Things I Wouldn’t Do Again for One Million Dollars

The other day I was watching an acquaintance with her toddler, who is adorable but who is, also, a toddler, and it occurred to me that as much as I love my daughter, and have loved being her mother, and have felt privileged to be with her in the world, I would not parent a toddler again for one million dollars. Not for ten million dollars. There is not enough money in the world, in fact. The mere thought makes me break out into hives.

I know a teacher who loves the toddler stage, and I get, intellectually, why she does (“they’re so new to the world and they’re learning so much!”) but I also know that toddlers are insatiable pits of need who can’t be reasoned with, and for me the insatiable-pit-of-need-who-can’t-be-reasoned-with overwhelms the oh-how-cute factor. Possibly this is because Jessica’s toddler years came with way too many hospital rooms and I never ever want to have to hold a little one down again while doctors do unspeakable things to her. Or possibly it’s because I’m cranky.

But if something happened to my acquaintance, and it turned out that I needed to parent her toddler, then I would do it in an instant. So you couldn’t pay me enough to do it but there are circumstances under which I would. Go figure.

I wouldn’t live through high school again (and you can’t make me) and I wouldn’t date that engineer, and I surely wouldn’t go through that amusing train wreck of a career mistake I made ten years ago.

Not to say that I didn’t learn something from all of these things, just that I don’t want to have to suffer so much to achieve understanding.

What are the things you’d never do again, not even for one million dollars?

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A few of my favorite things

LESSONS IN MAGIC
A CERTAIN KIND OF MAGIC
THE IMPROBABLE ADVENTURES OF A MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN
DOJO WISDOM FOR WRITERS

1 Comment

  1. Funny you should mention this. I just spent the last 24 hours with my daughter and her brood ages 5 years, 3 years, and 3 months. They having been trading germs since Halloween and the baby has RSV, a nasty snotty ailment that has resulted in multiple Dr’s appointments, a virus that is making a usually happy cooing baby, sick.

    Thirty plus years ago, I was my daughter. I had a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a two year old and a newborn. I loved some of it, survived it all, and now have the best grown kids a mom could hope for.

    Would I do it again? Yes, in a heartbeat. I’d do lots differently but being a mom was what I was meant to be.

    However, preschoolers need mothers with insatiable energy that this Grandma lost somewhere along the line.

    If for some horrible reason, I was the only person who could take in a child, I would, of course, but it would be exhausting.

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