Skip to main content

Parenting Is Full Of Contradictions

I wrote last week about how the advice to "follow your intuition" is really bad advice. At least for a parent like me.  Pretty much every parenting decision requires me to do exactly the opposite of my intuition.  That got me thinking of how many contradictions are inherent in parenting.  Things we either wouldn't do for anyone else that we do for our kids, or things we want for our kids, but would never want our kids to do.

For instance, which would you prefer your child grow into as an adult:
A) A nice, anonymous, completely average rule-following adult.
B) A live-out-loud, noticed at first sight, rule breaking adult who overcomes barriers and creates something new and spectacular.
I'm guessing most parents would choose outcome B every time.  But not much sound worse than trying to parent child B.  Pretty much no parent would choose a rule breaking, barrier busting child who ignores their parents' every command over a more docile one who listens and eats his vegetables instead of throwing them.

When my daughter can't - won't - do something simple for herself like type a four-number password into her Kindle Fire, I want to scream at her that she needs to do it herself... but I don't.  I try to keep in mind that might actually be hard for her and to walk her through it.  Again.

When its 80 degrees out and my kids tell me they are freezing, I want to tell them they are full of it and to get real.  Instead, I try really, really hard to accept that - despite the 90 degree temps - they might really be cold.

Same for when my son told me a couple days ago that he needs footie pajamas for bed or he will be cold. On a day when it hit 90 with a forecasted low of 72.  He got socks.

I really want to scream when I come upon my kids in the bathroom instead of napping and find sink running over with water. I just want timeouts raining down from heaven like Zeus' lighting. But then they explain that they got poop on their hand while wiping their butts. And then they tried to clean it with toilet paper - duh - but couldn't and thus needed water.  So they washed their toilet paper filled hands in the sink. See? It all makes sense. How can you scold them for such independence? And I guess it IS better than finding out they washed their hands in the toilet.


Popular posts from this blog

Parenting As A Two-Edged Sword

A) The other day I took time out of my schedule to play dolls with my daughter.

B) The other day, I took time away from playing dolls with my daughter to cook dinner.

Which really happened? A, or B?

From a certain perspective, both are true. As Obi wan Kenobi warned:

What I told you was true… from a certain point of view
In the moment, I considered myself a heroic Dad. Here I was, valiantly cooking dinner for the kids and their Mom while also managing to get in some one-on-one time with one of the kids. And playing one of her favorite things, too boot. That is perspective A. 
But it occurred to me that from her perspective (B), what I was saying might not be true. 
Instead of a Dad demonstrating superpowers of multi-tasking, she might simply be seeing me as too busy to really give her my full attention. 
When I look back in 10 years I might well remember the hectic but great times when I played dolls with her while cooking.
And as a teen, she may well look back as at a Dad too consumed with…

I Really Should...

... write an ode to Yunnan jig tea. It's great, honestly.  Smooth and delightful with just the right amount of punchy flavor.  Not coffee, but nicely caffeinated.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, find some loose leaf Yunnan jig and brew away.  May I suggest something from

... creatively write more.  I have a few story ideas.  At least 3, including the one I've already written and desperately need to edit and round out.  But its such a ... chore.  I really like reading, and I don't mind writing.  I actually enjoy writing one-off stuff like I do here.  But putting together 75k-100k in a complete order that makes sense and completes a story arc?  Ugh. Its all ... so much.  Blame my years in journalism, where I write tons of one-off stuff where the narrative is kind of half written for

(Speaking of this blog and writing)

... post more here.  As with all things, I guess, time is hard to find, whilst being a poor excuse.

... think before I agree…

The Dark Months

The holidays are over.  It only seems like life is over.

There is a solid three month period where holidays of various degrees are hitting you one-two-three style.  You have Halloween, which takes some of the sting out of the cooling temperatures and the disappearance of summer.  You have Thanksgiving, with rare foods and the promise of Christmas. 

Then you have a month of prepping and joy for Christmas.  You are so busy, you hardly notice how cold it has gotten.  And this year it got pretty darn cold.  And then Christmas itself.  My wife and I take a week off between Christmas and New Years, so we have that. 

Its a period so full of life.  And then the aforementioned NYE - when the cold decided to take it up a notch.

With triplets, its a little like being shot out of a cannon and taking three months to land.

But when you land, you land firmly in what I call the Dark Months.

There are no more holidays.  Yes, I realize MLK and Presidents Day are in January and February, and yes, I know…