Friday, September 21, 2012

I Was So Much Older Then, I'm Younger Than That Now.

Earlier this month I entered my late 30s! I love my birthday and I don't mind my age. But I feel like people that were in their "late 30s" twenty years ago were older than I am now. Or more sophisticated. Or something.

When my mom was 35 (a year YOUNGER than I am now), my older brother was bar mitzvahed. And she wore a long suede dress with shoulder pads (it was the 80s). While the style has changed, I don't even think I would know where to BUY this type of formal dress. And I certainly don't think I could pull off wearing one!

I wear jeans. A lot. And t-shirts. From Old Navy. Clearly, I am no fashion plate. And  once my niece asked me to save a hoodie for her "when I was done with it." I remember once, a long time ago, I would outgrow clothes and change out my wardrobe. But now I add to it and get rid of stuff that no longer fits (outgrowing in different directions, sigh...). But "done"? Not so much.

Maybe it is just me and I am an unsophisticated clod? But I don't think so. The picture in this post is from my senior year of high school. It is our class trip to Rocking Horse Ranch, so we aren't dressed up...but have you seen casual high school seniors these days?  Besides the advent of low rise jeans and the extinction of scrunchies, they all look like they are in their early 20s. Easily.

Is it just a function of aging that our parents and our kids both seem "older" than we were at their age? 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ahh, Innocence

When people ask me how old my kids are and I tell them six and four, a common response is, "What a great age!" I kind of figured people said this about any age with the exception of say the years between 11 and 20. But recently I have found myself agreeing with them AND I think I have even been able to put my finger on a few of the things that make it so:
  1. They can communicate. No more guessing about why they are crying or what they want. Of course, now we just have to figure out if they are fake crying or real crying. 
  2. Less stuff to lug around. No diaper bad, no strollers taking up trunk space on vacation. And, while I still have to pack lots of entertaining things - at least coloring books and the like are small.
  3. The snuggling. Sigh...the snuggling. I love snuggling with my babies. I know this won't last forever;  when LP tells me that I am "the snuggliest" and AK wraps her arms around my neck and showers me with kisses, I try to soak it all in (and not think about the 500 other things I need to be doing).
  4. Independent entertainment. LP and AK are finally at the point where I don't constantly worry about them being too quiet when they are alone in a room together. They can both be in the family room, making up their own projects or watching TV and there is only screaming about 10% of the time. Even better, they will wake up on a Sunday morning and just go downstairs together and leave us sleeping. Yesterday I went downstairs and found AK with a bowl of dry frosted mini-wheats and a cup of water, "Look mommy, I got my own cereal! Can you add milk to it?"
  5. The ability to listen. Not that they always do listen - selective hearing is, after all, a common trait of children, but LP and AK still ask permission for most things. They don't sneak candy (we still have a mostly full Halloween basket from last October!) and, while they don't always agree with our limits, they at least accept them. This may mean that they sometiems try to push the limits on what is a healthy snack (usually "something from the fridge" is healthy, "something from the pantry" is not; this mean cheez doodles - not healthy, even if they are cheesy. AK and LP don't really agree). 
  6. Life without guile. Building on number five, it amazes the Hoos and me that it doesn't occur to the girls to not ask permission. I will likely regret typing this. On a Friday night they may yell down, "Can we have a sleepover!?" when they should already be sleeping. If they just crawled into bed together? The Hoos and I would be none-the-wiser until we went to get ready for bed. 
  7. Bathroom stuff. Yay! Love not having to change diapers. They still yell out, "MOOOOOMMM! Will you wipe me!!" but it is better than the alternative. (And yes, we still deal with nightly pull-ups for AK.)
  8. They walk! While there is still the occasional request for "Uppy!" from AK, for the most part the girls walk everywhere. No strollers, no clinging. Sometimes I even get them to carry stuff! This is short-lived and I usually end up carrying the sweatshirt, the stuffed animal, the purse - but still, an improvement.
This is not to say that life with a six and four year old is perfect. They still have their moments of moodiness or crankiness. They can be difficult to communicate with and read and understand. But compared to where we were two years ago and certainly four years ago - I think we are just where we are supposed to be.

What do you think it the "perfect age"? 29?