I’m a parent of two married adults. It wasn’t always this hard.
These days they don’t need changing, and their need for change has grown exponentially.
But one thing remains constant. It’s a constant learning process on both sides. If I look back and think of the things I didn’t know when this whole thing began it might look like this (this is a dad’s perspective, mostly)…
1. (That first terrifying day) the first labour doesn’t necessarily go on for hours so be prepared to become a dad in the cab.
2. (During the first six months) do not place tea/coffee/other beverage near the changing mat and expect the jet of pee to miss it (only applies to boys in my experience).
3. (The first three years) you will eat your own body weight in second hand, already chewed food.
4. (Five years at least) small children cannot count so the terrible twos do not stop immediately they turn three.
5. (Ten years and counting) negotiating skills are in-built and they have yet to isolate and control that gene.
6. (Could be any time but one hopes in the first few years) it will be a child psychologist who gives your child their first toy gun.
7. (On going) parenting becomes progressively harder as children gain first freedom of movement, then freedom of expression. What starts out as power and responsibility gradually morphs into responsibility and no power. I believe that at an indeterminate point in the future the role will be reversed and they become my parents; I fear this might be accompanied by copious drool and a damp patch on my favourite chair.
8. (On many many occasions, especially when hosting their parties at home) everything else in life can be ended; they have yet to do sale-or-return children.
9. (For ever) there is only one greater pleasure than being able to embarrass your children simply by entering a room…
10. … and that is having children: the adjective that best describes the sheer bloody loveliness of being a dad (or mum) has yet to be devised.