*I* want

Anyone who has children (or even a significant other) knows what it is to be needed- to have something that someone else wants. In my experience living with a toddler especially, these “things” that I have (or am perceived to have) are usually demanded requested  of me several {hundred} times each day. Take yesterday morning as a good example, it went a little something like this:
Eleanor was awake by 5:45 am (early for anyone, even her). She came into our bedroom. “I want up.” So, into bed she comes and snuggles in next to me. “Scratch my back.” It’s too early, I hope she might settle in for a few minutes- let me keep my eyes closed just a little longer- so I scratch. (10 minutes, maybe, pass.) “Let’s go downstairs, mommy.” Up and at ’em. Before the coffee pot is even turned on: “I want cereal.” Damn it. I forgot to buy more yesterday. I tell her this. She is NOT happy. On go our shoes, and we are out the door headed to the grocery store (thankfully it’s less than a half a mile away and I’m feeling generous). While standing in the cereal isle: “I want two. NO two.” This is not happening; we settle on one. “I want some now.” I convince her that waiting until we pay and get home is best. We’re home. “I want some cereal, mommy.” (As if I’ve forgotten.) I get her fed, dressed (accompanied by dozens of other “I want” or “I need” requests). I finish getting dressed and come back downstairs. {Her father is headed out the door: “Hun, where’s my wallet?”} “I want my flip flops, mommy.” “Where is my baby? I want her.” I finally get us into the car. “I want some pistachios.” (This child has a memory like an elephant: several days ago we had some pistachios in the car.) “I want some water.” “I don’t want to go to school.” “I want some gum.” “I want my daddy.”

For just one day – one stinking little 24 hour period – I want to be the toddler in my house; the one with the hundreds of requests that, after being told to ask for them in my “normal voice” or “with my polite words,” has them met (at least the reasonable ones). And here they are, in no particular order:

  • I want a foot massage two hour long full-body massage.
  • I want my old body back.
  • I want a child that sleeps in past 6:30, and a bladder that let’s me sleep that late.
  • I want a housekeeper.
  • I want a quieter dishwasher.
  • I want thousands of readers (and commenters) who hang on my every word; I want to get paid to do this for a living.
  • I want more patience, more grace, less fear.
  • I want to be able to eat as much ice cream as I want and not care about what it does to my body.
  • I want time to go running, practice yoga, sit and have a cup of coffee with a friend.
  • I want to go back to Paris with my husband; just the two of us.
  • I want to feel excited each morning, fulfilled at the end of each day.
  • I want to have more compassion for my husband; for myself.
  • I want to raise children who are active and engaged members of society who find and follow their passions.
  • I want to remember that there is always someone less fortunate than me.
  • (And, let’s be honest) I want my family to want me.

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5 thoughts on “*I* want

  1. This is why I love hanging out with toddlers. They are so clear about what they want and need, and they don’t let much deter them. Even if there’s a good chance they might not get what they want, they’ll generally go for it anyway. Have to admire that kind of persistence! I think if we can learn a lot from toddlers, and it’s not a bad thing that all of their “wanting” and “needing” can put us (back) in touch with our own needs and desires. I’m always encouraging Moms (and Dads too) to find ways take care of themselves and make sure they get some of their needs met, because otherwise the well runs dry and there’s less to give to those very precious children who are so much in need of so much nurturing!

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    1. You are so right Lisa- they are very clear on what they want, and it is SUPER important for parents to take the time they need to recharge and recenter. This is something that I have not been good about, although I look forward to the day when I can say “family, I need to go for a run (pregnancy #2 is drawing fast to a close).” Your comment also makes me think of something I heard recently about how infrequently women negotiate for themselves. it is something that men (typically) are very comfortable doing and that women do for others, but rarely to meet their own needs. We figure, if we deserved it we would have it. NOT TRUE. We need to ask! So moms everywhere- let’s take a lesson from our kids!
      Thanks for sharing, Lisa!

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  2. Ditto what Kim and Lisa said, you sound like you’re about to lose it. (kidding) I’ve got my own list…and the saddest thing is that my husband gave me one of those coupon books (a massage, a night out, etc.,) and I can’t find it!!! Serously, take care of yourself. Get away for enough time for you to be LONGING to see your girl again. That’s really good for both of you.

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