Monday, March 5, 2012

5 Parenting Lessons No Book Ever Prepared Me For

Image from here
I’m a reader. And as such, as I embarked on my path to parenthood, I devoured just as many “textbooks” on this subject as I did blocks of Cadbury’s chocolates. But nowhere do I recall anyone mentioning the following five home truths of parenting which appear to be my stumbling blocks on this marathon of motherhood on a daily basis.

1. IT IS EASIER TO WRESTLE A CROCODILE THAN CLEAN THE TEETH OF MY TODDLER

I’m quite certain this is my most dreaded task of the day. And goddamn it does have to fall twice a day so that just when I have recovered from the morning’s histrionics it is time for the night-time dental dual to commence. Some days the combination of his refusal to have it done, coupled with his inability to both stand still and open his mouth wider than a 5 cent piece send me completely insane. So much so I am sure the neighbours must brace themselves for teeth cleaning time as much as I. Think the sound of a capacity packed stadium of obsessed English footy fans when a ruling doesn't go their way. I am on par with those decibels by the end of this endeavour.


2. HE WILL NEVER EVER EVER ADMIT HE IS TIRED EVEN WHEN HIS EYELIDS ARE DROOPING SHUT AND DROOL IS POOLING IN THE CORNER OF HIS MOUTH
Still he will soldier on, attempting to slay any sleep demons that threaten to cease activity on his day. I’m not sure what he think’s he is going to miss out on while he’s off in the land of nod. No wild parties or late nights spent watching back to back Disney re-runs are happening in his absence. Basically I want to do the same thing I'm demanding of he - SLEEP.

3. THE ART OF PUTTING SHOES ON MY SON REQUIRES ALL THE DIPLOMACY OF THE UNITED NATIONS AND ALL THE SKILL OF A BRAIN SURGEON
I get it; my son is a precious and peculiar kid with obvious issues and idiosyncrasies. But nonetheless getting his shoes to fit in the manner he deems acceptable is like scooping the pool at Lotto. I.e. I am yet to bring home the big novelty cheque on this one. 


Too tight, too loose, but never just right. I'm also yet to decipher the science behind why one day it only takes two attempts to perfect it and others sees me trying 7 times to achieve the flawless foot fitting he craves. All I do know is that some days I dont want to go ANYWHERE because I am drained at the mere thought of the shoe fight that lays in wait, or the fact he'll see fit to kick them off the minute we are in the car and on our way. And thus the war of attrition begins again...

4. CLEANLINESS ISNT NEXT TO GODLINESS WHEN THERE IS A 3 YEAR OLD ABOUT
.
Hate cleaning, love having cleaned has usually been my mantra. But curse the Gods of Cleanliness and Irony, the same day I’ve mopped the floors he will decide to knock over a sticky glass of orange juice. Or drop an icypole. Or stand and walk on discarded shards of mashed potatoe and leave a snail trail throughout the house. Or miss the toilet bowl when he pees... The list is endless. Spring cleaning is now on hiatus until he is about 15.

5. ALL YOUR MEALS ARE COOKED, YOUR CLOTHES ARE CLEANED, YOU ARE FERRIED ABOUT EVERYWHERE, AND LIFE REVOLVES AROUND YOU 
Seriously, what is not to like? You’ve got no responsibility other than to look after your own toys (though even that proves to be Mission Impossible – case in point is the missing Raoul Ceroul race car from Cars 2 which has vanished along with my teeth cleaning patience). Yet some days you want to fight me at every turn. The other night you threatened “but I will go and stay at someone else’s house” because I told you I wasn’t running a restaurant and therefore wouldn’t be serving you up Chicken Schnitzel 7 nights a week. 

So if you happen to be in the neighbourhood around teeth cleaning time, or see my son barefoot on any occasion in public do not hold it against me. It's quite likely my limits of patience will have been exhausted (along with me). Sure, I’ll look (and sound!) like the skanky, couldn’t care less mother who takes no pride in the appearance of her child but for the sake of my sanity some days, I'll cop that.

And if you are someone who DOES cook chicken schnitzel 7 nights a week, please do let me know. I have a potential house guest for you who you'll make very happy...

5 comments:

Alex aka WHOA MUMMA! said...

Don't get me started on the shoe thing! I'll attempt to shove them on her feet only to have "I CAN DO IT!" screamed at me. 10 hours later I have to pin her down and just put them on just so we can get out the door.l

Anna @ green tea n toast said...

I've just been quoting bits of this to my husband! Love that last point. So true. And the teeth brushing - man that's hard. Brilliant post!

themodernparent said...

Certainly much that most of us can well relate to. Especially the shoes. I have all boys but never thought they would care as much about fashion as they apparently do!

Maxabella said...

That last one... not a day goes by when I'm not at some stage thinking 'what, just WHAT, have you got to whinge about, kid?' Every. Day. x

Susan Whelan said...

I've mentioned to friends on several occasions that one day I will write a book called 'They never tell you this stuff in the parenting books'. So many things we are never warned about (probably to ensure that the human race doesn't die out).

Mine are past these challenges now, but I remember the teeth brushing dramas well.