Can we rewind to the toddler era please? After years of trial and error, my grand schemes in dealing with tantrums and attitudes and persnickety food choices and not wanting to go to bed were finally working. I could say “No” sometimes and not have everything devolve into WWIII.
Of course time refuses to cooperate with my plans. Time in it’s infinite wisdom, is stubborn. So are teenagers. Where are my cute little guys who were always up for fun and adventure? Oh. Yeah. Hormones.
Remember how I listed in the first paragraph a couple things my wife and I were finally able to deal with in toddlers? Yeah. Add a dash of sarcasm, a hint of rebellion and a whole econo-sized bottle of nuclear powered steroids and you just might get a whiff of the teenage razor edge now barbed wired around every interaction.
In actuality, my minions are really good kids. They work hard, do well in school and haven’t even burned down any buildings that we know of. We’re entering the early stages of getting the “Mom and Dad are old. What the f!$% do they know?” shoulder shrug in every interaction.
I look back to when I was a teenager and honestly, after all the crap my friends and I pulled, I don’t know how I’m still breathing. I’d really love to sit down with my parents and ask how they mustered enough restraint to not choke me in my sleep. I’m sure Mom would laugh in my face and say, “Good luck kiddo!”
So what’s the difference between my kids know-it-all attitude and the one I had when I was his age? I did know-it-all and I still do dammit! The world revolves around me and what I say always has and always will go. Don’t like it? Tough.
This little tirade shows that I mightn’t have grown up as much as I thought I did. Maybe I should have listened to my mom about not jumping off the roof into the pool. Did dad know what he was talking about when he made me wear shoes on the skateboard?
Hmm… I wonder… Toe stitches and bruised bones from sliding down the pool wall aside, they might have actually have had some insight about a thing or two. Looking back I did learn a couple choice facts from experience. Maybe mom and dad’s voluminous encyclopedias of knowledge contained a few more choice nuggets than my flimsy Trapper Keeper did.
Is that why I get so frustrated? Am I bursting at the seams to dish out the volumes of well earned wisdom buried in the back of my brain? Are the minions just like me? Deaf to all but their own learning curve of bad choices?
The DWH Dad’s Rite of Passage. Guess all I can do is watch and wait. Offer up bandages, rides to the ER, a shoulder to lean on when the girl trouble bomb explodes and be ready and willing to offer up words or advice when requested without so much as a hint of an I told you so.