More things they don’t tell you before you have kids…

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This experience of being a parent is one where (you wish) everyday was a school day (because you’d see less of the little blighters). More observations on having kids and the things they don’t tell you in advance.

1. Worrying. I’ve discovered that if you hear a bump from your kid’s room, then worst case scenarios run through your head as if you are living in an episode of Casualty. Every possible moment they are not in your sight they are determined to test your mettle – a cry, a scream or any noise at all sends your imagination through every “Final Destination” film for the likely outcome. And the thing is the louder the noise the smaller the incident and damage. It’s like a reverse psychological trick they play on you. Little shits.

2. Swearing. They know it’s wrong but given an amnesty to tell you what someone has said to them, they take great pleasure in combining the delivery of the word with a look of confusion and ignorance that you know is an act. It’s a work of genius actually being able to tell your parents to “Fuck Off” through the guise of “a kid in my class said this to me today”.

3. Obsession over films. Like a limpet they cling on for dear life to one film – if you know every word to “Let it Go” you’ll understand what I mean. It’s like each month or two they discover a new film and that is the only thing that they will watch. On repeat. All day. At every opportunity. So far with Jenna it’s been Cinderella and sequels, Lion King and sequels, Toy Story and sequels and Frozen. The biggest issue is that there aren’t any sequels to Frozen. Only one film all the time. Oh well, the cold never bothered me anyway.

4. Conversations. “I just want to tell you something” are possibly the most dreaded words a parent can hear because you know for the next ten minutes you will “enjoy” a rather fractured and confusing monologue which bears no resemblance to reality or an event you recognise. But don’t try to end it or you might find that they get angry and go on even longer.

5. Sleep. I stupidly thought that when they got older you’d get a full night’s sleep. Not a chance. Instead you get the potted highlights of their nightmares or toilet trips that often involve lights going on that you could do without. Then there’s the early morning call when they jump on your head and your carcass struggles to work out what the hell is happening as it wakes up. Is this still the dream where I am a rodeo bull?

Kids. Who’d have ’em?

JD

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