Even though I usually assume the role of teacher around here my kids still manage to teach me some things every now and then. I thought it might be fun to jot down a few of the lessons I’ve learned from my monkeys over the years. I’m sure most of you parents out there will be able to relate these.
1. Privacy in the bathroom is a thing to be valued. I’m pretty sure that I won’t ever have another private moment in the bathroom, at least not for the next 18 years anyway. My kids can be outside ripping and romping, having a good time, but the second I sneak off to the bathroom, they magically appear right there by my side. But let’s be fair. The monkeys usually have very important reasons for interrupting like: “He looked at me.” or “Can I have a popsicle?”
2. Always keep tidy closets. My kids have taught me that no part of your home is off limits to guests. Don’t ever think that when you are getting ready for company that you can just toss the mess into a closet and close the door. Oh no, no, no, no. For some reason or another, my kids always end up taking visitors into closets, or the laundry room, or even the attic, and all my dirty little secrets are revealed.
3. It’s impossible to watch TV while kids are awake. You just can’t do it. The Tool Man and I don’t even attempt it anymore. The reason is two-fold. First, you can’t even hear it thunder when three kids are having fun in a house. My monkeys have one volume – LOUD – which makes it virtually impossible to follow a dialogue on television.
The second reason is this: I’ve realized that focusing on my kids is a lot more important than focusing on the television. The monkeys won’t be little for long, and I don’t want to waste my time with them staring at a TV screen.
(And as if 2 reasons aren’t enough, a viable third would be that most programming on television isn’t fitting for children OR adults to watch. Just saying….)
4. Learn to like coffee. ‘Nuff said.
5. If you want quiet time, wake up before everyone else. For most of my life I loved sleeping late, but having kids changed that for me. I finally realized that if I want to do anything that requires coherent thought processes (e.g. blogging, sewing, reading the Bible), I must do it before the kids are awake. People are always asking me how I have time to do this or that. My answer is this: I do it before dawn.
6. You can forget talking on the phone when kids are around. I don’t know what it is, but whenever I’m on the phone the noise level in my house escalates to that of Tiger Stadium during an LSU-Bama game. Quite often I find myself standing in the middle of my driveway, trying to get far enough away from my children in order to hear the person on the other end of the line. (By the way, that doesn’t work. The monkeys follow me out there too.) I ran across this graphic on Pinterest that pretty much sums up my thoughts:
7. They really do grow up too fast. I admit, when it’s 2:00 in the morning and you are up for the third time that night nursing a baby, you think kids can’t grow up fast enough. But Ty is 10 years old now, and it seems like just yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital. Try as one might to hang on to those precious years, they slip right through your fingers. It’s a lesson I’ve really tried to take to heart the third time around. I find myself laying aside the broom and the laundry basket more often in order to hold onto my baby a while longer. Tacy won’t be little forever. But the dust bunnies? Well, we all know they aren’t going anywhere.
8. Having two kids is exponentially more difficult than having just one. Anyone with more than one kid can tell you that having a second child doesn’t simply double the trouble. It multiplies it by about a gazillion! The whole sibling dynamic creates challenges I never knew existed. No longer are you just trying to raise one child to adulthood, you are now trying to get two people to grow up together without killing each other. Two people with unique personalities, temperaments, likes, and dislikes. I can only imagine how throwing a third child into this equation will shake things up in the years to come.
9. You will never go ANYWHERE with kids without feeling like you are moving. It doesn’t matter if we are going to the grocery store or to church or to Disney World, we haul half of the house with us when we go. Diapers, snacks, medicine, drinks, blankets, iPads, stuffed animals, car seats, wet wipes, extra clothes, coats, books, crayons…. I could go on for hours. The point is, we no longer just hop in the car and go. We pack first.
10. You can have a tidy house or a tidy car, but not both. If all the stuff from #9 above is still in the car, then the house is relatively neat. But if you ever get all of that gear out of the car again, then your house is a disaster zone.
Well, what do you think? Any of these things strike a chord with you parents? The main lesson I’ve learned over the years is that there is always something new to learn. I can only imagine what other lessons my monkeys have in store for me. There’s never a dull moment with kids, that’s for sure.