Parenting: The NeverEnding Story

Juan and Lizzie drawing

A short moment of peace.

I try not to post about my kids on here because this is a writing/editing blog and there’s a lot of parenting blogs that talk about the same type of things I deal with every day. And they say it in a lot more witty and humorous ways than I possibly could. Today, however, I feel inspired (mostly by my son) to write this up.

I was posting something funny my son said on facebook. I only post funny and cute things my children do on facebook. Which means that some days, there is nothing I could possibly post. Just kidding, they usually get out one or two cute things a day.

But most of the time, my kids are a lot of hard work. And I feel like I am in a constant, losing battle to keep my calm and my sanity. So, for your entertainment, here is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of pretty much every one of my days this year. Notice how no matter which option you choose, you always end up in the same place. Enjoy!

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First, I have a two-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl. The boy has boundless energy, so he starts running around the house. I can either

  • tell him to stop running, because our house is small and he will eventually run into something. This will make him cry, because he is full of energy and needs to run.
  • let him run around until he runs into a wall or piece of furniture, which he will eventually because our house is so small. He will cry becuase he just slammed his shoulder or head or toe into something hard.
  • let him run around until he trips over his sister, in which case they will both cry.

The next course of action would be to take the toddlers outside, where there is less stuff for them to run into. The boy will automatically pick up a stick and start waving it around. He will either

  • hit his sister with it, either on purpose or on accident, and she will come crying to me. The boy will then come chasing after her, thereby further endangering both me and the girl with said stick.
  • hit his sister with it, and she will stand up for herself and hit him back. The boy will then hit her back while simultaneously whining to me, “Babby hit me!”
  • play in the dirt with his stick until he notices that his sister is playing very happily on her tricycle, when he will either: 1) push her off her tricycle and ride it instead, or 2) try to “play with her” by pushing her ON her tricycle, but since she has terrible balance, she will fall off and the boy won’t notice, thereby running over her with said tricycle.

When I get tired of them hitting each other, it will be bath time. There are no options here. They take a bath together still because they love baths so much that if I tried to let them bathe separately the other would just come in and tip him/herself into the tub headfirst so they could play too. There will be splashing and cleaning and general happiness until the boy starts forcing the girl to drink out of their stacking cups, which is all fun and games until she gets overwhelmed and starts crying.

So then they get out of the bath, dry off, get re-clad in diapers and undies (much to their chagrin) and it’s time to be quiet and watch TV. Surprise, they want to watch the same cartoon show they’ve already watched four times through. You can

  • force them to watch something you want to watch, but it should probably be family friendly since my son has started repeating EVERYTHING he sees on TV. They will spend the first fifteen minutes questioning why this is not their show of choice, and then either 1) settle down once an interesting animal appears on screen, or 2) lose interest in the show and run off to their room.
  • turn on the show they want and get out your laptop, where you can hopefully tune out their show. But one or both of them WILL want to sit in your lap.
  • turn on the show they want and get out your laptop, put in your headphones, and listen to music or watch youtube videos. The kids will either 1) not notice and you will get to ignore their TV show, but you’ll have to glance over at them every few seconds to make sure they’re not talking to you, or 2) they will notice, and the great debate over who gets to listen to your headphones will ensue, and nobody will be watching the TV show you have already seen four times.

Soon one of them will start whining that she wants some milk, at which point the other will remember that he is thirsty and also wants milk.  You can

  • get them milk and then risk the boy going into milk overload later in the day and throwing up (yes, he’s weird like that).
  • get them water, which they will first throw across them room when they realize it isn’t milk, but then cry and go drink it because they really are thirsty.
  • get them watered-down juice, if you are lucky enough to still have some juice in the fridge.

Then it’s snack time and they don’t want to eat anything that you offer them and all they want is “juice and chocolate!” but you don’t have any juice because they just drank it all, and you’re certainly not going to be a bad parent and just let them eat chocolate chips as a snack. Mostly because then you will have to clean the chocolate smears off the couch later.

And finally the husband comes home, the children rush to him, and you have a few minutes to make dinner, and in the two hours remaining until bedtime they can either

  • play in their room.
  • watch TV with you.
  • run around and bump into furniture.
  • all three things mixed with a healthy dose of crying because one of them bit the other.

And then it is bed time! And after you brush teeth and put on the pajamas that are always too small because the CDC or CPRS or somebody requires pajamas to be tight-fitting and flame-resistant, and you sing them their two songs, they say, “I love you too!” even though you forgot to say “I love you” in the first place. And then you remember that you really do love them, and you think back to all the adorable things they did that day.

And if you’re lucky that is the last peep you will hear out of them until 6:45 the next morning, when the boy wakes up and starts playing with his doorstop and hollering, “Mama! I’m awake!”

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