June 4 12

Last night we had dinner with friends who we don’t see often enough. You see, they are at that stage. The whole having-multiple-toddlers stage. I wish I could say that I have forgotten what that was like, as my youngest child is going to be seven years old this summer (ZOMG SEVEN. HOLD ME), but, no, I remember every single little detail. That look—you know that one? The one that screams “I have not had a hot meal in over 24 months.” I know the look, I wore it. For many, many years.

I don’t wear it anymore. The face I wear now is different.

The stresses I have are more emotional…less physical.

You see, we ran out of the house at 7:30pm, as we do every Sunday. Our oldest, at almost TWELVE (hold me again) is almost ready to babysit. We leave her with her brother and sister for about half an hour on Sunday nights until our weekly babysitter arrives. You see, we are preparing her. And us. Built-in babysitting. Folks, it does not get much better than that.

We arrived all happy-faced with Ticket to Ride in one hand and a bag of giant face-sized cookies in the other hand. We were excited to get down on the floor with the toddlers and have some delicious baby time. Is there anything cuter than trying to decipher baby-speak when the child does not belong to you? Is she saying please? Piece? Pasta? Princess? What did she want me to do to the train? It’s a mystery!

Our friends had the best of intentions—a nice bbq dinner, complete with super fancy lime and spicy dry rub for the corn, Ticket to Ride, dessert and tea. Sounds like a perfect evening, right? Except, of course, for the toddlers. One had an epic meltdown over a dumptruck. It was the saddest thing you could possibly imagine. He so loved that truck, but the truck was a little more complicated than his two-year-old hands could manipulate and the truck hurt his hand. Well, he took it personally, as little children often do, and the love relationship turned into a love/hate relationship which, of course, resulted in said epic meltdown.

My husband and I sat there, remembering.

As we watched our friends’ meals grow colder and colder and colder as they tag-teamed the bedtime routine. We remembered those days.

As our friends searched for diapers, we remembered.

As we saw kitchen counters covered with pacifiers and bottles and sippy cups and floors scattered with toys in various primary colors. We remembered those days.

As we sat and had ourselves a private romantic meal while our friends were on baby duty, complete with multiple trips up and down the stairs, we remembered.

And I was tired just looking at my lovely friends.

And then I said something I never thought I would say.

I love vasectomies.

(I wish I knew the origin of the image so I could give proper credit and so I could send them a bill for the new keyboard I had to buy after the whole coffee-out-of-the-nose situation)

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  1. My youngest is only 3, but already I’m at the stage where I have NO desire to go backwards. I may get the twinges when I see a delicious newborn, but that lasts all of about 2 or 3 minutes, until I remember being up all night, making formula, changing countless diapers… My middle 2 are 13 months apart. I could never imagine going back to those early days. I love my babies more than anything, but I AM DONE!

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    Comment by Cynthia on June 4, 2012
  2. But you will get to go through it all again when I move up there to have my baby and you’re the only one I know! :)

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    ali replied on

    Oh, I’m FABULOUS with other people’s babies!

    Remember how much I wanted those Amrani twins??? YUM.

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    Comment by Kristabella on June 4, 2012
  3. Ahhh I feel for your friends, only because that is exactly where my husband and I are right now, though we now it gets better or easier bc my daughter will be seven this summer too!

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    ali replied on

    It TOTALLY gets better. I am proof of that. Hee!

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    Comment by Cinamongirl17 on June 4, 2012
  4. Wow. That photo is hilarious. We have several friends who are in that baby and toddler stage of life and I’m always surprised when they ask us if we miss it. It’s really hard to keep that horrified look of ‘Holy crap, no way!’ off our faces.
    Don’t get me wrong. I love my kids and now that they’re 7 and 10, I think there’s that rosy glow surrounding their early years where you choose to remember the good things and the bad becomes a funny story you recount over wine with your mommy friends.

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    Comment by Carolyn on June 4, 2012
  5. The whole built-in babysitter thing is truly fabulous. My daughter is 15 and has been babysitting her brothers (now 11 & 9) for about four years. It is one of the greatest things that ever happened to me.

    I’m like you & love OTHER PEOPLE’S babies. When I’m snuggling my nephew or a friend’s little one, someone will say, “Makes you want another one, doesn’t it?” And I emphatically reply, “NOPE!” Because I can hand this one back and sleep all night in my own bed. It’s awesome.

    Teen- and tween-age crap aside, I’m a much more coherent person now that my kids are older!

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    Comment by buffi on June 4, 2012
  6. That photo is so hilarious! And I totally agree. Everyone says when your kids are little “enjoy it now because you will miss this” Um no. I don’t miss the baby and toddler stage one bit. The only part I miss is being able to hoof them over my shoulder when they are melting down and get the he** out of there because now they are too big to do that, but they still melt down all the time sadly.

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    Comment by Kathy on June 4, 2012
  7. 8pm is late for toddlers !! Your friends must be crazy to expect anything other than total melt-downs. Hopefully they will figure out that it’s manageable – but have to either have you over after kids go to bed or early in the day. Just asking for trouble!

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    ali replied on

    Um. Okay. I am not exactly sure how you *know* what works in their family as far as timing for bedtime goes, since, you know, every kid and every family is different.

    I’m pretty sure they are two of the most capable parents I know.

    I wasn’t judging them…I wish you wouldn’t either.

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    Comment by Nicole on June 4, 2012
  8. Its not so bad, mine are 5 & 3 so we just past that stage, for the post part. But I would do it again in a heart beat.

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    Comment by Corey Feldman on June 5, 2012
  9. When my last baby was born I asked the nurse to strap my husband to the bed beside me and get him a Vasectomy. Now, my niece has a baby girl that I get to cuddle and watch as her and her husband go crazy trying to figure out why she’s crying.

    Vasectomy. Best invention ever.

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    Comment by Kelly on June 5, 2012
  10. This is why I need to be able to afford an au pair when I have a child.

    [Reply]

    Comment by Avitable on June 6, 2012
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