Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Portal of Serenity

Remember before you had kids, or maybe just shortly after you had kids? (I do, although at times I seem to embellish some of the facts about that -- as does my wife. Just ask her...on second thought, don't.)

Remember those delusions of grandeur you always had about being a parent?

How about the statements you made to anyone that would listen? (Mind you I never said anything like this)

Statements like: “My child will never act like that!” or “My child will be getting all 'A's in school” or “My child will always listen to what I say or ask.”

(How’s that working out for ya? Going well, right? I’m sure it is – going as well as Puppet-in-Chiefs current approval ratings I bet…)

Another favorite that was thrown out there – ”My child will not sit in front of that television all day.”

Before you had kids, you would see other people’s children sitting there in front of the tv, and, you swear you could actually hear them getting dumber with each minute they watched another episode of Teletubbies. You told yourself, ‘There was no way your children were going to fall into that trap.’Oh thee, of little faith. Apparently these parents had the right idea all along. The television is by far the most effective babysitter in all creation.

Who knew?

Submitted for your approval, twin girls, three years old, their mother out of town. They are fighting, screaming, biting and destroying for hours and hours without end until you've pulled out the last of your hair, developed a twitch or worse yet, started writing a blog.

Now imagine pushing a button, and these same little monsters freeze where they are, their mouths still gaping from being cut off mid-scream. Slowly they drop to the floor where they remain motionless for as long as the portal of calm glows its effervescent hue.

And when I say motionless, I mean motionless, like a statue. I usually have to put little bowls on there laps to catch the line of drool falling from their open mouths.
It's perfect. Almost too perfect.

The high parenting standards quickly go out the window. You try to soothe your conscience by editing their viewing content, only allowing them to watch shows that are kid-friendly like The Wiggles, Barney or The Doodlebops (which, by the way, are NOT parent-friendly – if anything, these shows can have the effect on parents that showing your little ones “Night of the Living Dead” could have on them)

Deep down though, you know that you would let them watch “Animal House” if it was the only thing on. Trying to battle your conscience by saying: “It has singing in it, they love music!”

(While I was a Stay at Home Dad (SAHD), and if the girls were playing quietly, I would put one of the seasons of The West Wing into the DVD player. When my girls heard the opening montage music, they rushed into the room and would sit down quietly next to me and watch.)

You have failed. You are now one of 'those' parents.

But hey, at the very least you've failed peacefully.

Thought of the Day

"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation."
- Henry David Thoreau, from Walden