When a year starts to draw to a close, I look back and wonder what I could have done differently. As a parent, it's probably impossible to avoid this. It's difficult not to second-guess yourself, once a little distance comes into play.
Most projects that we undertake can be learning experiences. You might not repeat the exact same project but when you do similar ones, you can apply the things you've learned and hope for a different outcome. You might be more patient, more attentive to detail, less forceful. Rearing children does NOT work that way. If you do something wrong when they're three, you can't do it better later. You can't un-yell or re-discipline. What's done is done. But you can be better when they're four and hope to rework habits you've ingrained in yourself and them.
In a few (too short) months, I will be 34, Ben will be 12, Lily will be 4, and Izzy will be 6. I'm halfway resigned to being done with baby-ish years but these numbers are a little scary. I can't go back and redo the 2's and 3's. I wish I could, for many reasons.
Next fall, Lily will officially be starting Pre-K. Which seems silly to say... Pre-K with Izzy was learning the alphabet, coloring, and trying to learn to use scissors. Lily has already begun this process because she cannot seem to leave anything or anyone alone during school hours.
A couple of months ago, Chad was out of town for a week so I painted the living room. I really wanted to paint the girls' room but I couldn't figure out how to do that with them up. So the living room is a beautifully soft grey and the girls' room is still a tacky off white. Chad's out of town again for a few days this week so maybe I'll set the girls up in my room for a couple of hours and get started on their walls. I should be able to knock it out in a day, if I don't lose my mind trying to keep them in check. haha