Fact: it’s easier to be a parent when you aren’t actually a parent. Before you have punks is when you will find you are most knowledgeable regarding how their little minds work, disciplining methods, and the best way to raise them to ensure they aren’t Grade A assholes.
This all changes as soon as you leave the hospital with your new bundle of joy. It is the moment you step outside (typically as you are trying your damndest to get the car seat latched properly so you can take your day old baby home) that you realize, you don’t really have a clue as to what you are doing and regardless of the amount of time you spent reading “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” you’re screwed.
No one will ever tell you this. It’s as though all parents are part of a secret society and this topic shall never be discussed with non-members. Parents just want non-parents to believe that it’s as easy as their non-parenting minds think it is, so once they’re in the club we can all sit around and laugh that another one fell for it. Then we all drink a glass of wine, high five and initiate the newest idiots into the club.
I was a complete childrearing, disciplining expert when I was 25 and most parents I knew were total douche bag idiots who should have never even been allowed to reproduce. There is really no better time to be an expert as when the only experience you have is from babysitting for a couple of years, before you can even drive. Also lending a hand in my expertise was “The Babysitter’s Club” book series which I was a fan of when I was about 10.
This all went to shit for me when I had my first born punk. Listen, there’s a lot no one will ever tell you about pregnancy, delivery or actually raising punks. Ever. I’m not even going to get into the delivery part because if you haven’t had punks yet and are excited to start your family there’s a really good chance you’d never want to do it. Let’s just say it involved an epidural, a hot anesthesiologist, and not being about to feel below the waist, resulting in utter humiliation. Ugh.
When Emmerson was about 5 days old I felt a lump on her head and I panicked. I knew it had to be one of two things: either in my sleep deprived, zombie state I had unknowingly hit her head on something, or, it was a tumor. I cried. I called the doctor and took her in, prepared for the worst – either they were going to take her away because I had whacked her head and didn’t even know it, proving me unfit as a parent, or it was in fact a tumor. Turns out, it was her soft spot. $25 co-pay to tell me she has a flipping soft spot. Expert right here.
When you aren’t a parent it’s usually really easy to spot the ones who suck. They’re the ones with the punks who are having ginormous meltdowns at the store, or the punks who are picking their noses and either eating the boogers or wiping them all over the place. Or their punks are flat out annoying. While I have done my absolute best to teach my punks to not pick their noses, I still catch them, time to time, with a finger shoved up to their brains. My happy compromise is that I’ve scared them straight when it comes to actually eating their boogers by telling them boogers will give them explosive diarrhea that’ll make their bottoms hurt. No one in this family wants a sore ass from diarrhea. Winning!
Before I had punks I honestly believed that “time-out” was one of the most underutilized, no-fail, disciplinary methods. Hello, stupid parents. Obviously this shit works because all the experts say it does. One minute for every year they’re alive. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? The only thing “time-out” does around here is piss me off from the amount of time I have to spend putting my punks back in time-out. It’s more of a punishment for me than for them. You know what works around here? No TV, no video games, no playing outside, no fun. You have to hit them where it hurts and sitting in one spot for three, six or seven minutes doesn’t hurt shit. That’s a mini vacay in my book.
I miss the days when I was a childrearing expert. Back when I knew the answer to every punk related issue and could just roll my eyes at all the idiots who were completely clueless on how to raise their kids. I’d like to say that it gets easier the more punks you have but truthfully, what works for one will usually never work with another. It’s a never ending battle to raise punks who aren’t Grade A assholes. Some days you win, some days you get the A-hole. All you can do is hope you get it right more times than you get it wrong. Then sit back and laugh as you get to welcome all the previous “experts” into the club. High five.