The Three D’s
I love it when my children are tucked up in bed fast asleep. They look so peaceful, so beautiful, so scrumptiously soft and warm. And there is added bonus that in their current state they are unlikely to climb up the pantry shelves to the cookies, inexplicably demand breakfast in another bowl or get dressed in a new swimsuit to wear to daycare. All situations that have not just occurred in our household but happened today.
I just do not comprehend it when parents say they find raising children boring. There are the three D’s – danger, drama and decision-making – that make parenting one of the most exciting jobs in the world.
We have child proofed our house to the hilt. There are gates blocking access to the kitchen, child locks on drawers plus those plastic things you put into electrical plugs that hinder your vacuuming efforts, as they are almost impossible to pull out. Yet, I feel like I only need to turn around and my kids discover yet another novel way to endanger themselves.
My almost three-year-old daughter’s current favorite game is to say ‘look at me’ as she swings off the stair balustrades where if she let go she could easily tumble down a flight of stairs. I have learned not to look when I hear ‘look at me’.
Last week I noticed a small light emanating from our bedroom and found that both reading lamps had been turned on and the bendy part pushed down so that the lamp was almost touching the bedside tables. Result: bubbling varnish and the top of both tables way too hot to touch. Yes we need to check the light bulb strength in our reading lamps but who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t noticed anything for a few more hours.
I feel like my children are auditioning for a soap opera. The emotional responses I get to trivial situations would win them a Daytime Emmy for sure. Finding out that I crushed up their Weetbix – hysterics. Wrong breakfast bowl – howls of protest. Requests to brush teeth – met with running away and hiding. And that is just the morning drama.
How to navigate this emotional minefield is a tricky area for parents. I want to acknowledge their emotional response and let them vent for an appropriate period of time. But I also do not understand how putting the wrong Paw Patrol episode on can lead to a meltdown.
Perhaps decision-making is not as exciting as danger and drama but it happens more often each day. Eloise is already dressed in her new swimsuit, should I just send her to daycare in it? She would be happy, it would take less time, but it is not really appropriate attire.
Routines and rules can help to reduce decision-making but there still seems to be a myriad of snap decisions to make all day long and that means parenting is never boring. Rice or couscous? Play Barbies or Lego? Shoes or no shoes? The list is endless.
Never Ever Boring
Sometimes, just in case you were feeling quite content with the whole parenting thing, maybe even a tiny bit bored, you will get a situation where all three D’s are thrown at you at once. Like when your toddler insists on driving the car (danger), and your five year old is making a fuss that he doesn’t get a turn (drama) while you are trying to figure out where your wallet may have ended up so you can actually leave the house (decision making).
No wonder I love watching my kids sleep. Not only do they seem like angels but also I get to have a break from the constant adrenalin coursing through my body. That is until they wake in the middle of the night…