Saturday, April 9, 2011

P is for Pisghetti

We don't get a lot of mispronounced words around here anymore. In fact, our child says crazy things at this point like, "Mom, I'm ok, I just got something caught in my trachea for a minute. It's gone now." Right.  Maybe it's statements like these which make me feel like I've got a 4 going on 10-year-old that sometimes tempt me to cling to some of those hilariously wrong earlier toddler words.

So, when my son, who is recently obsessed with articulating the first letter of every word he says, said at dinner, "Mom, P is for pisghetti," I unashamedly shook my head yes and told him he was right. In fact, pisghetti does start with P so I wasn't lying. I just can't bring myself (and my husband feels the same way) to tell him the word is actually 'spaghetti'. Some part of me wants to hang onto at least a few small parts of young childhood.

As I was thinking about this desire to maintain some vestiges of toddlerhood, I found myself in the middle of a conversation with a parent of a baby. He mentioned that he really treasures the time he has with his son at 4 am in the morning. In my head, I was thinking "This guy must be totally unhinged!" Maybe his kid sleeps well for the most part or is what one would call a low-maintenance baby but about the only thing I treasured about 4 am time with my son at that age was the fact that I had some small, if delusional, glimmer of hope that he might go back to sleep at some point and I wouldn't have to be in a total coma the next day. 

I can honestly say that I did not have big philosophical musings in the middle of the night or think about how much I would miss it some day when he didn't need me in the wee small hours. I waited for those days, I longed for them, I prayed for them. And now they are here. And they are everything I dreamed they would be.  I don't look back and miss middle-of-the-night feedings, I rejoice now in the fact that I'm pretty well-rested most of the time and usually, if I'm not, it's because I've made that common parental mistake of treasuring my quiet evenings so much that I extend them way too late! I'm very thankful for the now of parenthood.

So, yes, I'm going to hang onto pisghetti for a little while longer, but I'm also grateful for the little man that this kid is turning into. His thoughtfulness, his concern for people(he could barely play soccer this morning after one of his Tiger teammates got hurt because he wanted to make sure he was ok), his random and heartfelt declarations of how he feels about family and friends, his incessant need to know the right word for everything and exactly what that word means and his total obsession with anything lego. I'm in no rush for him to grow up like I was when he was a baby.  And while I'm occasionally tempted to regret not treasuring his infancy a little more, I've given myself a lot more grace in parenting in recent years and let myself just admit that while I may not have been the best parent of an infant, that God has given me some pretty great gifts that mesh well with my 4-year-old.

So, bring on the legos and the Mighty Tigers...bring on the nights full of sleep and the ridiculously complicated conversations over pisghetti and meatballs.  I'm loving this.