Monday, January 11, 2010

Things I Did Not Know Until I Had Children

I have a degree in education. I taught some pretty tough characters. I was raised by educators. I have older brothers. In short, I know some things. But nothing compares to the education you receive when you become a parent. I have been a parent for roughly thirteen and a half years and my friends, I have become knowledgeable in things that I couldn't have imagined before I had children. Let me enlighten you:

You can never have too many Legos. I had no idea but my boy children insist that this is true.

It does not matter what you fix for dinner, there will always be someone who turns their nose up at it and declares it "gross."

There is nothing--nothing--that compares to the smell of freshly bathed baby head. I cannot tell you the great enjoyment I have derived from sniffing and nuzzling fuzzy baby heads.

Boys from the ages of around 7 to about 12 simply loathe brushing their teeth. They cannot explain why they abhor it. You cannot reason with them. Your logic means nothing to them. They do not care if they get cavities. They do not care if their breath could peel the paint off the wall from a hundred paces. They will lie to you, saying they have brushed--even going so far as wetting their bristles to convince you. Do not trust them. You will have to stand watch over them and supervise their brushing. Dentists will tell you that children are capable of brushing their teeth unsupervised around the ages of 6 or 7. Capable? Yes. Willing? Not so much.

Never, again I say, NEVER underestimate a the validity of this statement from a child: "I think I need to throw up."

Looking upon your sleeping child will cause you to forget every moment of havoc that he or she may have wreaked (wrought? Sorry Mrs. McVey! I really did listen in your English class.) while awake.

Boys can make guns out of anything.

Dolls that pee are worth their weight in gold. They provide solid entertainment for girl children, bringing forth their maternal instincts. They provide many hours of potty humor for boy children, bringing forth their, um, grossness.

Children simply cannot be bothered to turn out lights, shut doors, or change toilet paper rolls. They have better things to do.

Ketchup is not a condiment. It is a food group.

A fierce hug around your neck from your child can relieve all manner of stresses and ills.

A child that leaves the house wearing green pants, an orange and purple plaid tank top, a pink tulle tutu, and slippers is most likely: a. about three years old, b. not a first born or only child, c. winning a battle that it's worn-out mother has long since given up fighting, or d. dressed by daddy.

The first time your child smiles a gummy smile at you, you will swear that you have seen a glimpse of heaven.

You will hear the words "your breath stinks" from a child who has crawled in bed with you in the middle of the night and you will not think them rude and throw them out of your bed. In fact, you will probably hug them and laugh.

Watching your child accomplish something will give you a great sense of pride. Watching your child accomplish something that they have struggled with will give you a greater sense of pride than when you accomplish something you have struggled with.

Reading bedtime stories is sometimes the best part of the day.

My children do not think I am lazy if they get cereal for dinner. They think they are having a treat. (How awesome is that?!)

There is no such thing as childproof.

Purple ink from a stamp pad will come off of your new leather couch, your white kitchen cabinets and your white, spawn-of-Satan-shows-every-little-crumb-of-dirt kitchen floor (thanks be to God that I no longer have to deal with that floor!) but it will not come off of your freshly painted walls.

And finally, one of the most important things that I did not know until I had children:
I am not a perfect parent. And it's okay. I mess up and my children know I mess up. But through my mistakes, I hope to show perseverance. I hope to model humility. I hope to explain why my children need to depend on their Heavenly Father who never errs.

I also hope that I win the lottery, so that I can keep their therapy jars fully funded.

If you are a parent, what have you learned since having children that you didn't know before?

blog comments powered by Disqus