Probably gonna catch some heat from other parents over this, but those moms & dads that pretend they’ve never had the same thoughts are what we call “full of shit.”
With that out of the way, I do absolutely love my kids, and would do anything in the world for them. I have 2 adorable, very intelligent girls, ages 6 & 2. For the sake of this post, we’ll call them, Thing 1 and Thing 2.
And most days they’re fine; just your normal, every day kids doing normal, every day kid things. But then there are those days. And as a parent, you never know when it’s going to be one of those days, until it’s too late. They typically start out as any other day. The kiddos eat breakfast, they’re being sweet, playing together quietly, sharing, and listening to you.
Then around lunch time, something happens. It’s that part of the day where someone (other than yourself) needs a nap, and starts to get a little whiny, and decides they’re not going to eat lunch. Or wear pants. Or do anything without having a minor meltdown. And then in starts…
Phase One: The “Come On Guys”
You try to be nice, almost passive-aggressive about it to begin with. “Thing 1, quit pulling on Sissy.” “Thing 2, quit jumping on the couch.” “Don’t play with that, Thing 1.” “Let your sister see that.” “Quit jumping from the ottoman to the couch, Thing 2.” “Quiet down, please.”
Then you repeat yourself. Like, every 5 minutes (or less). Sigh. The exasperation has already kicked in. You just want more than 90 consecutive seconds of peace. But no. That’s just ridiculous. You don’t need peace and quiet. You don’t need to complete a thought. Do lion tamers in the circus have time to think? No. Thinking is for pansies. If you stop to think, they’ll eat you alive… You got this, you tell yourself.
Phase Two: The “I’mma Get You Sucka”
As parents, and especially as dad’s, we all have that one thing. The one look, or phrase that inspires that sense of “Oh shit!” in your little heathens. For some it’s a “Wait til your mother/father gets home,” or a “Do you want a spanking?”
But for me it’s a stern glare, sometimes accompanied by a forceful pointing gesture, so they know I’m talking to them, and not the stuffed animal with the smug grin on it’s face beside them.
Works like a champ on Thing 1, as she’s been around long enough to know what’s goin’ down. When she was younger, it was also combined with a 3-count, which by 1 & a half or 2, she was well on her way to doing what I’d asked. Even now, she looks like a scolded animal cowering in the corner, with her head down. As if the sheer disappointment of her father was the most shameful thing she could ever experience. At least that’s how I like to imagine it.
Thing 2 on the other hand. Counting doesn’t work, because she either thinks we’re playing hide and seek, or it’s her countdown to jump off of something like the daredevil she is. Stern looks don’t do the trick either, because she gives ’em right back, as if I’m somehow in the wrong for asking her to put her panties back on. “You’re two years old and you’re potty training! I’d rather not clean Thing 2’s number 1 & 2 off the floor. Just put your panties back on now, or come here and let me do it!”
She then looks at me with a smirk, turns around and smacks her cheeks. “I’m gonna spank my bum-bum.” WTF, Thing 2.
Edit: Not 8 hours after posting this, I asked Thing 2 if she had to go potty before we sat down for dinner. Her response was a very adamant “Noooooo!” So a couple minutes later she climbs up into her chair, turns to me and freezes dead in her tracks. “Daddy I gotta go…” Before she could finish, I heard the sound of water running onto the chair, and down onto the floor. Seriously?! If you had that much fluid inside you, surely it was there 2 minutes ago in the bathroom when I asked, right??
Phase Three: The “I’m gonna punt your ass through the window”
By this point, anything but the sound of silence irks you. You can’t even converse with them as normal people, only yelling gets through to them. They want to play with you, but you’re so exhausted from dealing with their shit all day, you just sit there, and angrily let them use you as a jungle gym. Until one of them steps on your crotch, or “accidentally” kicks you in face. You ask them nicely to get off. Then you tell them to get off. And then it happens…
You snap. The next thing you know, the living room is a war zone, beaten and battered toys are strung about like debris from a nuclear fallout. You’ve somehow managed the strength of 1.5 men, and lift both children tossing them onto the couch to get them off of your weary body. The vehement, uncontrollable rage consumes you, and everyone in the house is now fully aware of your discontent.
Your spouse then hurries out of the steamy, peaceful bath she’s been enjoying for the last hour and a half, annoyed that you interrupted her quiet time. “You need me to help?” You drop to your knees sobbing, throw your arms around her, and dry your tears on the warm, fluffy terry cloth robe she’s wearing (and she wonders why you don’t want to quit your job and be a stay-at-home dad!) Seriously, I don’t know how she does this shit for 8+ hours a day…
You take a deep breath with your partner by your side, and get their teeth brushed, and bedtime stories read. Thing 1 gives hugs & kisses, and darts off to their bedroom to play for a bit before you put the little one down. Somehow, you’ve become the baby-whisperer when it comes to getting Thing 2 to sleep, so your nightly routine of baby, bottle & Netflix begins just like any other.
And then Netflix won’t connect. FML.