Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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Things I Wish I’d Known Before Having Children

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Savor undisturbed nights and midday naps while you still have them.

There are two things your kids always disturb: sex and writing. This means you will be forced to do these activities during non-peak times: early morning or late at night.

Kids hide everything: shoes, keys, remote controls, food, boogers, diapers, phones, DVD’s, underwear, potted plants, jugs of lemonade… One afternoon you will find a Spiderman sock in your lunchbox wedged between your tuna sandwich and Coke Zero. It will warm your heart.

On a Saturday you will angrily place your four-year-old daughter in her room. You will be madder than you’ve ever been, your knuckles white and face red. The phrase, “Sowry, Daddy” will change your bad mood like a switch.

Your kids will have more control over you than you have over them.

The smell/sound of kid puke has always made you puke. But eventually that will change, and you will get into the habit of pointing a puking child’s face into your chest to prevent puke from getting on the sofa/recliner.

Nothing in your life will be as emotionally satisfying as snuggle time.

Sometimes your kids will not like you. Sometimes you will wonder if they hate you.

Kids will make you stop fussing over your car, clothes, tattoos, gym membership, mountain bikes, hair, furniture, music, and cell phone. You will one day show up to a job interview with dried up boogers on your suit sleeve and dried up baby puke on your slacks. You will not realize these blemishes exist until the interviewer can’t make eye contact with you.

While on a date you and your wife will try to talk about something other than children and wind up sitting in silence. And as you drive to dinner, back seats empty because both kids are with a sitter, you will wonder if this inability to discuss anything other than your kid is a good or bad thing. Then you will smile and never want it any other way.

You would also enjoy The Clog (Why is my husband too lazy to unclog the toilet?) Part I.

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Clint Edwards is a tutor coordinator at Oregon State University. He is also the former co-host of the Weekly Reader on KMSU and a graduate of the MFA program at Minnesota State University. His writing has been listed as notable by Best American Essays, and has been published in The Baltimore Review, and through The University of North Dakota, Boston College, Emerson College, The University of South Carolina, and Minnesota State University.