We didn’t post one of those September/June, then/now photo comparisons.
Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about. You’re on Facebook; those things are everywhere.
It’s rare to find a parent who didn’t measure the passage of time by juxtaposing pictures of their kid’s first day of school in September with their kid’s last day of school in June. And then, with a mixture of pride (“He did it!”) and petulance (“He’s growing up too fast!”), they bemoan the passage of time, whine about how fast it’s all going, and bitch about how quickly kids grow up.
I call bullshit.
Parenting is an experiment.
You keep trying new things, seeing what works (nothing) and what doesn’t (everything), and shifting your techniques accordingly until you land on the perfect (read: imaginary) combination and tend to your impressionable child until he sprouts into a flawless adult.
Unfortunately, that’s all a waste of time. Not only because parenting is impossible to game plan, and because it turns out we’re the test subjects.
Every time my wife and I show each other any kind of affection, Detective Munch comes bombing over to get in on the action.
He’s like Pepé Le Pew, if Pepé Le Pew were into incestuous threesomes. (Which: probably?)
He’s always butting in! I literally don’t remember what it’s like to have time alone.
A few weeks ago, we planned a babysitting swap with some friends of ours.
They agreed to take our Detective Munch for a night, all night, overnight!, so Mom and Buried and I could go out and pretend to be twenty-year-olds again. More importantly, we could wake up and pretend to be twenty-year-olds again. And then, a few weeks down the line, we would repay the favor. It seemed like a great idea.
This weekend, it was our turn. To take our friends’ two kids.
We didn’t think this through.
“If you want the unvarnished truth, ask a child.”
So the saying goes, or, at least, so the tweet goes (I’ve seen that one a few times), and it’s true. In fact, you don’t even have to bother asking a child. A child will come up to you, unprompted, and lay you bare in an instant, without a second thought, without even bothering to look back at the mound of ash left in his wake.
Why is honesty a virtue again? I don’t want my kid to be a liar, but a little bit of tact wouldn’t kill anybody.
Especially me. I’m really fragile right now.