growing beyond me

17 Apr
It is my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite blogger friends, Larry from me myself and kids. He is a high school English Teacher, Free-lance writer, tutor, father of two children, sports enthusiast and a blogger since the Summer of 2011.
I have been stalking following him for a while now and I am always amazed of his ability to perfectly put his thoughts into writing.
Enjoy Larry’s wonderful insight on bath time with the young ones:
It was Friday afternoon. My wife was harried as she was working from home while trying to prepare for the oncoming Sabbath.
Being the wonderful husband that I am, I asked how I could help. “You get the children bathed,” she instructed as if a quarterback barking orders to the rest of the team. “Anything else,” I inquired. I told you I was a wonderful husband. Anyway, the quarterback had no more instructions.
She did not realize she had given me the easiest job.
Some of you may be scratching your heads and thinking, “Easy? This one crazy dad.” You are conjuring up images of children who loathe the bath. They need a countdown, a staredown, and ultimately a rundown to get them into the tub. Then, when they are in the tub, they splash around like a fish who is out of water. When it comes time to actually wash them, they are furious for the interruption to their playtime. By the time, you get them out of the tub and brush their hair – another battle, you are sweating, tired, and trying to figure out who got the most wet – you, the floor, or your child.
Well, actually, I am completely sane.  You see there were times when the scene I described above occurred. As I was cleaning up the bath, I was left wondering just how often I really needed to bathe the children. Would once a month be enough?
I am here to tell you that those days have passed my friends. And it is now smooth goings.  My children don’t require the countdown. In fact, they often go into the bath themselves and seem to find the bath relaxing. They wash themselves (well, they claim to and they don’t smell, so I am inclined to believe them) and get themselves dressed after getting out of the bath. By the way, they seem to think underwear is optional, but that’s another story. Okay, the bathroom is still a mess when they are done but cleaning it up is much easier and less unpleasant when you don’t have to go through a bath experience like the one noted above.
Now, I have to make a confession. You know how you are excited for your child to move forward in his/her development? You think to yourself, “I can’t wait till I don’t have to burp or feed or diaper or carry etc.” Then suddenly, the child is past the stage. You are happy for the child and for the easing of the burden of rearing your children. Yet, part of you misses it. Part of you feels nostalgia and sighs and sees a glimpse of the child growing up and needing you less and less.
I feel it too. So, I offer my children assistance, “you okay in there?, you need any help?, you want me to sit in here and wait for you?”. Normally, it’s a negative. So, I move on feeling both happy and sad. My boys are growing up and my days as a father to small children is nearing an end.
Well, I have done my job on the busy Friday afternoon. The boys are bathed – with little thanks to me. I wonder what they will need from me next.
Larry D. Bernstein

10 Responses to “growing beyond me”

  1. wonderlandbytatu April 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    Thank you Larry for another funny, yet sensitive & nostalgic post!

    • April 17, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to be your guest and being so patient.

  2. elskenewman April 18, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    Lovely post, the underwear bit made me giggle. I often think how nice it would be when Elisabeth is out of nappies and then I bring myself back and ensure I enjoy things whilst she is so little rather than wishing my time away.

    • wonderlandbytatu April 18, 2013 at 8:41 am #

      I totally agree. The optional underwear part was my favorite too.
      Time goes by so quickly. I must admit that I sometimes miss the convenience of the nappy (during nigh time when she wakes me up to go pee pee)!! Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting on Larry’s

  3. patgarcia April 18, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    I can feel where you are at. Those times that seemed so hard and trying are beginning to turn into gold and join your treasure chest of memories.

    I never had children, but I have many godchildren, and one or two of them visited me often. The nicest times, when I look back at their visits, were the times when I had to clean their fannies, bathes them, and when they would come to my bedroom door and asked if I was afraid of the storm. Then, they would climb in bed with me and fall asleep, wildly tossing about in the bed in their sleep. Of course I didn’t get much sleep and thought to myself, I will be glad when you grow up.

    Now they are grown and whenever they visit, I see the tiny kids who have given me warm memories to remember.

    Thank you for such a heartwarming story. It brought up a memory from my treasure chest.


  4. motherhoodisanart April 18, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Oh boy! Great post! This is so true! I am so missing those “baby days” already even though I know I was so exhausted!!

  5. Did That Just Happen? April 18, 2013 at 9:39 pm #

    Great story! Love how they are growing! I’m guessing that since they are still taking baths that they haven’t inherited any morning shower phobias? 🙂

  6. Ellie at Emerald Pie April 19, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Someone said recently that when you are rearing kids “the days are long but the years are short.” How true this is. With an almost 13 yo I now know how quick those baby years pass….

  7. Nancy April 19, 2013 at 2:57 am #

    I’ve been feeling that a lot lately. Every time I look at my little guy climb up on the counter and get his own cup I think, “when did you grow up?” I’m glad he’s self-sufficient, but I’m sad that he’s not by baby boy anymore.

    I like that part about how often you really have to bathe your child. I’ve often thought the same thing. Would once a month cut it? 😉

  8. ateachablemom April 19, 2013 at 3:20 pm #

    Larry, you outdid yourself. I love this one! As you know, our bathing ritual with our 4 year old is a thrice-weekly drama. I have also considered not bathing her more than once a quarter. But … as you so beautifully expressed, there’s a big part of me that will miss these days/performances and my heart hurts thinking that my “days as a parent to small children” are nearing an end. Beautiful, funny post.

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