I was over at When In Rome and Sara wrote a post about babysitting a neighbor's son and the trials and tribulations of such an endeavor. After having left a comment and receiving a note from Sara, I started to think about children and parenting.
Lately I have been pondering the effects of having kids. This having been brought on by recent events such as two of our daughters have driving permits.
Do you know that it is very difficult to hide your shaking hands when the rest of your body looks like it is being rocked by an earthquake at about an 8.4 on the Richter scale? OK. To be honest they are doing great. It is probably just coincidence that I have been drinking a glass of wine when we get home... you know... for medicinal purposes only... of course it's hard to pour that glass when your hands are clenched.... Harder still to drink said glass when you have to pry your teeth apart with the jaws of life...
Looking back, I now realize that there are many other milestones related to the side effects of having kids. All you mothers out there can probably relate to the fact that after you have a baby, you are not as uncomfortable changing in a locker room. Believe me, when you are giving birth, you won't care if a platoon marches through your room while you are buck naked. After that experience, I really thought nothing of changing into a bathing suit at the gym without heading into a bathroom stall. By time you hit the birth of child number four, modesty means wearing a bra to hold up the sagging breasts instead of going without one while wearing a tank top to the grocery store.
Cleaning up vomit, blood and bowel movements (especially the kind used by little kids to do finger painting on self and every available surface) doesn't make you bat an eye anymore.
Learning that little pitchers have ears and WILL repeat anything and EVERYTHING you say at the most inopportune time that will have the most embarrassing effect, is a lesson a parent learns quickly.
A close corollary to this is that kids will ask the most embarrassing questions at the most public of times. After the first two or three kids you will start to have some fast answers available to you.
But there is also the side effect of seeing things fresh and new through the eyes of a child. Let's also not forget the heart wrenching sight of seeing a child on the night after the tooth fairy comes, Christmas morning, Easter Egg hunts or the day they go off to school for the very first time.
The first time you hold them in your arms, their first word, first step, first tooth, first tricycle, first school performance, first heartache, first date, first dance.
I try to remember all these things when I step out of the car after taking the girls for a practice drive. I find that this works best as long as I have something to hold on to since my knees do not seem to work properly when I get out of the passenger seat. That is until my legs give up and I fall down, knocking myself out...
QOTD: "You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine.'" Tommy Cooper