Having kids changes your outlook on tons of things, some big, some small. For the most part, it’s positive. Life becomes better and more interesting, things you’ve long taken for granted are suddenly seen in a new light; that’s exciting and fun.
But kids are pretty stupid. And while their innocence can be refreshing, their ignorance is simply astounding. So for every aspect of life you appreciate anew when you view it through the eyes of your developing child, there are thirty mundane things that you had been ignoring on purpose that are suddenly thrust back into your life. Soon you find yourself focusing on things you’d stopped wasting time thinking about long ago.
Having children both expands and corrupts every aspect of your life. Kids change your perspective, and suddenly things that shouldn’t be important are, and things you used to enjoy without a second thought become minefields.
Ways Kids Change Your Perspective
- Elevators – Possibly my son’s favorite things on earth. SIGH. Instead of being a lazy way for me to get places without breaking a sweat, they have become EVENTS. God forbid someone touches one of their buttons before my kid does: WORLD WAR FUCKING THREE. (And let me tell you, nothing is more fun than being trapped inside a box with a shrieking three-year-old.) As a result, elevators have gone from convenient to cringe-inducing. Unfortunately they’re a necessary evil, because taking the stairs with a toddler requires supplies and a sleeping bag.
- Food That’s Shaped Like Other Things – I don’t mean the dinosaur- or Toy Story-shaped chicken nuggets your kid refuses to eat (why we think buying food shaped like characters our children love will entice them to eat is beyond me. “Look, it’s Woody! Don’t you want to chomp him to death?”) I’m referring to food that accidentally resembles other things, like a cracker that accidentally reminds your three-year-old of the neighbor’s cat. Food used to be food, now I have to make sure it doesn’t accidentally look like something else or my kid will find another reason not to eat it. He’s suddenly no different from those people who see the Virgin Mary’s face in their toast, except those people should know better.
- TV – Television used to be my friend. Before my son was born, I figured I’d mostly have to protect my precious TV from him. But it’s the other way around! Turns out, I have to protect my son from my TV! IT’S TRYING TO MELT HIS BRAIN AND CORRUPT HIS SOUL AND FORCE HIM TO BUY THINGS HE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW EXISTED. Also, I can’t get any of the kids’ show theme songs out of my head.
- Silence – It used to be calming; relaxing, even. Mom and Buried and I could sit in silence for hours, enjoying each other’s company while we each read a book or the paper or took a nap. Now, not only is silence rare, its scarcity cloaks it in anxiety. Things are no longer simply quiet when they’re quiet; now they’re too quiet. Your kids are either up to something or trapped under something! Silent lucidity my ass. Stupid Queensryche.
- Railroad Tracks – Formerly known as speed bumps. Nowadays they are sought after, and when some are being approached they must be announced with anticipation and reverence so my son can have a chance to scour the area for actual trains that NEVER happen to be going by, and instead of hearing the whistle from those delightful relics of times gone by, we can all enjoy the bump and grind as my car’s suspension is shredded. (Related objects of excitement: cranes, pirates, boats, back-hos, and all sorts of other junk he’s obsessed with primarily because of various children’s TV shows.)
- Parades – We go to and/or watch every parade available. Suddenly I’m supposed to care about this bullshit? Ugh. Nothing is more pointless than a parade, except maybe fireworks, which reminds me…
- Fireworks – This is why having kids is a pain. No, I don’t want to go outside on freezing New Year’s Eve to stare at different colored flames! WHO THE FUCK CARES ABOUT FIREWORKS?! Oh right, children. (And Mom and Buried.)
- Time – I’m not talking about the ways having a child makes time more precious and more fleeting all at once. No, I’m talking about the way my son thinks anything that has ever happened before right now happened “yesterday”. Or how when I tell him what time it is, he asks me, ‘Why?’ Or how when I ask him what time it is, he says, ‘Forty dollars.’ Raising children is like slowly going insane and being expected to love it.
- Drinking – Drinking used to be so carefree! Now there are countless concerns every time you crack your first beer. Is it responsible to drink so casually in front of him? Sure, I’m not getting drunk. Is it responsible to get drunk with my son in the house? Sure, he’s seen me naked countless times. What if I’m hung-over tomorrow? Mommy can handle it. What if she gets drunk too? Maybe he’ll get a brother!
- Having More Kids – I bet you couldn’t wait to have multiple kids! Then you had your first, and any ideas about the cute “pitter-patter” of little feet went out the window by the time that kid turned two. All your preconceived notions about what it’s like to have children were drowned in the realization that, like everything else in life, it’s not always all it’s cracked up to be. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. At least when you’re considering having a second, your eyes are wide open. Literally. Have a second kid and you’ll never sleep again. Or so I assume.