Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Awful Truth

Parenting is NOT all smiley, happy, golden moments.
(Please refer to pictures posted below.)

There are in fact a plethora of whiny, crabby, and grumpy moments sprinkled throughout the day in the life of your average family. The children will pick the time, place, and duration of these moments. That makes us, the parents, somewhat like weathermen trying to predict and prepare for the events that will unfold. Let me tell you, even the most seasoned and yes perhaps even slightly psychic weatherman can be blindsided good and hard by a freak snowstorm in July.

In my house, no matter how many Dr. Phil techniques are employed - at any given moment, I generally have at least one of the children (and usually one dog) actively in one of the following states of: whiny, grumpy, and crabby.

The real fun begins when a grouping of the states occur and then I can get a combination of states in one or (god forbid) both of my children (ex. whiny & crabby.) If all three states occur a tantrum will erupt.
To recap: the place, duration, and time of the combination of states moment will be chosen by the child, BUT NOW because the situation has been elevated to tantrum level, the ferocity of the tantrum will vary from around 2.5 on the Richter scale to complete and total annihilation of the world as we know it. I know it's scary, but some children are indeed that good.

For those of you free-timers (kidless people) out there who are thinking of populating the world with your DNA, please be advised that all children have the this tantrum capability. Also known as the dark side. If you expect that your future child(ren) will be perfectly behaved, well groomed, will match the decor of your house, and will never throw a tantrum at the grocery store - well, you my friend are living in a fantasy world. Get some fish and take up yoga instead.

Anyway, in my house said the dark side is revealed, more often than not, during what I like to refer to as suicide hour (between 5:00-6:00pm.) Even the best of planning and distraction techniques cannot fully eliminate the horror show that is suicide hour.

Now, what makes this time period even more challenging, is that fact that you are trying to also accomplish some important parenting duties.

First off, to get a healthy dinner on the table - hopefully some of which the children will actually eat. Then comes the general dinnertime duties such as: cleaning spills, wiping stuff, fetching more juice, and retrieving dropped utensils (Note: if you get to eat as well AND your meal is still warm - you are eligible bonus points and a trophey or something.)
Then of course, the leftovers and various condiments need to be put away.
After this there are dishes to be done. Usually followed by homework. Then, finally - bathtime where you can only hope and pray that most of the marker, food and other unidentifiable smudges decorating your children will easily scrub off.

If any of the above events do not occur, well - you are a BAD mother. It's true.
Hey - don't get mad at me, I didn't make up the rules.

*** I just thought I should add a dose of reality among my happy, golden moment, smiley pictures from earlier posts to remind myself that this parenting stuff is bloody hard work. Yeah, yeah and it's rewarding too...
I love my kids, I love my kids, (deep breath,) I love my kids.

Well I am off to make lunches for tomorrow - possibly the worst of the daily chores right there - ask any parent.


Blogger Daniel Evans said...

Great post. Everything you said is true at my house, too, especially the "suicide hour."

9:18 AM  

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