Monday, July 14, 2014

What I thought I knew about having kids

If you haven't seen Bill Cosby's skit on "natural child birth" then you should put that somewhere in your "I should check that out" memory bank.

In it, he talks about how he and his wife are "intellectuals."  He elaborates about all the plans they make in having children, and then hilarity ensues.

I have a lot of friends who are on the fence about having kids.  They hear rhetoric ranging from, "kids are just too expensive" to "plan and make sure you're ready to have children."

I reject this entire paradigm of thinking about children.  Here's all you need to know, coming from a father of 4 kids.

Children are an act of faith.

That's it.  They're not "expensive" they're not a "huge responsibility" they're not a "life-changing event," they are an act of faith.  Do you want money in life?  It's okay to say yes.  Well, having kids is a leap of faith that you can both mentor and provide for this little person and still get what you want.

No matter what your goals are in life, children do NOT prevent you from achieving them.  Sure, you can use your kids as excuses for falling short if you want, and they can make certain goals in life more challenging--but what no one told you is they can actually make achieving a lot of your goals a lot easier.  Children are about the best motivation I have ever found in my life for achieving the things I always wanted when I was single, but too nervous or complacent to actually do.

So, whatever any half-brained journalist, column writer, or socially indoctrinated friend tells you, just know that in the end, children are an act of faith.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Typical Evening With Kids vs Without Kids

Read a "Typical Saturday Morning" post of this nature, so here's the evening version courtasy of yours truly.

With Kids Time Without Kids
Get home from work, stressed, disgruntled and in need of a break. You can't be tired, it's not allowed yet. Kids are screaming, there's an odor in the air of a dirty diaper, TV is playing loudly in the background. 5:00 Get home from work tired. Flip on the TV, find something interesting to watch.
Attempt to change out of your work clothes without being followed or having any one of a hundred non-washable stain treatments haphazardly thrown about your dwelling mark what you're wearing. Make it into your room with only one straggling kid who insists on you wearing a tiara/blob of mud (depends on gender) 5:30 Ooow, sitcom.
All candy, snack food, junk food, health food, and basically everything except for the Gerber first-start food you bought specifically for your kids has been ravaged, so you start eating some Gerber first-start food. You dream briefly of catching up on the mess in the kitchen/living room/bedrooms/bathrooms. 6:00 I'm kinda hungry, gonna grab some chips or snack food.
Okay, I can't get this mess mopped up, and I can't sweep because of all the legos scattered about, so where's that bin you bought for your kids? Cracked in two, guess all the toys go in the garbage? You announce that you're throwing away toys to your kids, and they panic, start screaming and possibly pick up one or two of the 346,204 items they've left on the ground. You concede and just use your foot to push enough of them aside to clean one area of floorspace that you haven't seen in a week. 6:30 I can do dishes tomorrow night. Big Bang Theory is on.
It's been two days since I've been able to keep the 2-year-old from biting me while attempting to brush her teeth. Argue with the wife about which tranquilizing drugs are safe to use on children for a bit. Try to act excited and turn teeth-brushing into a game. Have blood drawn from young teeth, again. 7:00 Should I go out tonight? Meh, let's see what else is on. . .
Try to read child a bedtime story. Get your third rib bruised when they wiggle violently on your lap. Tell kids to stop arguing with the story. Attempt to tuck them in, only to have 15 complaints delivered serially (it starts with a "I want water," I get water and return to be informed that it has to be in a sippy cup, so I put it in a sippy cup and return to be informed that it has to be a blue sippy cup. I continue this process until I pass out, blow up, or give up) 7:30 I should probably get changed. Guess I'll coordinate with a close associate about evening plans.
Half the kids are down, so it's safe for me to look in all my hiding spots for food that might be edible. Help oldest with homework. Break up a fight. Finally stuff face with more than discarded baby food. 8:00 Change to pajamas, find a book, start reading.
Tell the older kids to finish their chores and start getting ready for bed; be ignored. Turn the TV on to see if there is a show available that you might enjoy, and you find one--briefly ignoring the PG-13/TV-LV rating on it and attempt to turn it on. 8:30 What a great book!
Woah, yeah, didn't want my kids seeing that. Hopefully they didn't. Aw crap, they've been behind me the entire time glued to this show and they noticed that I'm eating some regular food and that they finally have my attention so they start demanding food identical to mine. I provide, then help them brush their teeth and send them up to bed. 9:00 What time is it? Who cares, it's just getting interesting.
I'm pretty sure I heard a loud thud from the kid's room. I go to investigate. They've been throwing toys off the bed and have woken up the baby. Help the baby calm down and fall asleep again, scold children, go brush teeth after locking the door behind me. I haven't showered in two days, so I best attempt that. Well, wife is in the shower and has already ignored advances for the past few days. Guess I start getting my stuff together for work tomorrow. 9:30 9:30? I got time.
Work bag packed, check schedule for tomorrow. Check facebook for a few minutes before you hear the voice of your oldest say, "who's that?" Ask them why they aren't in bed, to be informed that another diaper needs changing. Try to get the kids settled after the most recent diaper change. 10:00 Hmm, video games? Don't mind if I do!
Lay down. My mind is racing too fast to go to sleep. Quell anxieties about being a good parent for a moment and attempt to organize thoughts. Hear a knock on the door, one of the kids has wet the bed. Get up, help wife change the sheets, lay back down and repeat. 10:30 Yes, new high score!
Slam pillow over head defiantly when the baby starts to scream. Briefly reflect on how much your life sucked before you were married and had kids and smile a bit before telling your wife you love her. She smiles, and gets up to take care of the baby. 11:00 Maybe I should think about going to bed. . .Ooow, facebook!

Why I'm (still) a Mormon

I don't expect much more to ever be posted on this blog, and I'm largely just posting this to share it with some particular friends....