Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ah, Memories (of five and six)

Remember, G2?

G2 and I (S2) each have three children. When we met, we each had two, and their ages were staggered. Mine were (barely) 5 and 2. Hers were 4 and not yet 1. My oldest was was just heading into that most interesting and challenging of ages and stages: 5-6 years old.

"They" warn us about the twos. "They" give that age a name, the Terrible Twos. I was even warned that four was a challenging age, and it was very true, I shopped for a good pre-school program at that time. I who was dedicated to home schooling. I was desperate to get her out of the house, lol. But we got through the fours, and I thought it was going to be clear sailing for a few years.

I was so wrong. Eldest daughter, one of the smartest little girls you will ever meet, advanced into the most challenging of stages. I gave it a name, which cannot be accurately translated here. This approximates it: The ----ing Fives. You can fill in the blank, right? Just as with G2's eldest granddaughter, it was the 'I only want to play the game if I get to win it" age. The sitting in a chair, staring at a wall a LOT age. The age during which we mom's doubt our ability to raise our kids.

One day I called G2. I was worn out. I couldn't take eldest child anymore. I tried to sell her to G2. "I'll sell her to you, cheap. No? Ok, you can have her for free. Heck, I'll pay you to take her!" G2 wondered, what the heck was I doing, to make this kid so awful? (she admits to wondering) I wondered what I was doing, for that matter, because no one had warned me about the ----ing fives.

Eventually, eldest daughter cycled out of this stage. We had some memorable incidents, most notably, the Great Oatmeal Incident. In short, the Great Oatmeal Incident resulted in Eldest being served the exact same bowl of oatmeal at every mealtime, for two and a half days, until she broke down and ate it. And apologized for the original offending comment. Poor Eldest! Not to worry, it was refrigerated in between times, she was never in actual peril.

And then, G2's Eldest son cycled in. One day G2 called me, in utter weariness and frustration. "I'll sell him to you, cheap. No? Ok, I'll give him to you for free...". The young lad who had been the sweetest boy you could meet (angelic, even...he looked just like the little angel at the top of the righthand column, and is in fact her daddy), just the sweetest, had advanced to the ----ing fives. Suddenly she knew that I hadn't 'done' anything to my daughter the year before, just as she hadn't 'done' anything with her son. It just is what it is.

And so it went. A couple of years later I was trying to sell her my second daughter, and the year after that she was trying to sell hers. Our private joke, designed to keep us sane.

My granddaughter (child of eldest daughter) has seen this stage come and go (well, mostly go). And now it appears that G2's eldest granddaughter is gripped in the throes of the ----ing fives. You'll make it, Kira. We can swear to it! And we two moms (because I have always felt that I am a little bit your mom, too) really do feel for you during this tough time.

And No, we don't want to buy her, not even for free. Not until the age of seven, at least.


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