The veteran parenting art of trickery

May 13, 2015 at 10:16 pm 2 comments

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I knew about parenting before I actually was a parent.  It would appear that what I thought about parenting was in no way what parenting actually was.  I feel like my naive introduction into parenting can only be blamed on one group of people, other parents.  You know what I am talking about.  Those people who are already parents and are encouraging you to be a parent by telling you…well, by telling you lies.  So, in the interest of full disclosure to you non-parent-but want-to-be-parents parents, I am dispelling this veteran parent trickery.

Here are the top lies I heard:

1. Pregnancy is amazing. So this sounds like a positive statement when it is spoken. And indeed, yes, your body making another tiny mini-body is truly something.  But after that tiny person has been laying on your sciatic nerve and you are in Target just wondering how you will ever reach the other end of the store, it really doesn’t feel like that kind of positive amazing.  It feels more like the “it’s amazing I don’t just lie on this floor” kind of amazing.

2. Babyproof everything.  I feel like for liability purposes I must state that baby proofing is a great idea.  And it sounds like very solid, veteran parenting advice. But this cuts both ways.  You will either find yourself locked out of the scissor drawer at some extremely pressing moment when you really need scissors (this feels panicky, I promise) or, as in my case, you will have a child who defies all baby proofing.  So regardless of best intentions, your two year old will create a climbing apparatus out of the oven or somehow end up with a hammer. I guarantee it.

3. Your dog will love your children as much as they love you.  Dogs are amazing, loving creatures.  But my dog was an only child for a few years prior to children.  No one can tell me that she doesn’t long for the days of lounging, terror-fear, being the center of my attention as opposed to now where someone under 3 feet tall seems to continually be chasing her with salad tongs. And no, I have no idea what is going to happen with the salad tongs because I would never do that to my poor dog who, wisely, may be planning the demise of my children.

4.  Introduce your children to a variety of foods when they are little so they will not be picky eaters.  Again, this sounds logical. Right? Before the age of two my kids ate tofu, all kinds of seafood, broccoli rabe, brussel sprouts, radishes, lima beans (yep, I know).  But at three years of age something happened. My eldest got opinions. Do we make her eat a variety of food still? Yes. But in truth, I owe a solid apology to the parents I used to judge for saying their kids only eat hot dogs.  Because if my daughter had her choice she would live on saltines and crusty bread (which sounds more elegant than the mess it makes).

5. Two kids is no more work than having one kid. You are already doing everything for one kid, what is the difference? Let me be clear. I love both of my kids. But let me be even more clear, it is twice the work.  I so wanted to believe this one – however, in retrospect it defies logic.  It is like some crazy, new brain washing where someone said “you see 1+1= 1, because you already had one.” See that makes no sense.  In truth, you go from one person needing something most of the time, to two small people needing something most of the time – that becomes ALL of the time.  Your sitting days are over, except for that sweet time of the day from 9:30 p.m…nope someone needs water…so from 9:45 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. where you can relax. Unless you fall asleep.

I am only six years into this parenting adventure so I only have a list of 5 lies so far. But I remember all of the things that my veteran parenting friends have said about the teenage years (something about them being their best friend and having fun at concerts together) that makes me wonder how long this list will get.

And for those of you looking at the parenting world from the other side, you should come on over but I am not going to lie, it is a tough, dirty, grimy world. But it is worth it.  I have to go find someone’s blankie.

 

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Julia Roberts doesn’t write as well as one would hope- “The Signature of all Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert The Schools out It’s Time to Read List

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah  |  May 14, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Pretty much can’t like this post more. So much truth! And I’d submit that two kids is well MORE than twice the work.

    Reply
    • 2. Emily C  |  May 14, 2015 at 7:34 am

      You are likely right. It probably is more than twice the work. I like to think at least with two you are not outnumbered.

      Reply

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