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Parenthood

02/17/2014 @ 11:00am

It seems like you can’t swing a cat these days without hitting someone who has penned a book about parenting. This either means that there are a ton of such tomes out there, or our cat supply is deeply defective.

These parenting books are selling like coffee at a donut shop even though the “experts” who wrote them have precious little parenting experience. For instance, one author who professes to be a parenting guru is the mother of exactly one 6-year-old! And I have it on excellent authority that she has been a kid only once! How can such a person claim to be an authority?

My wife often tells me that I’m acting like a child. But I’m conducting ongoing research into the art of being a kid! A happy side effect is that she is gaining additional parenting expertise.

Becoming a parent doesn’t involve passing any sort of test. In my case, it was akin to the process wherein a toad persuades a damsel that he is Brad Pitt in disguise. Or perhaps George Clooney.

My wife and I became parents without thoroughly thinking things through. We did much more deliberating over the purchase of a used car. And before we bought that rusty old bucket, we paused to ask ourselves if we could afford it.

It’s a good thing that we simply plunged into parenthood. If we’d held off until we could afford kids, we would still be childless when we became eligible for Social Security.

A common theme in modern parenting books is how stressful it is to be a mom or a dad. Bunch of whiners!

I suppose it would be tough to swap trendy clothes and champaign brunches aboard your private jet for bottles of formula and spit-up stains on your shoulder. Thank goodness my wife and I were never wealthy and thus avoided the anguish of such trade-offs.

Bringing our newborn son home from the hospital was a huge event. There were the weird smells, the perplexing paraphernalia, the unending demands for attention. But enough about me; we also had a new baby.

I grew up in a large family, so having a newborn at home felt familiar. Some things had changed, such as the command that I assist with childcare chores. I stated that I had already done my part, which taught me the important lesson that sometimes a guy had best keep certain thoughts to himself.

And I did pitch in, despite what my wife might recall. If I never changed a diaper that was so disgusting it would have choked a zombie, then why is that icky diaper imagery burned into my retinas?

I think babies should be born 1 year old. That’s when they start to become interesting and are pretty much self-propelled. You can also begin to teach them tricks. For example, when our oldest son was a toddler, he went around pulling his index finger for days on end in an effort to duplicate a trick his daddy had shown him.

Becoming a parent is certainly the biggest life-changer you will ever experience. And raising children will certainly be a very challenging experience.

Among these challenges are the unending stream of questions that you, as a parent, must answer. Some of these questions are extremely difficult, in which case the proper answer is, “Go ask your mother!”

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