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Wishing Time Away: Are You Ever Guilty of Doing It?

By Meredith Carroll |


Petunia gives her baby sister Peony a first kiss

If I had my way, I would freeze this moment in time.

Well, not this exact moment, as my toddler, Petunia, is currently refusing to nap and my 10-week-old, Peony, clearly needs a diaper change and that means I would have to actually stand up and do it, as opposed to gazing at her coo softly as she fades in and out of sleep while happily snuggled in her little vibrating chair.

But in general, I am eating up almost every delicious moment with Peony and Petunia. It’s in those other moments that I sometimes find myself wishing time away, and then feeling drenched in guilt afterward.

I know how fortunate I am that Peony seems to be sleeping through the night for the most part – except for the pacifier nights. And when she’s not sleeping, she’s breastfeeding well, beaming on cue and cuddling like a literal bug in a rug – all tight and cute (you know, like ladybug-kind of cute, not cockroach-kind of cute). But those pacifier nights? They can drain me pretty fast.

While Petunia is a typical toddler (or maybe just a wee bit more toddler-ish), she’s my toddler, and I adore her more than the air in my lungs. But she seems to have it out for her baby sister subconsciously, and I can’t leave the room or even turn my back to her for a millisecond when I’m in the same room. And that’s pretty tiring.

It’s at those moments that I tell myself, “Oh, in a few months Petunia won’t pick on her sister so much.” Or, “In a few years they’ll be playing together like best friends.” Or, “In a few months Peony will figure out how to keep the pacifier in her mouth at night.” Or, “In a few years Peony will be big enough to ‘hug’ her sister in her sleep and scream “I love you” in her ear and see how she likes being woken up.”

And it’s that kind of wishing time away that I need to stop doing. Because I want to absorb what’s happening now — for better or worse — because it’s all happening too quickly. I love that Peony is smiling, but I hate that she’s old enough to smile. At nearly 11 weeks old, she’s not the newborn baby just home from the hospital who can’t focus her eyes. We won’t have that time back again.

Everything is happening so fast that the last thing I should be doing is wishing away these precious times. It’s just hard to strike an emotional balance in the less-than-Kodak moments.

Do you ever find yourself wishing time away with your kids?

Image: Meredith Carroll

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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2 thoughts on “Wishing Time Away: Are You Ever Guilty of Doing It?

  1. Julie says:

    Only in the middle of the 3am scream sessions due to reflux. LOL! I wished away all the time with my first son. I was constantly looking forward to the next milestone, never enjoying what was happening RIGHT THEN. Learned my lesson with that one. Not doing it this time.

  2. Shannon says:

    I totally agree. My little one is now 5.5 months old and I can hardly believe it! I totally wished away the typical newborn difficulties and constantly look forward to each new milestone. I am trying to just enjoy her in the moment now instead of wondering what’s next.

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