Parenting is not for the weak minded.
Or for those with a weak stomach now that I think about it.
How a baby can get that much goo into a single diaper I still do not know.
I speak of the joys of parenting from a place of wisdom and experience.
Despite protests from many of my so-called friends, I reproduced three times. I have brought three children into the world.
Well, technically my wife did all the work, what with carrying them around for nine months and doing stuff like creating lungs and a heart and what not.
But I did my role to make a baby possible and once the kids were born I stepped in as often as I could – well, more or less anyway.
Raising children can be a challenge at the best of times. It is a fine balancing act between heaping on too much discipline and restricting too much of their freedom and letting them run wild and watch them make the top of the news feed.
Children are always pushing the boundaries of their confinements.
When they are little, their goal is to escape from the crib, then they want to escape from their room and as they get older they want to escape from the home they perceive as a concentration camp and run through the streets like a bunch of barbarians only with more of an attitude problem.
When they are in school they want to test the boundaries of just how far they can push the teacher before that vein in her head starts to throb like an alien trying to crawl out of her cranium.
Some children push those boundaries a lot farther than others and I am happy to say my wife and I were never, er, rarely, called in to talk to the principal about the actions of our children.
I am not saying we had perfect little angels (like my parents did), but overall they are pretty darn good kids.
Sure they did stupid kid stuff like setting the kitchen on fire while cooking or accidentally shooting out the window in my garage with a BB gun, but that is more youthful inexperience that adolescent malice.
I can honestly say I never set the kitchen on fire while cooking some hamburgers when I was a kid. Sure, I set half a mountain on fire while playing with some matches with my best friend, but at least our kitchen was fine.
Anyway, I knew going into it that my children would do some dumb stuff either because of inexperience or youthful bravado – of which I can claim incidents in both categories.
Kids are kids, but there is a big difference between youthful exuberance and being a little degenerate.
Youthful exuberance is seeing how far you can jump your peddle bike,
Being a degenerate in training is throwing a rock at your friend while he is seeing how far he can jump on his peddle bike – which results in you crashing and immediately looking for a better class of friend.
I noticed the bratty kids of my youth mostly grew up to be trouble makers in their teen years.
Drugs, alcohol and a general bad attitude accompanied them where ever they went and they soon had a reputation that also went where ever they did.
While I was hardly a perfect little saint spreading goodwill to my fellow man in the teen years, I was also not a really bad kid. No drugs, no alcohol and no harmful acts, just youthful stuff like speeding in my car, sneaking my girlfriend out the side door 2 a.m. and other stuff that was relatively harmless.
As far as I know, my own children are walking a similar path. Are they little angels? Nope, but neither are they the 'bad kids' other kids try to avoid, and that is close enough for me.
Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh