If you are a parent of small children, you have been on the receiving end of this particular nugget of wisdom. It has been offered by sweet old ladies in Wal-mart, by your own parents, and by your spouse. Usually its a sentiment that is supposed to make you relax when you are reaching the absolute end of your patience rope.
Truth time: I rarely feel eased or mollified or calmed or relaxed by the statement.
On the good days, when the kids are being their regular amount of wild, and someone reminds me that its only a few short years until they are grown, I think something along these lines: "Yes, I am sure I will be sad when they are grown. But they aren't grown right now, and right now I'm sad that they spilled sticky juice on my newly mopped floor."
On the days when they have long since frayed my very last nerve, my thoughts are even less forgiving. "Oh sure, I can imagine that I will miss cleaning up potty accidents, and refereeing games, and breaking up arguments, and listening to complaints about the food I prepared, and getting black eyes and fat lips from snuggling gone wrong. NOT."
I'm in the process of potty training my baby (who isn't a baby at all; he's three) And all I can think is "I can't wait till this is over and I NEVER have to potty train another child!"
My mom reminds me not to wish his life away, but I swear, if I could, I totally WOULD wish the next month to be accomplished, so I don't have to send him to the toilet every half hour, and sit in the floor singing made up songs about potty time. I may regret it someday...but I can't imagine that now.
My two youngest are on this kick where they absolutely MUST snuggle with me in my bed before they go to sleep at night. If I lose track of time and it gets to be too late for "snuggle time" they both go into nearly uncontrollable fits of crying and begging.
You think its sweet? Well, it might be if they didn't use the time to try to tickle me, or burrow under my quilt to make forts, accidentally elbowing me in the stomach or kicking me in the shins in the process, or beg me to tell them stories and then refuse to listen once I start.
When Clay was 6 (he's 9 now) he went through the exact same faze. He HAD TO HAVE special snuggling time at the end of every day. I was pregnant with Gabe at the time, so it was considerably more difficult to hold him close and cuddle, but he didn't care.
He doesn't do that anymore. He outgrew snuggle time.
I am not going to lie, that does make me a little bit sad. And when I remind him that he used to like cuddling with his mom, he smiles indulgently and sits down beside me and endures my kisses and hugs...for about 15 seconds, and then he asks to play a game, or ride his bike, or watch television.
The problem isn't that all us moms of young children don't know, intellectually, that we will miss this "small kids, no sleep, nap time trumps everything, my diaper bag weighs 75 pounds, I can't get anything done EVER" faze. It's that we are honest to goodness too tired or overwhelmed to CARE.
It takes at least 5 minutes to sit down and recall the things we already miss from when our kids were even younger than they are now, and unless we lock the bathroom door while we are going pee, we don't have 5 minutes of silence in a day...EVER.
We are just treading water. We are striving, HARD, to keep it all together. And anyone who has ever been through that stage knows the way we feel, but they also know that we won't always feel that way, and that is why they remind us to slow down, and laugh at the antics, and cherish the snuggling, even if it comes with accidental fat lips or bruised shins.
But please, for the love of my sanity, don't tell me that someday I will be sad that my house is clean instead of messy, because the mess signifies the sweet little ones running around. Trying to imagine feeling that way will make my head EXPLODE.
Okay, I gotta go. My potty-training three-year-old just told me that he had a #2 accident in his pants.
Oh yeah, I can totally imagine missing this faze.
Insert all appropriate curse words here.