Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Stuff No One Told You About Parenting...

You can read the books (and most of us do before the first baby is born). You can watch your friends and family members with their kids...You can even be a teacher for several years (ahem!). But nothing prepares you for actual PARENTING. There are lots of things good and bad that you just don't "get" until you have a kid. For example:

1. You understand why lions sometimes eat their young: There are times when I feel real rage. I am so pissed off by their stupidity, their obliviousness or their eye rolling. You want to just yell, "Do you realize I had heartburn for 40 fricking weeks while I grew you in my body???? I couldn't even sleep laying down for the last 10 weeks???" Actually, once in complete frustration Tom yelled that at one of them. I had to remind him that it was ME who went through that...

2. You know what they are thinking and you don't want to: Especially at young ages you can read their minds. And when one of them is your temperament clone you know what they are thinking, good and bad, all the time-their worries, their fears and their evil plans. I can look at one of my kids and know what is coming next...sometimes before he even knows it. That sort of power is scary. Oh, and the OTHER one? I know what he is thinking all the time too...because I have been living with his temperament clone for the past 23 years.

3. You want to kill children that hurt them: There is still one child we just refer to as "the mean girl" in our house. She called my younger son fat and ugly on several occasions. It took everything I had to not trip her in the hall at school, the little witch. She moved away. Lucky for her ;-). He got over it way before *I* did.

4. You are forced to say ridiculous things: I wrote a whole note last fall on things I never thought I'd say. Most of them were parenting related. Although the best one ever was not mine, but a friend of mine who did actually once have to say, "Stop licking the shopping cart wheels!" Seriously, kids can be deranged and WE have to deal with it! I once did have to say, "You HAVE to learn to ride a bike. We named you Ryder for god's sakes!" Irony is often lost on 5 year olds.

5. The stretch marks do NOT go away no matter how much cocoa butter lotion you use.

6. You will not watch the videos you took of their babyhood or toddlerhood for many years: And then one day when you want to you will realize that you no longer own a working VCR. You're screwed.

7. Checking up on them and enabling them is a very hard habit to break: As an educator I know this is wrong. But it is virtually impossible to NOT bail out your kid (figuratively at this point, lol...I'm sure the literal will come later...Tom and I differ as to which kid will be first to need literal bailing out...I digress). But they have to learn lessons and tears are a part of that. The trick is to hold back your own until they are out of the room.

8. The left over food on their plates DOES add up: What?? I didn't eat anything today except a Lean Cuisine and a yogurt...oh, and 2 nuggets, the rest of the macaroni, a pancake and 3 Oreos...Hmmmm...Shit.

9. Not everyone will love your kid...I know, riiiight? How can someone NOT love my kid? But it happens. Someone will think he is obnoxious or rude or dumb or a show off or something. Then you are back to #3 and wanting to kill someone who has hurt them.

10. Saying no is the best thing sometimes: It hurts both of you at times but a kid who only hears "yes" ends up being spoiled, rude and pushy and doesn't think much about others' feelings. And no one wants to be responsible for raising the next Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan...or worse.

11. Homework sucks, even if you have a smart kid. Even if you are a teacher...especially if you are a teacher, because you can tell what is busy work and what isn't. Then you have to hold your tongue, lol.

There are plenty more, but these stand out in my mind. And really, some of them I would have believed before I had kids, but I wouldn't have understood the depth of it. I used to hate it when parents or other teachers would say to me, "You'll understand when you have children of your own." But, it is true. I do understand now.


  1. You know what else no one tells you until its too late? Menopause and the lead up to it suck and make you batshit crazy!

    Just sayin'.

    So just shut up and leave me alone to eat my second box of Thin Mints.

  2. OR...

    You do all the right and loving things for them that your parents didn't do for you, but it's not appreciated and they desert you when you and your ex-spouse divorce...

    In general,Human beings are a disappointment no matter who they are. You really find out about someone when the 'test' is given.

    Ok, I'll stop now and go back to surpressing my inner soul's torment before I get depressed..

  3. You know what else they don't tell you?

    That menopause and the the leadup to it make you batshit crazy.

    Just sayin'.

    Now shut up and leave me to sit here and eat my second box of Thin Mints please.


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