Sunday, December 16, 2012

Younger Kids Vs. Older Kids and Mom Badges

Last night we went to a Christmas parade with some friends. We had a blast, got the family out of the house and doing some holiday activities, and we laughed.

But y'all should know by now I don't have one of those 'Here are pictures of our Christmas parade experience; Look how much fun we all had' type of blogs. Nope. Not at Inklings.

Our friends are our age, but they have a 2 1/2 year old daughter. We've been friends for a while now, get together pretty much every weekend, and while I've known that they have a younger kid and we have older kids, sometimes it takes a certain situation to bring out the true colors of the age difference between our kids...

Like a Christmas parade, for example.

Mom of Younger Kid: My friend came prepared with gloves for everyone (even my family), chairs, blankets, snacks, drinks, her camera (with memory card) and cash in case there were food vendors set up. She had a diaper bag bursting at the seams with anything she could possibly need, otherwise known as A Prepared Mom of a Toddler
Mom of Older Kids: Considering I haven't carried a diaper bag in 5 years and have kids old enough to fend for themselves, sometimes I forget I'm the mom and have to take care of them outside the home. I found some gloves in the pockets of my coat (that I haven't worn since last year), that I gave to The Girl because her hands were cold (The Ginger got a pair of gloves from our friend), we at least had jackets and scarves (thank goodness), I owe my friend $20 because I don't carry cash with me, and the memory card for my camera was conveniently sitting beside the computer... at my house. I'm now what's known as The Lazy Relaxed Mom of Older Kids.

Younger Kid: Completely happy with a $3 light up mini-sword and $1 licorice rope that a street vendor was selling as they walked by.
Older Kid: The Ginger wanted the big $5 light up sword, kettle corn, hot chocolate, cotton candy and
anything else that a street vendor walked by with, and the $1 licorice rope tasted funny according to both The Ginger and The Girl.

Younger Kid: Dancing to all of the music as the floats went by, waving frantically at the people in the parade, and just all around mesmerized by what she was seeing.
Older Kids: The Girl cracked 1 smile... ONLY 1 (we made note of it), and was embarrassed when one of her friend's mom who was walking with the Girl Scout troop in the parade waved at her and called her by name.

Younger Kid: Covered ears and slightly hid when the loud souped-up cars and motorcycles came roaring down the street, until she realized the sound wasn't scary.
Older Kids: Yelled at the top of their lungs when the loud cars came and clapped and screamed when they revved the engines and almost blew our eardrums out.

Younger Kid: Loved her time at the parade.
Older Kids: Would rather have been watching movies or playing video games in our warm home. How do I know? Because they told me when the parade was over.

I'm not trying to paint a picture that my kids are just full of bah-humbug during the holidays. Prior to the parade, we sat around and watched cheesy ABC Family holiday movies on Netflix. My kids LOVE doing that at this time of year. And there were things they enjoyed about the parade, but while they said overall they had a good time, they weren't terribly concerned with attending next year's parade.

Being the mom of older kids is so different than being the mom of younger kids. I remember the days when I had a diaper bag stockpiled with everything from diapers and wipes to antibacterial cream and bandaids to juice boxes and snacks, prepared for anything that could possibly come up. Once the need for a diaper bag passes to the wayside, I kept my purse stocked with Lego mini-figures in case The Ginger got bored wherever we were (you can still find a Lego or two in my purse to this day) and snacks. Then, when the kids become school-aged, you pretty much abandon any of this prepared ish and leave the house with your wallet and shopping list... and that's it.

While at one point I felt like the bad mom for not having what my family needed, I remembered that I was that mom in the past, and have already earned my Badge of Preparedness, so I could move on to the next Mom Stage. I've also earned my Survived the Terrible Twos badge, my Throwing Diapers Out the Window badge, my My Kids Make Their Own PB&J Sandwich badge (which means I can nap more, even when they are hungry because they can now fend for themselves), and my Go to Your Room badge, for those times that I don't feel like arguing with my kids, I can just tell them to go to their rooms and they actually listen.

Now to just prepare myself to earn the Kids with Cell Phones Survival badge, the Daughter Dating badge, the Kids Found the Porn Channel Survival badge and the Kids and Driving badge.

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6 comments:

  1. Very true. My kids are 14, 10, and 4. I've earned most badges and I have even earned some twice. By the time I had my youngest I needed to relearn some shit..

    Now that I'm in my advanced years (37 :-) I get to relax a bit. I don't have to be so prepared because I know that in the long run, its not going to matter if my kid had gloves or a five dollar sword. They are not going to remember that petty stuff. They will remember being together. They will remember the licorice tasting funny. They will remember how happy the two year old was. They will remember being a little bratty and the might even feel bad about it. They will remember that you and dad brought them out in the cold to a parade and some family time. I just made your kids and my kids interchangeable, but you get what I mean. Those badges are not so important....The most important badge is the "I was here with you and I raised you to be the best person you can be" badge.

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    1. I absolutely LOVE your reply. Thank you so much for it!! =)

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  2. I love reading your blog! This posting was a great remnder to cherish the moments i have with my 2 and 6 year olds while they are still impressed by magic and sparkles. And don't feel bad, today I forgot my diaper bag (I was getting cocky thinking I was a pro at this baby thing) and both boys had explosive squitters in their chairs at the pizza parlor AT THE SAME TIME! They rode home nekkid wrapped in my brand new still had the tags on cashmere cardigan and my favorite pea coat. Guess who will never forget the diaper bag again?

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    1. While I feel so bad for you (and your cashmere cardigan), that story is amazing. I laughed so hard.

      I've had to have naked children in the car several times when I was a new mom, lol. It's a rite of passage, I think. ;)

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  3. I am currently working my way through the Terrible Two survival badge... However, since getting married last year to a wonderful man with two (actually, really wonderful) children, I am going to be earning a few badges out of order. Currently working on the terrible two along with the Cell Phone badge.... We DID however already earn the *Son and friend found the YouTube Pron Channel*, so I may actually have a leg up on ya. LOL I was NOT prepared for that. Somehow, that conversation was thrown to us. He did everything we wanted him to do for weeks, though. So I guess it pays off.

    OH, dear... Did I mention they were only 10? (DISCLAIMER.... This was NOT at my house. He was at his mother's. Win!)

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    1. Oh, wow. So much for me to look forward to, lol. And double win on the porn finding not happening at your house!! =)

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