25 September 2014

I Believe the Children Are Our Future

It’s true. They are. I don’t quibble with that. The late, great Whitney was onto something. It’s the second part of her sentiment that troubles me.

Teach them well and let them lead the way.

Here’s the problem. As a parent, I spend a great deal of time feeling like Nick Burns, your company’s computer guy.

Now, I’m aware that teaching kids is an important part of being a parent. It might be the most important part. And it’s supposed to teach you about patience and empathy and understanding. None of the above. If anything, I feel like it’s made me less patient. Less understanding.


They’re just so slow. And sloppy. And erratic. All the time.

They’re doing it wrong. To my mind, they’ve taken “You’re doing it wrong” to a whole new level. Given it a whole new meaning. You’re doing everything wrong. Their incompetence, inability to follow simple directions (or even to just hear, sometimes), frustrates me to no end. 

Also, I'm just kind of lazy. Teaching is annoying and I have no interest. But also, they don’t want to learn. They just want to screw around and smack me in the face.

Yes, I will feed a kid to avoid picking up spilled food. I will pick up toys because I’m tired of the room being cluttered. I will tie shoes rather than instruct how to tie shoes.

It’s like that old saying, if you want something done right . . .

“They are children,” my wife constantly reminds me.

“I don’t care,” I reply. “They should know better.”

My expectations are not that high. I want them to remain adorable small children who possess the grooming habits and basic life skills of fully functional adults. Is that so much to ask?

Never mind, I have to go organize 900 bins of toys.

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