THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU ACCEPT AND EVEN ANTICIPATE AS A PARENT. YOUR BACKSEAT WILL NEVER BE CLEAN FOR MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES EVER AGAIN. YOU WILL REPEATEDLY MENTION POO IN CASUAL CONVERSATION AS IF IT’S NOTHING.
Your iPhone/iPad will at some point be full of selfies the kids somehow took without you noticing. You will have to leave shopping, a movie or an event early because of the wailing toddler on your arm. You will develop immunities to embarrassment in public.
And you will also experience highs you never thought possible, watching them grow and experience life.
But then there are things you will NOT be able to foresee. In fact you will end up doing some things you swore you would never do. Personally I had promised myself to never say, “Because I said so!”
It always seemed to be arbitrary and unfair in a nonspecific way and I got through
the first four years as a daddy without uttering it. But any parent will tell you there comes a time when frustration gets the better of you after the 47th time a request is met with, “but why?”
I also cerebrally know you should be consistent and not back down. And yet I may, on occasion, have given in with, “okay, but just this once”.
I said I’d never lie to them, and by and large I haven’t. But, “No, we don’t have any chocolate” and “No McDonalds today – they’ve run out of <whatever>” may have passed my lips a few times now.
And forget the things I was consciously going to avoid. What about the things I could never imagine myself saying?
“Get your hand out of the toilet!”
“We do not eat poo!”
“Do not kiss your sister with your tongue!” (My wife Sandra’s response – through laughter – was “Video it next time for their 21st!”). “Seriously, how many fairy wands do we need? And where have they all gone?”
“We don’t ride bikes on the couch!”
But the number one thing I never thought I’d utter and mean it? Non-parents will probably think I’m trying to be funny here but those of you with kids will nod and understand when I say the most unexpected utterance is when you genuinely ask, “What day is it?”