There are painfully few advantages to having a bunch of kids spaced pretty close together. Chief among them is that you remember the more painful moments from older children soon enough that you can still make use of those memories before your soul goes AWOL on you Apocalypse Now-style.
For me, I remark on the passing of certain milestones because they represent my life getting easier
because I am a narcissist .
- No more formula!
- No more diapers!
- No more rear facing car seats!
- No more car seats!
My better three-quarters remarks on these milestones with a certain amount of sadness. Conversations with the missus usually go along these lines:
Me: “I am so glad to be finally done with car seats! I can’t wait until they’re done with booster seats too!”
Her: “Don’t wish it all away!”
Me: “Easy for you to say, you never install the car seats.”
I am not wishing “it” away. I’m just wishing away the shitty parts. I admit, it’s hard for me to see it from the other side. After all, moms had us *inside them*. No one gets the essential you-ness of you more than your mom, for better or for worse. Somewhere, a tiny part of Jeffrey Dahlmer’s mom thinks her boy was just misunderstood
and probably feels guilty for not feeding him enough.
IN HER UTERUS.
Meanwhile, Dads are just humming along, blissfully minding their own business, largely oblivious to the impending disaster. Sure, she’s getting crazier
and larger by the day, but since men have been chasing women this is basically par for the course. Then from completely out of nowhere we get introduced to a small snotty screaming monster, and from the beginning we’re both eyeing each other up.
If it wasn’t for my wife, I would give each kid a pork chop and $20 and send them off into the world to seek their fortune, sometime around age 5, because jeezus please stop with the constant whining you can’t have gummi bears we don’t have gummi bears daddy is not going to the store to buy gummi bears STOP WITH THE THRICEDAMNED GUMMI BEARS.
If it wasn’t for me, our children would have been dipped in bronze at about age 6 months and perfectly preserved doing something cute, like straining to poop. Or sleeping.
Although that would be tricky to do while bronzing.
I am always in little in awe of my divorced friends who manage to raise kids alone, especially when their kids are of the opposite gender. On a day to day basis they have to be both mom and dad, and I can barely manage just half of that equation. I had lunch with one of my divorced friends recently. Excerpt from our conversation:
“Sometimes, the baseboards don’t get cleaned for WEEKS. I feel like a horrible mom.”
I know I have baseboards because I installed them. I’ll be damned if I can remember the last time they were cleaned by anything other than our dog lying on them. I’m certain that missus Nostrikethat gets a good scrub in when I’ve really pissed her off… but beyond that? Oh, my turn to say something.
“Yeah, you are a horrible mom.”
Whew! That was close. I am awesome at small talk!
I do my best to appreciate each little human for who they are right now, even if I have high hopes for who they will become. It’s not always easy, but after four kids I’m getting a little better at it, thanks in no small part to the shock collar my wife attached to my neck after our first child’s birthday.
Hah! I kid.