Tuesday morning, I watched my son, Dean, receive his certificate for completing four-year-old kindergarten. It is official folks, my baby has grown into a little boy.
Dean will turn five in July, and I am struck by how fast five years actually passes by. It feels like he was an infant one week, a terrible two and three the next week, and then a no-longer-a-toddler little boy this week. Before I know it, he will be moving out or worse – dating.
Now that Dean is nearing five, he has begun acting like a teenager. He is now rolling his eyes at his father and me and getting very sassy. Keith says Dean looks like my mother when he gets sassy, and I can’t deny it, the sass is strong with Dean. It’s genetic, I’m pretty certain.
What happened to the age where kids still think their parents are awesome while learning to be self-sufficient and how to do chores? I want that stage. That is the stage that parent focus on while determining whether or not to reproduce.
I believe my mother, Dot Sexton, had a celebration the day my sisters and I were old enough to make coffee in the peculator. Daddy was ready and waiting with a spade and a bucket the minute we could tell Johnson grass from a marigold.
I am anxiously awaiting helping-with-the-laundry and unloading-the-dishwasher kid. However, maybe this new generation skips over the helpful and loving stage right into smart alacks. Lord help us all!
For example, Dean has a new thing – a new thing that makes me very unhappy. He has become an incessant know-it-all and butts into adult conversations with “No, it’s not” or my absolute favorite “No, it ain’t.” When I find out who taught him this new habit, there will be a reckoning.
And then there is the tattletale-telling side. He tattletales on his dad.
Dean: “Momma, Daddy won’t let me watch my show.”
Keith: “He’s coloring and not watching his show, so I changed it.”
Sometimes it feels like I have two children.
Dean does still have that sweet baby side to him as well. He still needs to be held when he hurts himself or when he is scared or tired. I can no longer pick him up, but I can still hold him on my lap.
While we are working on him sleeping in his own bed, he still wakes in the middle of the night and climbs into bed with Keith and me. I am usually awakened with an arm to the face or knee to the kidney, but I kind of like that he is still needs us.
Because I had two older sisters, I think I went through some of these phases faster than if I was an only child. I didn’t run to my parent’s bed if I had a bad dream or heard a bump in the night, I ran to my sister, Stephanie’s, room. She was a scary cat as well, so we helped each other through those traumatic thunderstorms.
I also don’t think our parents were as infatuated with their children as parents of today are infatuated with theirs. The Sextons were stoic people. We don’t have time for nonsense, and we are not sappy. Honestly, until my adult years, my sisters and I didn’t hug. Of course, that could be because that was part of our punishment as children when we fought.
“You three quit fighting. Now, hug your sisters.”
It was as if our parents asked us to hand over an organ. There was never a dull, or silent, moment in the Sexton house.
There is never a dull moment in the Ferguson house either. Raising boys is a whole different animal than raising girls. It seems to be messier and more prone to accidents. But I’m ready for anything. I’m fully stocked with Swifter Wet Jet and Neosporin and sunscreen. Yep, I’m like MacGyver mom.