The life of a parent (Tell me nothing about this picture isn’t true)
Every parent knows that once their child is born, life will change forever. From diapers to midnight feedings, from walking and babbling to being defiant, from preparing lunch bags and going on field trips, to driver’s ed and prom, there is never a dull moment in the life of a parent. As Father time continues to accelerate life at an exhausting rate, there are times when I am left wondering: What in the…world?
An Anomaly of The Morning Routine
Why is it that Monday through Friday, both my 5 year-old and 3-year-old can sleep past 7:00 a.m., take their sweet time eating breakfast and getting dressed, forcing us to run the 100 meter sprint to the bus stop but come Saturday and Sunday morning, both are dressed and ready for the day before 7:00 a.m.? It’s still dark at 6:00 a.m. What in the world are they doing up?
Complexities of Hunger
Them: We’re hungry, can we have a snack?
Me: No. We will be eating dinner in an hour. If you snack now you won’t eat dinner.
Me: Girls, it is time to eat.
Them: We’ re not hungry.
Me:…Seriously? You just asked for a snack an hour ago.
The Disappearing Act of a Hurting Tummy
Have you ever wondered why, during the middle of dinner, a child will say, “My tummy hurts, I’m not hungry” only to see them wrestling with their sibling a half-hour later and then come running up to you asking for a snack? I have. Many times. If you’re hungry, eat your dinner. It is on the table… Sounds simple enough to me but apparently the tummy pains of a child say otherwise.
Divide and Conquer
Children learn a lot by watching and listening others. My 3-year-old learned how to chase her older sister at 9-months-old, my 1-year-old has a Mocking bird like quality in her ability to mimic any sound that comes from my mouth while my 5-year-old has the memory of an elephant (daddy, I don’t have school today. Remember you said we could go on a special adventure when I didn’t have school).
.They also learn about life all on their own:
“Dad, can I have a cookie?”
“Mama, can I have a cookie?”
I stand there and think to myself: Your mom is literally 2 feet from where I am standing. It is a known fact (according to my own Dad’s Encyclopedia that I am in the process of creating) that women (women being my wife) have better hearing than men (men being me). There is no POSSIBLE way you are getting that cookie.
I will tell you though, that once you turn and walk away with your downward twisted lips, a hhmmpph being exhaled from your mouth and a slight tear in your eye that, I, your dad, will help myself to those freshly baked cookies and will enjoy every single delicious bite and savor every moment. Why? Because I can eat way too many cookies while eating way to much dinner and eat way too many cookies after dinner (And I don’t have a dad telling me NO).
At times little kids can be similar to puppies (Bear with me, just keep reading and you may agree):
-You take them everywhere you go.
-You have to take them poopy and potty on a regular basis otherwise you will have a nasty mess to clean up
speaking of #2, if it has been a while since they have gone, how are they able to find the most inconvenient time possible to go poo (Right after a diaper change for your baby, in the checkout line for your toddler and on a walk with your dog when you forgot a poop bag)
-They follow you everywhere, demanding your attention, (you may have even stumbled over one or the other maybe even both because one walked in front of you).
-They want treats when they have done something good.
-If they don’t run off their energy, chairs will be flipped upside down, clothes thrown about the floor, and shoes will be carried off in every direction.
Teenagers are like cats:
-They come around when they want/need something.
-They’re finicky eaters.
-They give you the stink eye when they’re mad.
-They may hiss at you when they are angry
-They pretend they can’t hear you
(My kids aren’t teenagers, but I used to be one… my apologies mom and dad).
Think about this for a moment:
When our kids are younger, they follow us everywhere we go followed by a constant, “Mama, daddy, what’s this? Or, Why? Or, What are you doing?”
Now think about this:
When they are teenagers we follow them everywhere, asking them, “What are you doing? Where are you going? Why? What for? Who will be there?”
And when we get older as parents, the cycle reverts back to when they were children with them asking you those same questions: What are you doing? Where are you going? Why?
Little Accomplishments Worth Celebrating
-Changing a diaper before your baby adds their own personal decoration to your house.
-Unsnapping the buckle from a grocery cart (especially carts with 3 buttons to push) with one hand while you’re holding a baby and another child pulling at your arm begging (screaming?) you to carry them.
-Successfully feeding your 6-month-old baby food without getting messy
-Asking your kids to share, not fight, clean-up, get ready for bed etc…without having to threaten them with some form of discipline that will traumatize them for the next 3 hours
-Hugs and Kisses from your kids
I am amazed that my girls’ first words weren’t NO. Besides Mama, and Dada, the word “NO” came in a close third for the most popular word they heard;
-No, don’t touch the light socket.
-No, don’t hang on the baby gate.
-No pulling hair, no biting, no hitting.
-Please, no screaming.
-No you can’t have candy for breakfast.
-For the love of everything good and decent, I just vacuumed. How did you… Please. NO. ISHY. DO NOT EAT THAT (insert cheerio, cracker, candy, toy, dog/cat fur and any other foreign object found on your freshly vacuumed floor ).
Life with kids is definitely a journey. If there is ever a parent that says they are bored or have nothing to do, please pray for them. From my experience, life has become more exciting and more…thought-provoking than I ever could have imagined.
With all the “venting” that we do as parents, here are a (definite) few things that I will miss when my lil’ Itty Bitty’s will no longer need their daddy:
-Snuggles from my 1-year-old. When I ask for a hug, she dips her head and (tries to) wraps her little arms around me. She’ll also walk up to me, turn around, sit down and lean back on my legs
-Piggy back rides and the most back-straining hugs imaginable
-Padded footie pajamas quietly stepping down the hall ultimately waking me up because of a soft voice saying, “Daddy, Mamma, scooch over peese (please).”
-The excitement that I see coming from my 5-year-old and 3-year-old when I pick them up from school.
-The questions they ask about EVERYTHING imaginable pertaining to life: cooking, cleaning, baking, the WORLD around them, cars, trucks, the moon, something they heard in school, space, animals, Jesus, God, Sunday School…The list goes on and on.
-Pushing them on the swings, sliding on the slide with them in my lap, giggling because we want to
-hugs and kisses good night
-Being the funniest man alive
-Being the strongest man alive
-Being a Super Hero
-Being the only man that provides, protects, and takes care of them
-tea parties, hide and seek, building forts, starring in their “world” as a prince that saves the day
-Their innocence, their ignorance, and their child-like faith
My life has never been the same nor will it ever be the same. I thank the LORD for blessing me with 3 beautiful girls. My life has definitely taken on a whole new adventure.