There is a part of parenting that is rarely spoken about. I certainly refrain from writing about it here for the most part. But as time goes by, I realize that I must speak about it. It's just the honest truth and it shouldn't be anything to be ashamed about. It just is. So here I go.
I have two sons.
They are, for the most part, polar opposites and have been since birth. Dare I say even before birth.
One was breech. The other was not.
One is easy going. One is not.
One is ready to try new things. The other is not.
One challenges my parenting skills daily. The other does not.
One is set in his ways, much like a crotchety old man (Hell hath no fury like this son when his routine is upset). The other is not.
Does this make one easier to love than the other?
Absolutely not. I can't help but love each of them for their good qualities. The good qualities that I have spoken about here ad nauseum. But it is all easy peasy lemon squeezy (as these boys of mine like to say)?
That would be HELL to the no.
You see, one of my sons is more like me than I care to admit. The mere suggestion of anything from me brings full on revolt. Anarchy even. We joke to each other that homeschooling would result in me having no hair and him leaving home by age nine.
I think we clash because we are too alike.
(Here's the part where my parents nod their heads vigorously and laugh with vengeance that I now know what they once dealt with. I, personally, think they are crazy.)
It's not just the we clash or disagree. It's that it brings out the worst in both of us. There is back talking and down right debauchery on his part which brings out my temper and how dare you talk to me like that, I got cut open to give you life on mine.
I am not proud to admit it, but I may have uttered the phrase, "I brought you into this world, I can take you out."
On more than one occasion.
This is not abnormal. I know it's not. It just can't be. No, not all kids are like this, obviously because my other son is not. He watches and has figured out it's not really the ideal. He tries a different, equally frustrating approach. We like to call it the whine approach.
Either way, this parenting gig, 'tis hard. And we haven't even, God help us all, hit the teen years. I am already planning how we will survive and I am pretty sure it's going to take copious amounts of vodka.
It's so easy to watch others parent before you have kids and think, I will never be like that. I will be patient and understanding with my kids. HA. The problem is that once you have your own kids, you can see the attitude coming from a mile away and you don't want to wait until it gets here,you want to squash it like a bug before it even sees you coming. This is where patience flies out the proverbial window and ushers in anger and frustration.
Does this work? Hell no. Does it stop me from doing it? That would also be a hell no.
(Side note: the number of times I have used hell so far: 5)
I don't think it's a coincidence that my first grey hair peeked it's way out shortly after birthing (or in my case laying on a table while the doctor cut him out) my first son.
Would I change it for the world?
Hell (#6) no.
But maybe we could do with a little less attitude and back talking? You know, if I was wishing on a star or something.
Oh and one more for good measure: Hell (#7).
PS if you cannot in any way shape or form relate to this, I am going to guess one of two things, 1) you are not yet a parent, or 2) you are extremely lucky and should get on your knees right now and thank the Good Lord up in Heaven above or fate, whatever your beliefs might be.