Riding Mowers and Parenting

Someday my kids (2. no more, no less) are going to ask me for a riding mower to cut the grass. Here’s my answer. I sure did need that chuckle this morning.

Truth be told, I’m about fed up with having kids. Yes, they change your life forever. Sure, they’re fabulous ways to study your own behavior – after all, they do what they see done. They’re God’s blessings. They’re mini-me’s. They’re adorable. They’re smart, bla bla bla.

But it turns out I don’t think I’m cut out for having more children than I have arms to grab at them with. With a 16 month old and a 3-month pregnant wife, I’ve discovered a few things I never thought I would about being a father.

  1. That infinite patience for the children God has seen fit to bless me with? Gone. This was noticed at 4:30 this morning, after my daughter had cried all night, after I lost count of how many times my wife got out of bed, stomped to Sarah’s room, calmed her down (or told her to calm down, anyway), stomped back to my room, plopped back in bed, and ripped the covers away from me. After somehow, without saying anything, she managed to convey to me utter contempt for my virility.
  2. I love my wife. And I’m becoming more and more interested in just how strong that bond of love is. Like… can I love her from several miles away? After the unspoken variety of contempt came the spoken variety. I think the nicest thing she said to me was “Go to work, Jonathan.” This from a woman who frequently says “I wish you could stay right here with me today”, from the warmth of the bed I kiss her goodbye in.
  3. Only fools think that they’ve got it bad when their wife or girlfriend is possessed monthly of unspeakable demonic influence, and actually believe it’ll be a relief that for 9 months they’ll be in for something different.
  4. That “romantic” second trimester? That’s predicated on being able to stand each others’ presence. Like any man, I have a short-lived temper. I get angry, I get over it, I get on with life. Women are different.
    They get angry, they get angrier, they get good at aiming things, and they eventually get a lawyer. Not that mine has… that I know of. I’ve become attuned to this process and know when some apologies well applied hurt less than flying frying pans.
    But any notion that the second trimester releases hormones that tune her into the Love Channel is just taunting from other people who look fondly back at the few exceptions to their own cookware flinging, and don’t remember so quickly the screaming: “Go away”, “I can’t stand you to touch me right now”, “They hurt, get lost you degenerate”, and other sweet nothings.
  5. Having a stay-at-home wife sure did sound like a good idea at the time. She even said “If I stay home, I can pick up around the house, do the laundry, go to the gym, go to bible study, do things with the kids, and cook dinner for all of us. I really appreciate that you’re providing well enough that I can have this option (smooch smooch)”. I think there might have been a stealth crack-pipe introduced at some point. Yesterday, when I finished putting away an array of toys that covered 3/4ths of the living room floor, God blessed me with the silence (perhaps I was struck dumber) required not to say something about it. But what I didn’t say, while waiting for the pizza to arrive, would’ve rhymed with “Yeah, this is what I signed up for.”
  6. No matter how much of a drinker you are, and how often you visit the toilet, face down… My daughter out-pukes you.
  7. God has a sense of humor. I know this, for man is created in his image, and once I’m 55 miles away, I find some of this life entertaining, and that takes an act of God.

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