Parenting can be a very discouraging business sometimes. Those little people with their own minds, bodies, thoughts, and feelings combined with the Not Completely Rational Factor (NCRF), occasionally combine (conspire!?!?) to create a perfect storm of unreasonable craziness that often sends me to the refrigerator looking at beer or wine. Not drinking it, but I just stare at it and fantasize about it and then figure out how many hours remain until my Parental Backup Unit (PBU) arrives home so that I may partake.
Parenting can also be a very inspiring, wonderful experience. (I'm glad to report that the ups outnumber the downs.) One such example of happy wonderfulness is when you hear your child repeating things you say--the things you want them to say, I mean--and doing it in a nice way. It gives me hope that they haven't just been tuning me out like the unseen adults in Charlie Brown.
My neighbor's two little boys, ages 5 and almost 3--same ages as my kids--are over for the afternoon. Believe it or not, sometimes 4 children is easier than 2 (provided some of those children eventually go back to their own home).
H (next door almost-3-year-old), whining: Ryan, I want my shoes off. Take off my shoes. Ryan can't you take off my shoes?
Ryan, maturing before my very eyes: H, I don't know how to help you. Why don't you stop whining and say 'Auntie Jenn, will you please help me take off my shoes?' and I'm sure my mom will help you.
H, coming over to me: Auntie Jenn, will you please help me take off my shoes? (in the sweetest non-whiny voice imaginable)
I nearly fell off my chair! Ryan listens to me! He really listens!