You know how I said bedtime was fun now that the boys were roommates? And that I actually enjoyed it? YEAH, well, my kids made me a liar – again. They have such a knack for doing that!
I’m currently writing this while posted up outside of their bedroom door like a pissed off guard dog trying not to focus on all of the other things I could be doing. But JESUS I could be doing so much with my “kid-free” time right now! I could be reading or watching a movie (damn, when’s the last time Seth or I did that at home?!) or I could just be lying comfortably in my bed without any interruptions (HAHA – ok – yeah, you’re right; no, I couldn’t – they ALWAYS find you).
Seriously. If there is one truth to parenting it’s that they ALWAYS find you.
I mean, have you ever noticed all of the secret radars children seem to have?? I mean, their intuition is amazing. I swear my kids can tell when I have plans to do something fun, because 97% of the time they suddenly fall ill (hence our “no holiday” policy). They can tell when I have something I HAVE to get done because they do everything in their power to make it impossible to do until I have no other option than to play the kid card. UGH, THE KID CARD. They can tell when I’m enjoying myself too much, they must have me on some sort of “enjoyment plan” where I’m allowed small rations of kid-free peace and solitude. If there’s a window of opportunity and I take a moment to hide out in the kitchen, I’m on the clock from the moment I begin to enjoy myself – based on my experience, they’ll only allow it to last for approximately four minutes, on a good day. But there are rules. If I’m in there for one minute and I pull out some dark chocolate or some chips and salsa, it’s over. IT IS FUCKING OVER. They draw. the. line. at kid-free snacking – NO SNACKING GOES UNDETECTED, not around here. The rules apply to bathroom breaks, too. If I’m brave enough to shut the door (which I usually do when I’m trying to catch a minute of freedom), I’m on the clock. And even though they can’t see me, the moment I become distracted with a magazine or a book or my phone or simply daydreaming, those intuitive little demons are breaking. down. doors.
They run the show. They rule the days and the nights. They make or break our experiences. Who runs the world? TODDLERS. GD MFing TODDLERS.
I read once, somewhere earlier this year, an op-ed* where someone said the problem with kids these days is that they’re entitled because parents treat them like they run the show. The premise was that if posed the question of who was the most important person in the household, most parents today would say their child(ren). The argument was that in the “good old days” parents’ lives didn’t revolve around their children, that the parents were the most important people in the home because they made the money and they created the love and the family and the rules and, therefore, were the most important people. After I got done laughing at this dude’s (yes, it was a man. . .) flawed argument, I thought about my kids. I thought about all of the work Seth and I had put in to making sure they have the tools they need to succeed, how much sleep we’d lost (and continue to lose) not over their antics but over their futures and the weight of the knowing the type impact of our choices could make.
I can’t imagine a world in which I could ever be asked who the most important person in my household was and I didn’t say my kids – the tiny people who are affected by every choice I make and who, ultimately, guide every decision I make. The two men who will ultimately reflect the values and opportunity Seth and I both worked to give them, not because they’re spoiled but because it’s our job. Because they’re our responsibility and that’s why they’re the most important; they’re the ball we can’t afford to drop. It’s the reason I’m sitting in this god-forsaken doorway on the edge of insanity and depleted patience yelling at them every 5 minutes to get back in their beds or to lay down. If I didn’t care, I might be down the stree at the bar unconcerned with their whereabouts within our home.
If you were to ask my kids who the most important people in our home are (and they understood what you were asking because, you know, they’re one and three) they would most likely say Seth and I because we care for them, we protect them – we’re all they know of safety and security and love and family. And they’re opinion is what matters, they don’t think they’re the most important just because we do, they think we are because we do. And quite honestly, if making sure my kids know they’re my #1 is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
*Since I mentioned it, I went digging and found the, in my opinion flawed, op-ed that for some reason always seems to linger when I’m in these particularly trying moments. You can read it here.