Not easier- different…

July 8, 2009

When the boys were super young I couldn’t wait for them to learn how to use the toilet. But simply using the toilet wasn’t enough- I also wanted them to wipe, flush and replace the roll after they depleted the last sheet. The point is I found myself wishing away periods of my kid’s lives in the hopes that it would get easier just around the bend, but the thing is “right around the bend” isn’t easier- it’s just different.

For example when you first bring your kids home from the hospital their needs are very rudimentary. Babies need to eat, sleep remain warm and on occasion have their butts slathered in ointment- that my friends is simplicity. I can’t believe I used to complain about that. At what point in my life have I ever faced a challenge with such clear and easy answers? It’s like putting together a four-piece jigsaw puzzle- if the first piece doesn’t fit, grab the next- you only have a couple of options available to you. As your kids age this simple formula changes dramatically and what used to be a four-piece puzzle transforms into a series of mutated differential equations.

Lets take crying for instance:

When a Newborn is crying it probably means one of the following things-

I am wet

I am cold

I am hungry

I am tired

(I’m not going to include illnesses and injuries)

Here is a short list of possible causes for uncontrollable sobbing emanating from a 6-8 year old boy:

I am wet, cold, hungry, tired (we all try the simple stuff first, but older kids have all ready learned to fix these issues so your efforts will be in vain).

I lost my gum, eraser, dollar, tooth, WII controller, brother, ice cream samiche (sic), bike, mind, car keys (I always wondered who lost my car keys, now I know).

I have no one to play with.

I have someone to play with who I don’t want to play with.

I’m playing with someone that I want to play with but they are not playing what I want to play.

The person I didn’t want to play with that played the thing I didn’t want to play had to go home.

My brother is- touching me, pinching me, smiling at me, mocking me, throwing me the finger.

My brother just grabbed- my hair, my lips, my gonuts, my lunch, “my” remote.

I want a- puppy, pony, gorilla, pair of bunny slippers, third eye, Mom’s lip gloss, hand grenade, shoe lace from the Jonas Brothers converse high tops, a rubber chicken, Fart Machine, glass of wine (sorry that was me projecting).

Dad won’t- buy me a trampoline, take me duck hunting, let me drive, get a vasectomy (one more boy and I may reconsider), stand still while I hurl authentic Cherokee tomahawks at him, do the robot, recite the Koran in Mandarin, let me join the Verizon network.

It’s raining.

It’s sunny.

It’s snowing.

It’s Monday (you can probably guess that the other days of the week may cause uncontrollable fits of sobbing as well))

I don’t want to go to school.

I want to see all of my school friends.

To reiterate I don’t want to go to school.

I don’t want to cut my hair, my nails, the grass, to the chase or the cheese.

My brother called me a- chicken, poop nugget, butt-dimple, snot bubble, ninny, loser, urinal cake, fart vapor, nipple tassel (I really need to cancel Cinemax)

I’m- scared, angry, bored, flatulent, constipated, confused, anxious, nervous, lonely, sweaty, clammy, sensitive, indifferent, difficult, republican, pro-choice.

I just broke something expensive while doing something irresponsible that you told me multiple times never to do and you’re going to be super pissed off.

So you see in the old days life was pretty simple. A quick four-point inspection to determine the source of the angst and then rapidly execute a simple solution. With older kids plan on spending an inordinate amount of time trying to pinpoint the cause. Once that’s achieved be prepared to execute a complex, multi-faceted solution that will likely result in at best a melancholy half smile.

Point being, it’s not going to get easier, only different.





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Woman with Kids posted the following on July 9, 2009 at 6:37 am.

It doesn’t get easier when they get older, just more …different. They don’t cry as much, but they basically exhibit the same behaviors, the reasons have just changed slightly.

Tree posted the following on July 10, 2009 at 10:12 am.

I snorted coffee out my nose. You are spot on. I have a nearly three yo girl and a nearly 8 yo boy. The boy is so much more difficult to satisfy than the girl (at this time) and so much more complicated.

You nailed it.

darev2005 posted the following on July 10, 2009 at 10:53 am.

WWK is right, it doesn’t get any easier. I believe that the reasons they cry are exponential for every year they are alive. Buy a hard hat and a pair of earplugs and you might save your sanity!

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