Saturday, April 20, 2013

Parenting: the toughest job you'll ever love

Here is the understatement of the week: Being a mom is the toughest thing you will ever enjoy.

My chickadees are far from grown, but I think it safe to say that I can look back a bit and reflect on what I have learned. If you are a new parent or soon-to-be parent, allow me to give you a heads up. If you are deep in the trenches of parenting, read on and commiserate enjoy what we veterans know to be true.

* Boys will make a weapon out of anything.  AN. Y. THING.
You may have insisted a no-fighting zone perimeter around your home, kept all orange-capped toy guns off of the birthday wish list, and safely stashed pocketknives in high, unreachable places, but if you have a boy, somehow, someway your son will find a way to use whatever is at hand as a weapon.   In a flash, a spatula becomes a fencing foil, his finger and thumb become a gun, and a lollipop stick, a dagger.

Boys are built to arm and defend their territory.  Those pesky warlike games breakout everywhere: in the grocery store among grumpy shoppers, in the car aimed at the amused driver waiting for the green arrow, and even in church.  At the pastor.  During the sermon.  At a particularly poignant moment where an "amen" is a far better fit than the "pew-pew-pew" of a laser gun.  Trust me, if you have a boy, it'll happen.  A-hem.

There is no use fighting it (ha!), just grin and celebrate that those buggy-eyed green aliens are being defeated.  Bank robbers are being caught.  And unsuspecting older sisters are being spied upon when they are trying to sneak a kiss from their boyfriends at the front door.

And speaking of fighting . . .

* Your lovely little lady may be a born fighter too.
Only instead of guns, bows with arrows and spears, it will be how she dresses and what to do with that rat's nest of a "hairdo."  You want her to look sweet and ethereal?  She'll put on sweats with the word "angel" blazoned across the bum instead.

Think she is finally old enough take care of her hair herself?  Be prepared for bed-head and tangled tresses to accompany you on your day full of errands.  Or have a comb waved in front of your face and the stubborn insistence that "You do it, Mommy."  Perhaps you have dreams of brushing her beautiful long locks yourself.  Better get up an hour early for school in order to track down the hairbrush and wrestle her to the ground first.

But don't worry before you know it, junior prom comes along and she'll not only want to look beautiful, she may sweetly ask you to help her do it.

* Boys love to play rough - especially with their brothers
Full-body tackles, somersaults off the furniture and cardboard sledding down the stairs are a given. Want to sit your boy(s) at the table to create a sweet little craft for the grandparents?  Rest assured the glue will be stuck in their hair, in their armpits and between their toes.  Time to grab blankets and snuggle during family movie night?  Don't be surprised when a pillow fight breaks out and popcorn bowls go flying.

It's all good.  It's healthy.  Try to see it as their way to affectionately interact with those around them.  When the body slamming contest is over, pick up the pieces to the broken vase and superglue them back together -- when the boys aren't around to "help," of course.

* Girls love to be the boss

I am sure your little princess is angelic, but just in case one or more of her friends aren't . . . don't be surprised when you hear your own disciplinary words come from her sweet little lips.  She will have the "mean mommy look" down pat too.  Just keep in mind that she is picking up on your good habits also.

*Behind every great kid is a mom who is sure she is screwing it up.
We, as parents, often spend more time dwelling on what we could and should have done better.  But give yourself a break, you are only human.  You are bound to make mistakes.  Ask for forgiveness if the situation and the time is right and move on.

Now, it's your turn.  Leave a comment reminding the rest of us of a universal truth of children.

Counting it all childhood joy,


  1. I know that boys are still boys even with disabilities. Even with multiple disabilities, at least for my boy he is ALL boy trapped in a body that doesn't work as it should. He loves to be rough housed, he loves a good riddle/joke...even if he's heard it many times. Then there are those bodily functions that are just a little more typical for a boy then say a girl. Not saying girls don't do them & think they're hillarious...there is just something about a boy doing them. Then there is the humor that is linked to those functions. But you have hit the hammer on the nail with there isn't a moment where you're not thinking that you are screwing something up in their life...I know for me its minute by minute. but there isn't a minute that I don't enjoy watching my son grow & enjoy his life to the fullest.
    Tammie M-P


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