Parenting

Please Put On Your Shoes

kids_feet_shoes

Some days I think parents need a hug from their children just as much as the child needs the hug from the parent.  Some days are simply overwhelming in trying to reason with, teach, and re-direct the small people that we bring into our lives in a variety of ways.  There must exist a filter inside the ears of every child that speaks its own language. Some days it seems like no matter how many times we say ‘please put on your shoes’ to them, it is instantly translated to one of the following:

1. Just ignore me; I really didn’t want anything

2. This episode of Teenage Mutant Anime Sponges is more important than anything I have to say.

3. I love the sound of my own voice, and repeating things 20 times is a joy!

There may be other translations that other parents have experienced, but these seem to be the recurring ones in my home with my children.  

Why do we parent? What is it about inviting little people into our homes that require constant attention, reassurance, responsibility, and boundless energy that becomes an attraction?  I read job ads frequently – none of them make the employer who is seeking someone to add to their staff all that appealing, really – but the ‘parent’ ad to me would have to be pretty much at the bottom of the list.  I’ve written one below based upon my experience with my children.

Parent Of Small Child – Accepting Applications

Have you ever dreamed of having no money, no time to yourself, no energy at the end of the day, and only watching television shows and movies with singing backpacks, whiney bald four year olds, and more fart jokes than you have ever imagined could exist? If so, we are now accepting applications for the job of Parent Of Small Child.

Job Responsibilities:

-Waking up at an un-Godly hour to simply be able to make and perhaps take three sips of a cup of coffee or other morning beverage before anyone else awakens

-Cleaning up tornado-level destruction in your home daily, more than once

-Being told ‘I hate you’ regularly

-Fishing remote controls out of toilets and drains 

-Doing five times the amount of laundry you do for yourself

-Opening the mail together at night and calling it a hot date with your spouse, because it’s all you have energy for.

We could go on and on, but why should we? If the above hasn’t elicited your interest in parenting yet, you must be crazy!

Basic Requirements

-Must be able to multi-task as cook, maid, chauffeur, nurse/doctor, dietician, teacher, personal shopper, valet, bather, authority figure, disciplinarian, and role model all at the same time, sometimes for multiple children.

-Must be fluent in multiple languages and know, at all times, what ‘that thing’ means when your child needs it.

-Having seven hands and eyes in the back of your head helpful, though not required

-Must recognize toilets and bodily functions as high comedy

-Must be able to shower, sh*t, and shave in under 10 seconds before the bathroom door bursts open and someone needs you RIGHT NOW!!!!! – to put peanut butter on something OR THEY’RE JUST GONNA DIE!!!!!.

Salary:

None, this falls in the category of thankless jobs.

Cost to participate:

169K over the course of 18 years is the average cost to raise a child

Please submit your application along with 3 references.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Why on earth wouldn’t ANYONE flock to this job, with the above description?  

In all honesty, there are days when I don’t feel very much like a parent. When all I want to do is open the great book I’m reading, or go for a walk alone, or take in a movie I’ve been wanting to see, and it seems like a terrible injustice that I can’t. Then I remember. I chose this. I chose to be a parent. More than that, I worked for it and fought for it….I adopted.  

What the hell was I thinking? I like order….I like structure…I like calm, peaceful even-keeled days. I hate having to repeat myself. I like things to make sense, and use logical reasoning every single day of my life.  These people, the little ones that cannot tie their own shoes and fail to see the joys of naps and seem to think that floors exist solely as a place to discard your clothing and toys when you are done with them, they go against everything that I am as a person. They fly in the face of the very fibre of my existence nearly every single moment of every hour they are awake, and even sometimes when they are asleep and I stab my foot on a toy creeping into their bedroom to kiss them goodnight one more time before I lay down to sleep, long past the time when my cache of energy for the day actually ran out.  Why did I imagine this would be a good idea?

Because. 

Sometimes, at random moments which defy explanation or prediction they crawl onto our laps and they hug us…and they smile at us…or we find the forgotten note in their school bag which says ‘I love my dad’ that they wrote without any prompting, and you know that even in the hours they were out of sight, and out of your care (but never out of mind), no matter how many times you had to say, plead, or even yell ‘please put on your shoes’ before you dropped them off; they were thinking of you…they felt safe…and they felt love for you.  And that makes the entire process worthwhile.

Why do we do it, day in and day out? Because we chose to, and these moments are our rewards, because no matter how messy, loud, disrespectful, disobedient, and completely insane these small people are, they can bring us the greatest joy in life with the tiniest of efforts.

Winnie The Pooh knew (and said it) best…..’Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.’

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11 thoughts on “Please Put On Your Shoes

  1. Joe says:

    It is good that you are writing this blog. It will seem like before you make sandwiches for their lunch tomorrow that they will be in high school, college, and you will be wondering why the house is so quiet. I have a feeling that the blog will speed up that process, but you will always have it to read. They are supposed to test you. No one said it would be easy. What it is, is worth it. The hugs are great, and can be easily remembered.

  2. Would love to follow along…so glad you are continuing to write! You have a gift of expressing your thoughts in words. Whoever said parenting is the hardest job in the world knew what they were talking about..and until it happens to you….we have no idea what the word means. Shaping a munchkin into a civilized, socially acceptable human being who people don’t mind being around is the hardest job in the world. Keep writing…I’m waiting for your book!!!!!!

  3. yvette says:

    Glad you decided to continue to share in a semi-public forum.
    I look forward to checking in on your progress from time to time.

    Xoxoxo

  4. Jeanne says:

    I’m not a parent and not sure I would choose that path, but reading your words I know that there is great joy and reward that you have ahead of you. Just don’t step on that toy, again. 🙂

  5. Mary M says:

    Love this! It is a wonderful and unique take on a topic that is often written about. Congrats on your first blog post! I’ll be following!

  6. Tricia says:

    Thank you, Brad, for continuing to write about your journey as a parent. There are so many relatable moments for me as I read along and I appreciate your humor and frankness! xoxo

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