The late nights, the loudness, the curious smells, the paralyzing headaches. No I’m not reminiscing about my wild college days. I’m talking about this ordeal known as parenthood.
My son, Dylan is currently in the throes of the dreaded “Terrible 3’s”. The cantankerous stage of childhood development that convinces parents that they are feeding, bathing and padding a college fund for Satan’s seed.
The other night, Dylan is refusing to take a bath and when I say refusing , he doesn’t politely protest, ” Oh Father, I’ll pass on cleansing myself tonight. However, I do appreciate your attempts to rid me of this dumpster-like odor.”
No, he is sprinting about the house, naked, screaming in foreign tongues as snot and tears puddle on his face and chest.
Amidst this madness, which in our house is known as Tuesday Night-Bath Night, I realized I had been here before. The crying, the gibberish, the yelling transported me back to absurdity of college life. Now my college roommate was a bit of a challenge. He was often drunk. Which meant he was loud, demanding and unpredictable. Which often required me to assume an authoritative parenting role in our dorm room — scolding him, threatening him, and forcing him to go to bed. Which in retrospect was great preparation for parenthood.
So, like a good parent, I spent the last few days watching Dylan and noting is behavior and I was astounded to learn how similar raising a 3 year old was to living with a drunken college roommate. Here are my observations…
- They have no respect for grammar. They say things like “Me hungry.” and “Car go fast now.”
- They are always right– about EVERYTHING.
- They make outrageous demands like “I want a dinosaur!”
- They eat without decorum, utensils or a fear of diabetes.
- They cry for no reason.
- They laugh for no reason.
- They say curious things like” I think I pooped myself.”
- They secretly pee themselves.
- In public places–the library, the mall, KFC–they often throw themselves to the floor and refuse to get up.
- They get angry at you for not understanding their babbling gibberish.
- Their clothes are often mismatched, disheveled and stained.
- You have to repeat yourself over and over and over again and even then– they refuse to listen to you.
- They adamantly disagree with logic and denounce proven theories like gravity.
- If you really want to enjoy yourself you need to find them a babysitter.
- Their hair is often unexplainably sticky.
- They scream at you for no reason.
- They refuse to go to bed, claim they’re not tired and yet once in bed they fall asleep faster then you can say, “Sealy Posturepedic”.
- When they puke, they leave it and expect you to clean it up.
- They break your stuff and do not apologize.
- On days that are clearly not your birthday they will sing “Happy Birthday” to you.
- They like to hold incoherent conversations with strangers.
- A car ride will undoubtedly induce sleep.
- They leave trails of crumbs and food wrappers.
- They stain carpets.
- And mercifully, when the night is over, you have to carry them off to bed.
So Kevin, wherever you are, thank you. Your ridiculousness and tomfoolery prepared me well for the tribulations of parenthood.