The Truth About Parenting…

Sometimes, it boredcan be really boring…OK, so perhaps this just pertains to the early years, from 0-3 but believe me, for all of the rabble-rousing, raucous times your young charges may cause and suck you in to, there are also large swaths of time spent numbing the mind.

Here you sit, a parent with a good education, probably a higher education and very possibly even a graduate degree (or two). Maybe you’re even lucky enough to have opted out of the work force, of a decent paying job, of financial independence, of a system that provided performance reviews every 6-12 months. Now what?

Welcome to parenthood.

You came home from the hospital, overwhelmed by the tasks before you (for which there is no prior job training). You have to figure out the needs of your constituents, except they speak a completely foreign dialect and there will be no Babel fish coming to your aid. You have to completely alter your sleep cycle, eating habits, home decor and daily routine.

For the first year, you desperately look for parenting outlets, classes, playgroups, anything that affords some modicum of a social network. Your days are intermittently spent at ground level, trying to stimulate and attract the attention of your wee charge, or trying to get back in touch with the unique individual you once were, just a short time ago.

By year-two, your groundlinghas mobilized. Watch out world! there’s no need for that Exersaucer anymore. Now everything below waist level has to be rearranged or safe-guarded to accommodate exploring hands, curious eyes and wandering toddler. But at least life is starting to get more interesting. Play gets a bit more interactive, you might even share a few words between you; behold, a conversation evolves!

I don’t claim to be a vaudeville act or anything but I do like to think I’m at least capable of carrying on an intellectual conversation, possibly even about a current event.  Children, on the other hand, expect you to be constant entertainment. And, unless you actually masterminded Legos, patented Mr. Potato Head or work in Mattel’s play lab, you’re probably not cut out for the job.

You may be required to play Uncle Wiggly (for the 4th time this week); to build yet another wooden block zoo for the bucket of escaped dinosaurs; to stealthy fit 200 minuscule plastic beads onto a ridiculously small peg board and iron them together into a coaster. And when all of that is done, they’ll ask for more.

Sure, there are many fabulous, memorable and blog-worthy moments of parenting but I also want to be honest, to take the sheen off and say it like it is. Now, please excuse me, I think I’m being beckoned back to the train table to play the vivacious role of windmill.


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