We have a saying in our house, “Don’t do anything cool with the kid unless you want to do it over and over again.” Piper and I have a bit where I take her in my arms, and spin around. She loves it. Unfortunately, when I am finished and put her down, she just yells, “Again!” We can do this about 20 times and she will still scream for more. That’s what they don’t tell you about in birthing classes and parenting clinics—everything you do with kids comes with a whole package deal.
This reminds me of a recent article in The Onion. Although a satirical piece, it still illustrates this point. A poll of five-year-old film critics showed that the movie “Cars” only gets better after the 40th viewing.
“The tow truck talks funny, and he has big teeth,” said noted cinéaste Ramon Diaz, 5, adding that it takes at least 30 screenings before the film’s message of friendship achieves full resonance. “Let’s watch it again!”
You can’t just watch a cool movie, you have to watch it over and over. We just rented “Tangled” last weekend and I’ve seen it at least five times already. But it’s not just movies, everything is like this. With kids you always get more than you bargained for. We can’t just simply go grocery shopping anymore. First off, any outing takes space shuttle launch-level preparation; then the store itself comes with its own trappings. We have to find the “cool” cart now. Then later, at the checkout at our store they give out “Buddy Bucks” to the little kids, and Piper always wants them. I’ll have to take her out of the cart, so she can put her Buddy Bucks in the special machine to get stickers. After that, I somehow have to put this now fussy child back in the cart to get to the car and go home. Sometimes it’s just too much to deal with.
Another example, we can’t just go for a walk outside. We’ll also have to go to the park and play on the swings forever. Not a bad thing, but sometimes you just want to go out for a 15 or 20 minute walk and come home.
One shouldn’t be too negative, this isn’t about getting out of doing things with the kid. It’s about recognizing all the possibilities. This is a lot like playing a musical instrument. When I played trumpet, I would have to constantly adjust my tuning when playing with a group. As the contributing factors changed, which they always did, my tuning would have to be adjusted. Maybe the room temperature raised slightly, or I would get more warmed-up, or my chops would get too tired. I was constantly adjusting to the environment and situation at hand. Taking care of the little one is similar in many ways. I need to calibrate my physical and emotional state with hers, to see what the best choices are for any given day. Making better choices is a way to minimize meltdowns for both her and myself. Of course nothing works 100% of the time, but it gives me a fighting chance at having a good day.
So, today I plan on taking her out to run some errands. We will go to the pet store for cat food, where she can look at the guinea pigs and the fish. Then we will go to Target in lieu of the grocery store, because I’m just not up for the whole rigmarole right now. But we’ll do that next time because I know she gets a kick out of it. It’s all about finding the right balance, to keep things on an even keel. Of course, that depends on if Mission Control will even confirm my launch status. Like everyday, we will see where the day takes us.
What package deals do you sometimes have to avoid?
Source: The Onion