You can learn a lot when you become a parent or are often around kids. It's fun, rewarding, sweet, and some days makes can make you feel more moody then a 14-year old girl. I love being a mother, but like most things in life, it's not always the bees knees. I might not be an expert in the ways of parenting, however, being one has really humbled me. Which is a very positive thing.
For me, I've learned to embrace the moments of awkwardness and humiliation.
Yes. You heard correct. If you are chatting with a group of friends and someone says something off color, the awkward silence seems to lasts forever. For. Ever.
But when you have kids the awkwardness can be great. One time I was dancing with my kids and some neighbors walked by. Since my kids aren't tall enough to be seen in the windows, it looked like I was dancing alone. And this isn't like, cute singing-into-a-broom dancing. This is like pure humiliation. For my baby boy, the bigger, wilder, and more out-of-control dancing, the better. So as I whip my hair back and forth, or furiously shake my head "no" while pointing to every corner of the room ... some poor neighbor has witnessed this and probably thought, "How sad. So lonely."
People think kids are hard to deal with, but compared to adults, they're way easier to be around. You can tell kids a joke and usually get a good reaction if you pause for a few seconds, then bust out some jolly laughter. Adults stare at you like you finally lost your mind.
You have to seriously look for the perfect birthday gift when it comes to an adult. Kids just seriously want some candy.
When adults get emotional, you have to listen to a long drawn out complicated explanation. My son cries when he needs a diaper change.
Adults need support and emotional connection. Kids do to, but it's not in a coffee shop over brunch. It's usually via screaming down the park slide into a pile of dirt.
I might have to try that next time I have a bad day. Then drown myself in a slew of chicken nuggets and an apple juice. Oh, teach me your ways little ones.
Speaking of being taught something, I learned five new things this week.
The first one, is that my son reminds me of a halibut. They are all belly on one side, and have two googley eyes on the other. I peeked through the door to see him calmly laying in his crib almost asleep with his belly up. Then my outrageous, football player-sized shoulder gently nudged the squeaky door and he immediately flopped over as his halibut eyes intensely stared at me. I was afraid I wouldn't get "me" time while he naps and by the end of the day (with no coffee in sight) I would be found alone in the corner whispering and laughing loudly to myself. I slowly backed away and he fell asleep. Madness.
The second thing I learned was when my daughter sees a spider, she now screams five octaves higher than usual. I guess with the long winters you get used to not seeing bugs for a while, so it makes sense. But my natural clumsiness mixed with panic about near killed me when I ran to the bathroom to see the harmless (terrifying) arachnid.
The third thing I learned was some things never get old to kids. While I was casually sitting at my kitchen table paying bills (and eating a steak dinner. Just kidding.) my daughter pushed my son so he zoomed by at lightning speeds in his large Tonka truck. They were having fun and no one got hurt, but I was a little jealous. Maybe I can get someone to push me around in a yellow wheelbarrow sometime.
The fourth thing I learned was no matter how often I wash my hands or put on nice smelling fragrances, I will probably continue to smell like a lunchbox for the next 18 years. Which isn't so awful if you enjoy the odor of fish sticks and string cheese. I definitely keep a perfume wand in my purse at all times.
The fifth and final thing I learned was my son's new habit. He takes a swig from his pint of milk, then let's it seep out of his mouth until it dribbles all over his belly. I go through a range of emotions at his shenanigans. I frown. I laugh. Then I get mad and clean it up.
I guess as long as he's not 17 years old and saying, "Call me Chug" I won't have issues with it.
Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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