger part of me feels guilty for admitting I've had these thoughts..., and a bigger part of me still is really excited about the possibilities!)
Anyway, so yeah. Cherish your kids, love them while they're young, it's such a short time, and so brief, and you'll miss them when they've all grown up. At the same time, you can also enjoy the fact that kids growing up isn't as bad as it seemed!