Monday, March 21, 2016

Parenting is just the postponement of the inevitable

I really meant what I wrote in my last post. I'm not going to be such a worried parent.  I'm going to give them more freedom.

I'm actually not that bad. I let Junior and Everett run with sticks. They have free reign over the swampy area behind our house, as long as they call when we yell to them. I don't freak out at the park if they run ahead and I can't see them for a few minutes. Hell, I even let Junior ride his bike, alone, down the street to the neighbor's house.


With his hair on fire.

It's a good time to give the older boys a little freedom.

Some (me, me, me!) might say it's the perfect time.

And why is that? Because...

OMG having a toddler is so much work OMG he's kicking my ass I don't even have time to watch Everett and Junior anymore OMG I never sit down he's into EVERYTHING he has eight arms and legs and crawls at the speed of a rocket OMG OMG OMG.

Seriously, Cam is the wild child Chuck and I have feared since we started popping out boys. Junior was a handful as a toddler, yes, but despite that one time at Chili's I never contemplated taking up smoking. Everett was a little strong-willed, but he never had meltdowns in public or took off in parking lots. They kept me busy, but I do remember sitting down from time to time. I think I even chewed a meal in 2013.

Cam, on the other hand, can level a room in 20 seconds. Books come off shelves. Hair comes off the cat. Remotes get thrown into windows. Clothes come out of drawers. Blocks get toppled. We have safety locks on everything.

There is no rest.

And bathing. I strip down to a tank-top and shorts, pin up my hair and set Cam free in an inch of water—"Release the kraken!" He does 60 mile an hour laps of the tub. If a bath toy gets in his way, he thrashes it with both arms, like an angry shark blowing through chum. When I tip him back to rinse his hair, he puts his legs together and slams them into the water, sending waves everywhere.

We've started calling him "Destructor"—affectionately, of course—and he's not even walking yet. 

So you see, I don't have the time or energy to worry about Junior and Everett as much. They're in the perfect place to gain some freedom from my watchful eye. Mostly because it's exploded on my face. They also don't have to listen to me blubbering as much about them not being babies anymore because, you know, I'm so pre-occupied with one.

Hah. And there it is. It's easier to set them free a little—to watch them ride their bikes into the sunset or disappear into the woods—when you're holding sweet baby bliss under your nose and you know you have another five years or so of someone still needing you.

Ouch. Even I didn't see that one coming.

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