1. The smell. It starts in that first diaper, and it doesn't end until they move out, and start stinking up their own houses. It comes from their rear ends, their arm pits, the shoes they wear, the sheets that haven't been changed in a month, the food containers stuffed under the bed, and the teeth that they haven't brushed in three days. Have you ever walked into your teenage son's room after a weekend World of Warcraft binge?
2. The mess. Demolition teams spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to take down a building. They have engineering degrees, permits, and licences. But they're doing it all wrong. They don't need high powered explosives, or even a large iron wrecking ball. They just need to let my kids run loose through the building for about two hours. Job done... on time and under budget.
3. The phenomenon. Maybe novelists need to stop looking into cold case files and medical mysteries for inspiration. Just come to my house. Who broke the lamp? Who spilled the milk? Nobody knows. It's a mystery. "Wasn't me, it was her" ... "Not me, it was him" ... It wasn't this one or that one ... maybe it was the kid next door. "It was the dog, I saw her do it". And the best one: "It was already like that". Of course it was. Because I spent days of online research, and comparison shopping, to be sure I got the electronic device with the cracked case.
4. The junk. Oh, the junk! Each of my children have their own personal collections. My youngest treasures every molded plastic character that the nugget clown and burger monarch have bestowed upon us. The hoarder in the middle revels in random bits of wire collected from around the neighborhood. My techie son saves screws, washers, and other bits and parts of outdated and unusable computer equipment, in case he needs them someday. They make Fred Sanford look like Martha Stewart.
5. The noise. Bump--Bang--Thump... Twang? Oooowww! Electronic drum kit, piano keyboard, Dance Dance Revolution. Blip Blip Blip. Did not -- Did too! Boom Boom Pow. That's mine! You shut up!... Need I say more?
6. The food. Let's just call them what they are. They're not small human beings, they're hobbits. I know by their eating habits. Breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, and finally, late supper. Oh, and don't forget dessert! Then the midnight snack.
7. The cost. I've come to realize that I didn't plan ahead. Before having children, I should've started my own apple orchard and dairy farm. I should've bought stock in the companies that make cereal, pizza rolls, and popcorn. If I had, then I could better afford all the batteries, art supplies, music downloads, field trips, school pictures, and yearbooks. In fact, the money I could have made from the cereal industry alone would've paid the electric and water bills.
8. More junk. I know I've mentioned this before, but that was their junk. Now I'd like to mention my things... that they've turned into junk. The coffee and end tables that have lost their legs, veneer, and/or and their glossy finish or have been etched and carved with names and The first edition, hardcover John Grisham novel that now has illustrations it was never meant to have. Dressers that no longer have pull knobs. Nostalgic memorabilia, (like my decoratively etched high school prom glass, for example), that gets turned into a pile of glittery white dust. VCRs that ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. The list goes on.
9. The debates. I did not participate in this high school academic sport. I'm not a lawyer, or a politician. Yet here I am, refining the art of the argument. First I carefully state my instruction, advice, or reprimand. But apparently you can't advise the omnipotent teenager, and there is no reprimanding one who has done no wrong. I'm called to explain and prove my theories, sometimes even having to cite specific resources. In the end, you win some, you lose some. No, I'm not talking about the arguments... I'm talking about your brain cells!
10. The pain and fatigue. It starts with the pregnancy that alters the bend in your spine, and the birth that widens your hips. And if you've had a big headed son, who gets stuck on his way into the world, and has forever altered the tilt of your pelvis... ah-hem... The days and nights spent walking and rocking a wailing infant. The sleepless nights checking on the fever, changing linens, disinfecting and deodorizing the room that reeks of virus and vomit. Bending over bathtubs. Hauling overloaded laundry baskets. Tripping on toys left on staircases, stepping on Legos in dark rooms. Learning new math skills that you don't understand, to help with homework. Drowsy hours in the ER. Cramming your big butt into little classroom chairs. Pacing the floor, waiting for the teen to arrive safely home from the party, or the skating rink, or the mall. Gripping the dashboard with arthritic fingers during the driving lesson... etc, etc., etc.
Sorry kids, I've given you all I have. I've even tapped the reserves. There are no more generations coming up behind you. You are it. So do right by me.
Read on to know why having kids was so worth it!
Read on to know why having kids was so worth it!