25 Reasons Why Raising a 3 Year Old is Like Having a Drunk College Roommate All Over Again

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…

  1. They have no respect for grammar. They say things like “Me hungry.” and “Car go fast now.”
  2. They are always right– about EVERYTHING.
  3. They make outrageous demands like “I want a dinosaur!”
  4. They eat without decorum, utensils or a fear of diabetes.
  5. They cry for no reason.
  6. They laugh for no reason.
  7. They say curious things like” I think I pooped myself.”
  8. IMG_1539They secretly pee themselves.
  9. In public places–the library, the mall, KFC–they often throw themselves to the floor and refuse to get up.
  10. They get angry at you for not understanding their babbling gibberish.
  11. Their clothes are often mismatched, disheveled and stained.
  12. You have to repeat yourself over and over and over again and even then– they refuse to listen to you.
  13. They adamantly disagree with logic and denounce proven theories like gravity.
  14. If you really want to enjoy yourself you need to find them a babysitter.IMG_1534
  15. Their hair is often unexplainably sticky.
  16. They scream at you for no reason.
  17. 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”.
  18. When they puke, they leave it and expect you to clean it up.
  19. They break your stuff and do not apologize.
  20. On days that are clearly not your birthday they will sing “Happy Birthday” to you.
  21. They like to hold incoherent conversations with strangers.
  22. A car ride will undoubtedly induce sleep.
  23. They leave trails of crumbs and food wrappers. IMG_1547
  24. They stain carpets.
  25. 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.



Great Lines in Literature- “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

the road

Book: The Road

Author :Cormac McCarthy

Publication Date: 2006

Line: “Then they set out along the blacktop in the gunmetal light, shuffling through the ash, each the other’s world entire.”

Analysis: Damn you Cormac!!!

Lesser writers, like myself, would have simply ended that line  with “each other’s entire world” because  I like clichés…I sigh at Hallmark cards and cry at Lifetime movies. By manipulating the structure of the cliché, McCarthy subtly creates the absolute exigency of the father and son relationship.  The genius of the  flipped cliché  is that it manages to radiate through the surrounding bleak imagery — ” gunmetal,” “blacktop” and “ash” further  fortifying the father and son bond as “they set out” into the madness of the world.

Got a great literary line? Please share. I may just feature your line in a future post.

College Application Essay Tip: Don’t Sweat the Prompt

I get it, the college application essay can be a scary and overwhelming venture. It is arguably the most important you will ever write. No pressure kids.stressed-student

When addressing the idea of writing an essay that could shape their future, most of my students do the following:

  1. 1. Attest that their lives are boring and they have nothing interesting to offer the world.
  2. 2. Yell that none of the essay prompts pertain to them
  3. 3. Assume they will never ever get into college and consider things like rodeo clowning and becoming a professional plasma donor.
  4. Hyperventilate, sweat, and/or cry
  5. Decide they will start the essay tomorrow and log into Netflix.

The problem I find is that students spend valuable time lamenting  over the language and demands of the prompt that they are defeated before they ever put pen to paper.

My advice is not to sweat the language of the prompts.  In fact, the common app prompts are very pliable.  Don’t get boxed in by the prompts. The common app prompts encourage you to tell a story…a story that only you can tell.

Spend time early in the application process excavating your own life and brainstorming story ideas instead of fretting over the prompts.