For boys, it was later. Closer to the end of high school or the beginning of college, when we finally stopped making fart-noises with our armpits, started showering daily, and took notice that the once-annoying little girl next door was all grown up and, well, kinda pretty!
Whenever it was, and however it was, we dreamed about that day. And not just getting married. We dreamed about being parents. We envisioned the children we would have after we got married- what they would look like, the sport they would play, the unique gifts God would bless them with, etc. etc.
Now in my adult years I look back on those days with a bit of a nostalgic feeling. Actually, who am I kidding? I look back on those days and laugh. While I wouldn’t trade one piece of my life today I have to honestly say, there are several things I never pictured myself doing, or saying, as an adult or a parent. If you would’ve asked me 15 years ago I would have violently shaken my head and proclaimed “no!”
But, that was then…this is now. I guess you could say I’ve changed? I’m not sure. In any case, here are 5 things I never thought I’d do as an parent:
1. Wipe another human being’s bottom.
You’re nodding right now, aren’t you? You’re nodding because you thought the same thing, didn’t you? Most likely it was during college when you were “living the dream,” eh? I’m not talking about changing your newborn’s diaper. I’m talking about your 3 or 4 year old asking you to wipe their bottom for them. The first time one of my children uttered the words, “Daddy, can you wipe me?” from the bathroom, I realized my life would never be the same!
2. Be years behind on sleep.
Remember when you were in high school and college and you could sleep for as long as you wanted, and virtually ignore every aspect of life, as you knew it, if you wanted to? Well, watch as those days sink to the ocean depths like the closing scenes of Titanic, my friend. If my calculations are correct, I’m at least 8…no wait…11 (that’s right, 11) years behind on sleep. My wife is double that. I’m actually hoping when I die that Jesus will let me sleep in the grave for a few years before He welcomes me into Heaven. I figure that’s the only shot I’ve got at catching up.
3. Make 45 trips to the grocery in one week’s time.
I’m convinced there are trolls living somewhere in our house that wait until we all go to bed before ravaging our pantry and refrigerator. It’s impossible that human beings could consume that much food. When I was growing up my dad used to joke that we needed to have a dairy cow in our backyard with a tube hooked up to our kitchen to provide constant milk. No joke dad…seriously, I’m not laughing.
4. Go back to 3rd grade every night.
This one applies more to my wife than me. And it’s a good thing too, because, I wasn’t that great in round 1 of 3rd grade. We marvel at the fact that educators these days have decided to prepare 2nd and 3rd graders for careers in astro-physics before their 8th birthday. Extremely helpful! Seriously, what ever happened to the simple 4X2 = 8? Now, they’re bringing homework home that requires them to divide things by baked goods! Newsflash- we already passed third grade!
5. Wear clothes that smell like dry pee.
Nothing says “I’m a professional who is ready to lead people” like a sweater that smells like roasted urine. If you’re in a season where your children wet the bed routinely, you can count on your clothes getting washed and dried with pee-soaked sheets and blankets. However, I never saw this one coming. It makes me want to sing a musical number…..really!
There you have it, at least for now- 5 things I never thought I’d do as an parent. I have plenty more that I’ll post for your amusement in the not-so-distant future, I promise. I’m sure you have your own as well. Take some time to share.
Comment now with some of your favorite parenting moments, thus far!