It's the kind of advice that has tested my patience for 3 years and 8 months.
Well-intentioned women often feel compelled to stop mothers of preschoolers in line at the grocery store and tell us to "cherish these days".
Usually, we have to ask them to repeat themselves because we can't hear over the voices begging for candy and gum.
Or we try to smile graciously while our toddler yanks our shirt down, revealing our anything-but-lacey-these-days lingerie to the next several customers in line at the checkout aisle.
I typically smile and offer one of the following responses:
"That's what everyone says!"
"We certainly are enjoying this time."
"I know, it must go by so fast."
"Wow... that one over there, with the chains and black nail polish... you remember when he was this age, too, huh?"
Most days, any preschool mom will tell you that our hope rests in the off-chance that THESE DAYS will fly by and we'll soon be having delightful, insightful conversations with well-mannered, potty-trained children who feed and bathe themselves.
But every once in a while, I have a week in which:
My child begins going to preschool 5 days a week.
And my car doesn't work one morning, so he's PERFECTLY FINE with his daddy taking him to school.
And I don't have to go to work, so I have the entire, quiet, lonely morning to myself.
And the house is remarkably clean.
And over the weekend, this little boy accepts the challenge from my neighbor to try to ride his bicycle WITHOUT the training wheels.
And he figures it out.
And then figures out how to pump his legs on the swing by himself.
And doesn't really need me to check on him in bed after 5 minutes, thank you very much.
Leaving me with a full evening to spend time with daddy and check email and get some business taken care of.
And go to the grocery store.
Where I will be on the lookout for some young mom wrestling a toddler in line.
Because I think I need to pass along some good advice.