As a parent my world revolves around our children. They bring to our lives purpose and a fulfillment that just can’t be achieved by denying their existence. No really you can deny they’re yours all you want but try leaving Chucky Cheese unnoticed when one of them yells; Hey dad where ya going? That damn family hand stamp you received when you arrived ties you right back to the little darlings! Anyways I only tried it once, no harm no foul right?
Yep those little ones fill our days with delight! From the moment their sweet little angelic eyes open in the morning, birds begin to sing! They’ll float down to breakfast as if Miss Mary Poppins herself was their nanny! Poise, confidence, smarts they are perfect and all yours. Every day is greeted with excitement because you’re able to cherish hundreds of precious moments with these wondrous gifts from god!
Often times in the morning I am heard across the neighborhood hollering out our back door as they skip off to school, backpacks in hand, looking sharp dressed in their finest knickers; Have a great day children and remember daddy loves yoouuuu!! They always stop, hold hands and in unison shout: We love you to daddy!!!! Sweet visualization huh?
Parenting is a calling, you don’t realize how important it is until it happens to you! Becoming a parent brings together all the unknowns about your existence, solidifying them in one complete, mind altering, unrelenting realization.
At some point you are going to need a drink!
Because after that Disney fantasy world of morning departure, as the door closes and you’re left all alone with nothing but your thoughts, life becomes very clear. You may need a drink! It starts out harmless enough; the house is yours so you figure knocking out a few chores such as laundry sounds like a good idea. I mean you are the maid right? So you grab a cup of coffee, haul a few hampers, wash a few loads it all sounds so easy? But oh no my friend how wrong you are because it’s then and only then you see the light! For example, apparently all four of my children were performing on America’s got talent last night! How do I know? Because every single one of them went through at least three wardrobe changes yesterday leaving two of them scattered across the bathroom, bedroom and hallway floors! Only someone who performs on stage needs that many wardrobe changes to get through the day right? The laundry basket is filled with an equal amount of clothing exchanges from the previous three days as well and by the time it has been transferred to the basement it appears the bottom of the basket is filled with clothes I washed and folded on Friday of last week! Those clothes now smell awful because apparently the littlest one peed the bed and has thrown the urine soaked clothing on top of the aforementioned clean clothes! Feeling the need yet?
Did I mention the bathroom? Between cleaning up piss scattered about the base of the toilet and poop that has made its way miraculously down the side of the bowl. (Serious skill or a disturbing problem) There is an endless river of shampoo and body gel making its way around every part of our bathroom except (judging by quantity only) onto the filthy bodies of my pristine little gems! Thirsty for a snort?
As I feel happiness slowly draining from my body like the last remaining droplets of coffee from the pot downstairs, I decide grabbing some chocolate will harden my resolve and strengthen my nerves. One problem, it’s all gone! I don’t know when or where but it’s gone all gone! Hands shaking, teeth grinding, creating new curse words, the laundry is dragged to the basement and tossed into the machine, our bathrooms are cleaned to perfection, the floor is swept, mopped and left to dry while I burn time folding clothes. I call it “burning” time because it’s not what I want to do it’s what I have to do so I prefer to burn it with my hatred!! After an hour I start missing my children again (I know freaking crazy huh?). The bottle on the counter doesn’t seem quite as tempting anymore, yet Jack is always a gentlemen and he remains smooth as silk in his delivery.
The day trots’ on with more highs and lows; high when I find a bedroom closet cleaned, low when I find all my missing chocolate wrappers under a bed, high when finding a note left behind by one of them saying how much they love me, low when realizing all the words are spelled backwards, leaving me worrying about his education! High while realizing they are all taking fairly good care of their animals a very big responsibility, low when reaching into a box of Hot Pockets to find it has been placed back into the freezer empty! AARRRGGGHHHHH! Getting thirsty again…
By the time our children are let out of school my emotions have traveled a gambit of expressions and yet even though exhaustion is ruling my body, and sleep would be a welcome sight even for just a few minutes, I pull my boot straps up, put on a smile and rush off to gather them for the return ride home. A trip into town takes but 15 minutes, just enough time to sing a few songs on the radio, down a beer and let the Percocet take hold! Just kidding!!! Don’t get uptight now my belligerent story has almost concluded!
While waiting in the hallways I take note of many other children, some are sweet as pie, others in need of a good old-fashioned ————-! (You fill in the blank! Really anything you want! Time out, walk in the park, smack on the tush, trophy for being the most obnoxious, whatever works for you! This is the kinder gentler, stranger society we occupy so live it up!)
My conclusion is this; our children will always be sweet little angels, the stuff Disney movies are made of, no matter what anyone else says! They could do whatever they wanted and dad would stand behind them all the way! Ok except for getting arrested and maybe starting a fight, yeah that’s never good, also selling drugs would be a hard one to back all the way unless junior is gonna hook a father up with some sweet green!
I digress…. So my children walk up, hugs are given and no longer do I feel the stress of a long day! Life is ok; all is right with the world. We climb into the truck and before we leave the parking lot three of them are fighting in the back seat, one is crying two are punching each other all while words such as butthead and fart face are thrown about as frequently as a bug hitting the windshield! So with the calmness of a school librarian (they still have those don’t they?) the truck is turned north, our home is no longer an approved destination for I have determined they (our children)are feeling the very same stresses I feel day after day. Their stress revolves around working hard, strengthening the farthest reaches of their little brains during a long day of school! So it would make sense for them to release stress exactly the same way dad does, through spastic, angered verbal retaliation. Of course mine is directed at no one because I am usually home alone. A feeling of daily stress that just can’t be contained from sitting in ones room for being grumpy. Since children can’t drink (not legally anyways) it’s on to the next best thing! Pulling into the Frozen yogurt shop a hearty FRO-YO chant bellows comes from the back seat, sharing the very same exuberance a dock worker feels when his ride home at the end of a long day stops at the local pub for a pint… or two….
Everyone pours out of the truck, piles into the store, flavors are picked, toppings are served and we take our little pint-sized treasures out to the tables in the shade. Not a word is spoken, peace and harmony exists, the only sounds to be heard are that of; thanks dad and mmmmmmmmmm! Ok except for my littlest who between spoonfuls is conducting an imaginary orchestra with his spoon! Holy cow people are staring at him….. Cooollll…… Climbing back into the truck all is right with the world. They have de-stressed, genuine conversation is at the forefront of our ride home. We are a communicating caring family once again! All because of a little sweet FRO-YO.
At home they are playing joyfully in the backyard. Chores completed with smiles and homework finished. I pray they have the ability to stay in Disney/Happiest place in the world mode a little while longer; I’d like their mother to enjoy some of this FRO-YO high as well?
Now where did I put my old friend Jack?
(this story is sarcasm based, no alcohol, children, parents or animals were harmed in the telling of this story)