Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Fog

DP had asked me about the parenting “head fog” he’s had ever since he and the wife have introduced a new soon-to-be degenerate gambler/WSOP champion into the world. From my personal experiences with a parent’s head fog is that it never truly goes away, yet dulls as you get used to the late night story times and changing wet sheets while half-awake.

Parenting sometimes seems like a chore that never gets finished. Some parents never get past the stage of seeing it as “work” and fail to stop and see what rewards you receive from the experience. They yearn for the day that the kid turns 18 so they can boot the little brat out of their house for good. Even if the kid wasn’t part of an “ok-honey-its-that-time-of-the-month-to-get-me-knocked-up-because-I-want-to” type plan, why make two/three people miserable?

At first, yes taking care of the kid is definitely a chore with little rewards of a quick laugh or doing something cute like little flinging oatmeal towards a ceiling fan and distributing the Gerber’s mush throughout the room. The “fog” rolls in as you get used to getting up at any hour of the night to scare away the closet monsters or sooth some new teeth protruding through their gums. But the rewards have been much greater then the little sacrifices we’ve made as parents.

Watching Wyatt and even Kyra learn things on a day to day basis finally made me realize why teachers are so dedicated to a job/career that doesn’t reward as financially as it should. There’s a mental compensation to teaching that you will not find in anyone’s Bank of America checking account but only within the person enjoying the fact this child is learning something from them.

Maybe I’m in the minority in having hope that my child will retain some of my values and teaching (and ignore my advice on playing the bubble on sit-n-go’s correctly). Maybe there’s false hope that they’ll grow up respecting themselves and those around them; eventually turning into sludges that just feed off mom, dad, and whatever is handed to them. But, that won’t prevent me from trying to instill some of my values into them while fighting off the “fog” each day to read Clifford the Big Red Dog or showing Wyatt how to properly field a grounder with a smile.

Much like poker, you can only play the hand to the best of your ability; the end result isn’t final until the chips slide to the victor. Also, you keep playing with the mindset that you’ll win more times then you’ll lose. I think most parents (single or married) feel this way while dragging the little screaming tykes away from the toys department at Target. They may have lost this pot, and will probably end up lecturing the red eyed, pouty adversary on the car ride home, but that night you’ll get that hug good night or a polite please/thank you that makes the parenting worth the uncomfortable five second stares from other shoppers.

Thanks for dropping by, now I should mention that The Mookie at 9pm CST (Full Tilt) is being played tonight with hope that 80 people/bloggers will show up to prevent Al from showing a Krispy Kreme calendar (no I’m not linking it, find it yourself) type picture on his blog Thursday morning. We all want good, clean, NSFW pics so do yourself a favor and show up tonight.

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