Tuesday, October 5, 2010

3 Things That You Just Don’t ‘Get’ Until You Have Kids

As I look back on my teen years, I was a pretty angry teenager. Not necessarily at my parents, but like most teenagers, I had that angst fueled desire to be contrary to everything. I recall thinking at one point, “I don’t owe my parents anything! They should be glad to have me around.” Now, I have a daughter of my own. There’s something about that parent to child relationship that’s never reciprocated. When you become a parent, you realize how much you owe your parents, for not just leaving you on the side of the road somewhere as an infant. It sure would have been easier than raising your whiney ass.

1. Unconditional Love

We all play that game in a relationship. “Would you still love me if…” “I was paralyzed from the neck down and you had to take care of my every need?”
There’s at least one person in your life who’s already done that for you. Care to guess who? That’s right children, it’s your parents. If you are a standard issue Earth-native humanoid, you were born to a parent or parents. Even if your birth parents gave you up to adoptive parents who could better care for you, someone loved you enough to take care of you when you were completely incapable of anything on your own. You couldn’t eat by yourself, you couldn’t clean the feces from your little bum, you couldn’t even walk at first. In the world of mammals, that’s pretty bad. The whole time your parents were doing that, you were completely oblivious. You probably threw up on them, pooped on them, and did things that you would be mortified about now. Your parents took it all in stride. Sure, they were likely disgusted the first time you smeared poop on their hands, but eventually they just said “Ugh, again?” and wiped it off. How would you feel if someone you just met two days before got poop on your hands, kept you up all night, demanded to be fed every few hours and just laid around the rest of the time? Yet, your parents did all of that for you. Still though, without being a parent, that’s something that you just won’t get.

2. People Freaking Out About Their Kid Doing Seemingly Unimpressive Things

Yeah, it used to piss me off just hearing it: “Oh my God! Robbie just grabbed for that block!” “OH OH HE’S STACKING THEM!!!”
Before you fire off that sarcastic retort, cut the lady some slack. Seriously, taking point 1 into consideration, it’s easy to see how this kid doing anything is exciting. Babies only eat, sleep, poop and cry for their first few months of life. Hell, the only time they smile at you is when they have gas. So you spend all your time with this little bundle that is incapable of caring for itself in any way shape or form and then one day, they start to see things beyond their own bodies. They start to notice that there is a world beyond their fingers and the nipple of their bottle. That, friends, is an exciting thing to witness.

3. The Baby Pictures

Everyone knows that person. They’ve got 10 albums on Facebook dedicated to pictures of their child. Everyone knows that kid is not near as cute as their parents think it is. Nobody wants to see all those lame pictures of what looks like your kid passing gas.
I hate when people overdo stuff like that too. Before you start taking up torches for the great Facebook Flame war take a second to consider the venue. Facebook is a social medium. People go there to talk about their lives. When someone has a baby, it’s a life-altering event. “Yeah, yeah, I know, I get it.” you think sarcastically. You don’t though. You just can’t understand something like that until you experience it. Facebook is a place where people talk about their lives and the important things in them. When your friend only posts pictures of their baby, it’s because 1) they don’t have time for anything else and 2) that kid is now the most important thing in their life.
So put down the weapon and step away from the keyboard. It’s annoying I know, but just let them do what they do and ignore the ten million photo albums. It’s hard, to be sure, but you’ll survive, I promise.
So this is definitely not a comprehensive list, but it’s a start. At the very least, you should go tell your mom thanks for wiping your ass for you so many times.

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