Parenting

Category: By Christian
I have been known to make broad, sweeping comments that are soaked in brash arrogance. Back when I was in high school and my first two years of college these comments came with far more regularity than they do now. I like to think that in my old age I have become more nuanced and gracious with my opinions and a bit more humble in how I express them. If this is not the case, you have my permission to lay the smack down on me.

So, in the past if I have every ungraciously critiqued your parenting skills without knowing what it was like to be a parent then I apologize. I have learned that being a parent changes your perspective in ways you cannot ever imagine without experiencing it for yourself.

We started to get a taste of this reality when we were on the brink of parenthood and were idealizing what the experience would be like. My wife, in all of her wisdom, suggested that we start tempering our notions of what we would and would not do as parents. At least leave a little wiggle room in case we drastically overestimated our resolve or self control. Thus, we started telling people that we were going to "try" cloth diapers just in case we found out that we did not have the patience and stomach for rinsing out pooping diapers in the toilet. And we would tell each other that we "hoped" to not start Elli on sweets at a young age knowing good and well that if we were ever in a busy place and she was crabby that we might succumb to the temptation to slip her a M&M or two to pacify her. (For the record we are still doing cloth diapers and have succeeded in being anal retentive and unrelenting on the sweets. For now, at least.)

As I awoke this morning I had came to the realization that I must really love this kid because I was in a situation that I never imagined myself being in as a parent. If another parent had told me they were in an identical situation, I probably would have thought them to be a bit overzealous. I was getting up off of the floor that I had been laying on since 5:20am, wiping the slobber off of the teddy bear that I had used for a pillow and casting off the afghan that kept me warm. Elli was not feeling well all night, so after staying up with her for 45 minutes and getting her back to sleep it became obvious that I could not leave the room without seriously risking waking the poor child up. Not even to get a proper pillow. And so I plopped down on the floor next to the crib and caught a nap. That's not a scenario that is laid out in many parenting books.

There was probably a time in life when I would have said, "I don't care how sick my child gets. I'm going to sleep in the bed and if she cries then the baby monitor will let me know and I can go take care of it." Whatever, slick. The reality of parenting is far different from that, though it would have been difficult to know that before experiencing it. With that, I repent of all such comments.

Fair Dinkum
 

1 comment so far.

  1. Broken Artist 12:40 PM
    yeah man, i am glad that you are letting others in on that kind of stuff you are going through. i can only guess as to what it is that you are feeling and the sleep that you are losing. you a great writer my man, so thanks for letting others see that. also you must listen to the new Bloc Party Record.

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