Holy crap you guys. I mean, seriously. Have you ever felt like someone kicked your brain in the balls? No? Then maybe you should try this new drug they’ve got going around on the streets. I hear it’s called “parenting”.
It’s been almost a whole week since we got the boys placed with us and I can tell you, if I had any hair left I’d be pulling it out. Have I used that joke before? I CAN’T REMEMBER!
Okay, so it hasn’t been all bad. But it has been a learning experience. So since I’ve learned SO MUCH from an entire week of parenting, I thought maybe I’d share my insights.
1. Moms Are Heroes
You know that whole thing about how Mother’s Day is such a big deal and Father’s Day is just kinda meh. Well, I didn’t used to get that, but now? I get it, baby, I seriously get it.
Shortly before the placement Ashley quit her job and came home to work full time with our new foster kids as well as doing a little babysitting on the side. Imagine this if you will: she’s taking care of a toddler and an infant who also happens to be teething when our foster kids show up with all their luggage.
Luckily I was there that day, and I was able to help the boys get settled, and they were all pretty well behaved, but there is just something about being the same room with that many kids that drains the energy right out of you. By the time I left for work the next day I was glad to be leaving for less stressful environs. So to my wife I say, “Honey you’re awesome,” (Not that she’ll be likely to have the free time to read this.)
2. Kids = Conflict
You know that thing us writer types are always learning about how conflict is the motor that drives a story forward? Maybe you’re having problems with that in your story. Well drop a couple of seven year old boys in there and I promise you you’ll never want for conflict again.
The boys are constantly fighting. And don’t mean fighting fighting. Because those kinds of fights eventually end. I’m talking the kind of low-level, nonstop, petty bickering about action figures, and who said what first, and which one is better at Burnout 3, and on and on and on.
And when they’re not fighting each other, they’re fighting you. “Can I have a toy? Can I have some candy? Can we go look at the guns? Can I go to the bathroom? No wait I don’t really have to go.”
And let me reiterate. These are, by and large, good kids. They’re not pitching fits when they don’t get their way. But constantly saying, “No,” “Not now,” “Maybe Later,” and “That is not age appropriate, young man.” wears on you a little like sandpaper. After a while you just want to tell yourself to go to your room, so you can have a few minutes of peace and quiet.
3. But it Ain’t All Bad
Looking back over this post, I can see it must sound like a total nightmare having children in the house. And it is a challenge to adjust, especially if you’ve never had kids before, and suddenly you get a six year old and and an eight year old dropped in your lap.
But the other night when the youngest was sitting on the couch sounding out words from one of my books with me? That was possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life.
And when we went out to swim in the pool and they tried to dunk me in spite of having a combined weight that is less than half of mine? Good times, ya’ll. Good times.
I hope I’m helping them. Not just by letting them stay in my house, but by providing them with an example of what a stable home can be. And when they eventually leave us, I pray that they’ll have a better grasp of what life is all about, and how it should be lived.
There’s more I could say, but maybe I’ll save that for another time. For now, I have to get ready for work. It’s my new favourite time of the day. 🙂