Parents aren’t special. Having children doesn’t make you a hero. To paraphrase Furious Styles, any fool can make a baby, it takes a real parent to raise kids.
It also takes a real parent to think horrifying thoughts about their kids. And if that’s the primary criterion by which parenting is measured, I’m pretty sure I’m the world’s greatest dad. Because I’m a horrible person!
For proof, witness this list of terrible thoughts only parents have, and that it’s possible only this parent has, because I’m deranged. But that’s why you love me!
I once wrote a post entitled “The Secret to Happy Parenting“, in which I suggested that you’ll be happier if you stopped caring what other people think of your parenting. (From that post: “I’m not suggesting you stop caring about your kid. I’m saying you need to stop caring about everyone else but your kid.”)
It sounds good. Being able to inoculate yourself against all the haters is definitely a great way to improve your peace of mind. The problem is your kids are still around! And as annoying and stressful as judgmental people can be, no one is as annoying and stressful as your kids themselves.
I was wrong. The secret to happy parenting isn’t to stop caring about everyone and everything else but your kids, the secret is to stop caring about your kids at all.
The secret to happy parenting is “The Parenting Shrug.”
As of this morning, I’ve been a parent of two children for four months and one day. Thanks to the five-year separation in their ages, it doesn’t always feel like it.
When Mom and Buried and I decided to have another kid, we worried about the bigger-than-desired age gap, but so far, it’s making things easier for us. So much so that I sometimes forget I have two kids!
I don’t mind the sibling age gap.
Recently, Detective Munch got in trouble at school.
He gets in trouble at school every once in a while, but it’s mostly with both the same frequency of trouble and of the same variety of “trouble” that most five-year-olds get into. He doesn’t pay attention to the teachers, he goofs around with his friends and acts silly, he put his fingers in someone else’s mouth. You know, typical behavior.
But last week he did something a little bit more serious, and in an attempt to let him know that such behavior is unacceptable, Mom and Buried and I were forced to lay down the law. Of course, there are only so many ways to discipline a five-year-old, and a lot of the time you end up wondering who’s being punished.
Discipline is a double-edged sword.