A Little Truth from the Fourth of July…

July 5, 2007

I read blogs. A whole lot of blogs. You know, one link on a page, another link on another page, etc. I am, of course, drawn to the mommy blogs. On many of these blogs, there exist effusive posts as to the wonder of children. The splendor to be found in each little moment. The feel of that tiny hand in yours…and not just in general, but in specific detail how each mother’s child is a beautiful blossom unfurling for the world to enjoy.

Um. Okay, sure. I love my kids, I mean really really love each of them for their many wonderful qualities. But.

Children are irritating. There, I’ve said it. I’ve opened that particular can of worms, and to that pile of squiggly worm-meal I’ll add this: my gosh, my own children are awfully damn irritating. Driving home from the fireworks last night, I felt like a bear in a trap willing to chew off my own leg just to get free of the caterwauling and silliness. While stuck in a poorly designed post-fireworks traffic pattern, I was subjected to such words as “Farticus,” ridiculous repeating over and over and over of words on signs (“Med West,” “Med West 2,” “Med West, “Med West 2”), and one child’s incessant complaining that he had to pee. Bad.

This after they had squabbled about sparklers and who would sit where and by whom. This after I told them repeatedly to get away from the street and stay on the (damn) sidewalk!!! This after we trudged up the street to the parade, the sole purpose of which appeared to be bagging a whole lot of candy.

Yeah, we were all tired from the days’ festivities and perhaps our nerves (or at least mine) had been rubbed a little raw. But I had one of those truly revelatory moments in parenting: this is hard. You read it here first — I know, I know — my white hot insight staggers the mind. But it is. Sometimes it’s fun and often it’s great, but some moments and hours and days and weeks are just plain hard. Because, truly, I don’t always want to get out of my own selfish thoughts and minister to their varying needs and desires. I don’t always want to listen to their high pitched voices and deal with getting them to bed when I feel more tired than they do.

Before we had kids we had friends tell us that they simply “adapted their children” to their lifestyle. Whaaa? Are you telling me that your pre-kid lifestyle involved regularly being interrupted in the bathroom? That you paid for lessons and school with any of your disposable cash? While I think we can incorporate our kids into lives, I think the notion that children are not incredibly — and wonderfully — disruptive is a big crock. Like it or not, our lifestyle (such as it was!) adapted to having children, not the other way around.

Most days I really wouldn’t have it any other way. And in the times when I feel irritated, I often need to look to my own attitude to improve the situation. And face the fact that people — big ones and little, me included — can be annoying as all heck, but we’re worth it.


2 Responses to “A Little Truth from the Fourth of July…”

  1. john mccollum said

    Two observations:

    1) You’re a terrible parent. No, not really — we all feel that way.

    2) Your kids really are damn annoying. But mostly to you. We think they’re sweet. But we get to give them back after a few hours. Likewise with ours. Everyone thinks they’re so wonderful, but they’re really awful. And they get it from us.

    3) I’m really bad at math.

  2. Beth said


    1) You too are a terrible parent. But I say that with all affection.

    2) Yep, giving kids back after a few hours is the key to their wonderfulness. But I had your kids overnight, and I still think they’re pretty cool.

    3) I’m worse at math than you. So there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: