I fear my kids.
Not like I fear becoming impoverished, or old. And its not a fear like I had about vampires when I was 10. But its bad enough that there are days when I literally hate coming out of my office to go take over care of the kids.
Partly because, despite never occurring in 23 months, I’m afraid they will one day just fall apart. They will start crying for a reason I can’t understand and never do. And it doesn’t have to be in a public setting; I’m talking about in my own home.
But most its because I’m plodding. I enjoy a meandering routine allowing for exploration and to be distracted by whatever strikes my fancy. If you have children, you know this is not a demeanor well-suited for children. If you don’t have children, I’m telling you now: this is not a demeanor well-suited for children.
I enjoy the slow pace of activities like reading and chess. Don’t get me wrong; the kids love to read and my kids could play chess. The reading just entails books like Clifford the Big Red Dog and picture books. Not exactly my cup of tea (hey, I enjoy that, as well!).
My kids also play chess with me. The game is a new, aerial version we are working on. Without giving away too many trade secrets: the queen now advances in literally any direction as far as your eye can see; all the other pieces move likewise and a there is a new piece, called the Bicuspided Bishop. The game board consists of any space within a four-wall boundry.
Another example: I don’t mind sitting on the front porch watching the cars roll by. The kids enjoy this as well, but only fleetingly.
The whole time, I’m counting in minutes or hours. “Well, that is 5 minutes of time killed; only 35 more till R arrives home.”
For them, it’s been 3,000 seconds and they are about 1,500 second past ready to move on. In case you wondered about the math above: I’ve calculated based on observation that a child’s minute contains 600 seconds.
You see, its not that I can’t handle my kids; I can. And its not that they aren’t good kids; they are absolutely the best kids in the world. The problem is that my meandering style isn’t suited to them. I need time for self-reflection, time alone to recharge.
You lose that when you have a kid. It gets totally obliterated when you have 3 at once.