Sunday, November 6, 2016

The 'fun' of parenting never ends

When my children were younger, I would always think things will be easier when they are older.
“When they are older, I won't have to change stinky diapers anymore.”
Which is true, but for a while you have to deal with 'accidents' that happen at pretty much anytime of the day, no matter where you are.
For parents with children in this transitional phase, you quickly learn to carry extra clothes with you even if you are just running to the grocery store for 10 minutes.
Because, as every parent knows, you can ask your young one if they have to go 'potty' before you leave to which they will always say no.
Then, five minutes after arriving at your destination, they will have to go - immediately. Sometimes you would make it to the nearest lavatory on time, some times you wouldn't.
And of course more than one day began with the changing of the sheets after a night time 'accident.'
“It will be nice when they can walk, then I won't have to carry them everywhere.”
Now that statement is true. I did not have to carry them everywhere, I had to chase them everywhere. And young children rarely walk anywhere. Instead they skip and hop and run, but they rarely walk.
I used to think, “It will be so nice when they are in school. I will have all this free time – it will be wonderful.”
Well, you do have more free time during the day. But after school there is homework and sports and special events and parent-teacher interviews and...
Then there is the drama. Oh my, the drama.
Not so much with my sons, but with my daughter there was lots of girl drama – something I was not expecting nor prepared for.
I had no idea the emotional tsunami a growing girl brings to the party with her. One minute she is feuding with someone, the next they are best friends. One second she is happy, the next she is bawling her eyes out.
It was hard to keep up.
“When they are in high school, then things will be easier.”
Remember that emotional tsunami I was talking about? Well, it carries on well into the high school years.
It is true they are a lot more independent in the teen years, which is good, but they also think they know a lot more than they do.
It also means they want to drive, and for the first few years that meant driving my car, until they could afford one of their own.
“Dad, the car is out of gas”
“Well, put some in.”
“I don't have any money.”
“Dad, I kind of backed into a truck. The truck is fine, but the car not so much...”
So for the next couple years a drove a red car with a grey trunk that was always out of gas.
OK, when they graduate high school and move out things will be easier.
Except for the ridiculous expense of college that is.
“What do you mean one book costs $600. What kind of book is it? Is the type written in gold or something?”
Then there is the moving out part.
“He dad, can you help me move – again.”
“Hey dad, I'm a little short of rent money this month – again.”
So you see, the challenges of young children are replaced with challenges of older children.
I know people who's children are well into their 40s and still giving their parents grief.
Now I say, “It will sure be nice when we retire, then we can move away and not tell them where we went.”

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

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