Having a three-year-old and a two-year-old is a blessing and a joy and all of the other things people tell you it is. Also? It’s an exercise in figuring out your own personal limits on how many times you’ll say something to other members of your family, knowing that they're not listening to you ever, because you’re a dumb-dumb who prattles on about nonsense at all times. And then saying those things 12 more times in case this time is different.
And for those people who ask what parenthood is like, you can tell them all of the beautiful truths: it's an intagible love that you have for your child that knows no comparison, their laugh will bring you daily joy, watching them grow is endlessly rewarding, and it's the best thing you've done with your life.
However, I tihnk the easiest way to properly capture parenthood is by watching a family at the dinner table on any given night.
Things you should know about my kids:
My kids hate clothes. Like, to the point that Ian and I have referred to them as “our feral children” to near-strangers without blinking. And no, we don’t make them wear clothes to the dinner table (but see what is required, below) because we’d like to have lives outside of that argument and really, who cares?
We have one picky eater and one two-year-old, which means that we can have two picky eaters at any given time OR they will eat everything in sight and make us look like liars in front of our friends when duty calls.
We threw out half of our food rules about 14 months ago when we realized that we didn’t want to hate our lives or our children.
So, our dinner rules are:
You don’t get up from the table without being excused, and you won’t be excused until everyone’s done eating or we’re tired of answering all of your questions while you wait.
You must eat what is put in front of you in order to get “dessert," which is one Hershey’s Chocolate Kiss and it blows their minds every single night because we're amazing.
You do not have to eat anything put in front of you (even though there's ALWAYS at least one thing on their plate that they used to love until this moment). But also, you don’t get something else to eat if you don’t eat what's in front of you because we're monsters who are trying to starve our children.
No toys at the table.
No feet on the table. Which one might think can go unsaid, but you must not be a parent, then. Bless you.
And the reason I've laid these rules out is because we literally enforce them every single day. Which one would think could help with the remembering of the rules.
You know what the definition is when you do the same thing over and over again expecting different results? Parenthood.
So, for you other uncurated parents out there who wonder if you're alone as the voices inside you scream to just let the kids eat the corn from their booster seat that has been there since Tuesday so that you can help that screaming subside for thirty seconds....here is a pie chart of our daily dinner routine.
Pretty much sums it up...no?