Listen, Guys. I’m usually that annoyingly optimistic, always-sees-the-glass-half-full kind of gal. But even I have my limits and today, I’m here to deliver some pretty tough news: There are a few things that our kids are just never going to learn how to do. Now, I can’t provide you with tons of documented research on this, but I can speak from my own experiences as a mom, the experiences of my friends, and my own observations in the Wal-Mart checkout lines and that’s basically the same thing, right?
I’m currently Mom of a 6-year old boy, a 2-year old girl, and as of sometime around the beginning of January, they tell me I’m going to also be the mom of a newborn boy. So, sure, my kids are far from grown, but even still, I’m already convinced that the following information is factual and cannot be refuted. As much as I want them to learn how to do these things, or in some cases, NOT to do these things, I’m convinced it’s just never going to happen. I’ve accepted it and I’m here to make sure I crush your hopes and dreams, too. I mean, (cough, cough) I’m here to share my wisdom with the world.
When I had my first kiddo, I had absolutely no idea what the heck I was doing, so I often turned to experts in the field and saturated my mind with all the information I could find about how to be good at this Momma thing. And you know, a lot of it worked pretty well. Our pediatrician even congratulated me at my son’s 1-month wellness visit on “keeping my child alive.” True story!
But I don’t care how much information I’ve read, how many experts I’ve listened to, or what research I’ve found, nothing has worked to help my children learn how to do these 7 things. I’ve gently reprimanded, begged, tried a reward-system, shamelessly bribed, and even had my 6-year old memorize Philipians 4:13 so we could repeat it together when feeling frustrated. (Yelling through gritted teeth, “I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES ME STRENGTH” should still totally be effective, right?? Asking for a friend).
So without further ado, let’s just rip that band-aid off and get to it.
7 Things Our Kids Will Never, Ever Learn How to Do:
1. Find their shoes.
They can find a pimple on your face in 2.5 seconds that you worked for over 30 minutes to cover with layers of concealer and foundation, but they’ll never be able to find their shoes when it’s time to leave the house.
2. Drink the water (or not).
It takes all day and multiple threats to your own sanity to get them to finish the 1 glass of fresh water you fixed for them this morning, but only 5 seconds for them to gulp mouthfuls of the bath water their disgusting, germ-covered, crusty rear-ends have been soaking in the last 15 minutes. Gotta be building that immune system, though, right? Right?
3. Not to leave their winter coat at school.
They can remember every word, chord, and irritating special effect to every single one of the most annoying kids’ songs in the world, but they can’t remember to not leave their new winter coat on the school playground, the gym, or the school bus. Every. Single. Year.
4. Pee in the toilet.
They can’t figure out how to consistently pee in the big, round, open toilet bowl and not on the seat, wall, floor, or their new underwear. However, do not be dismayed. Their ability to hit a target is in-tact and functioning because you better believe that when they’re sick, they’re always going to hit the bulls-eye and puke all over you.
5. Not to eat their boogers.
They scream, gag, and wail “BECAUSE IT’S GREEN!!” when you ask them to eat a piece of broccoli, but you can’t get them to stop chomping on their own boogers in the back seat while you’re driving down the interstate.
6. Sleep in.
You have to drag them out of bed at 9 a.m., yell until you’re blue in the face, and pray for repentance on your way to church every Sunday morning, but they’re whispering “Mommy, I’m hungry” over and over again with their putrid morning breath 2 inches from your face at 6:30 a.m. every Saturday.
7. Just sleep in general.
They’ll fall asleep in their car seat with their head bent at strangle angles, or in their plate of rice at dinner time, or on the front row of a rock concert. They’ll fall asleep anywhere, anytime, but put them in that $200 crib you bought them, with the $500 mattress “guaranteed to have your toddler sleeping soundly all night,” with the down comforter, memory foam pillow, and rainfall white noise machine running, and they’re suddenly 2-year old scholars who want to read every book in their library, play peek-a-boo 8 million times, and see how many times they can get you to sing “You Are My Sunshine.” Oh, and you remember that glass of water you begged them to drink all day? Yeah, our little dictators are finally ready to drink it now. Every single drop.
So there it is, Friends. The ugly list of parenting realities. Take a deep breath and try to relax. Somewhere out there some other exhausted parent is learning to accept these truths, too. You are not alone! We will survive, Friends! We will!