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Published on September 7th, 2013 | by Joe DeProspero

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5 Truths Parents Won’t Like Hearing

Nobody likes hearing the complete truth. Sure, we thrive on hearing the portion of the truth that includes our strengths, skills, and how dominating we are at Trivial Pursuit: 80’s Edition. But nobody actually wants to hear the whole truth. If the truth were a TV show, no store would ever sell the complete series on DVD, because nobody in their right mind would buy it. They’d purchase individual episodes in the iTunes store. I think this analogy is itself exhausting, so let’s move on.

I avoid the truth even more so since I became a parent, especially since it typically involves such notes as: you gave your kid too much apple juice and now he’s got explosive diarrhea. But there comes a time when the curtains must get pulled back, when the very truths we’ve been avoiding since we procreated must rise to the surface and ruin a perfectly good Wednesday. Here they are, in no particular order.

1. Your kid might not be cute

This is potentially the hardest pill to swallow, but small children are just as likely to be unattractive as the rest of us – saved only by the fact that they are tiny (tiny is mistakenly perceived as cute). I’m not saying your child is hideous, but I’m simply asking you to accept the possibility that everyone you know is lying to you about their adorableness. And if they aren’t cute, don’t worry. It’s likely they’ll grow out of it. And if they don’t, at least they’ll make a very good accountant.

2. Your sex life is comatose

Okay, so maybe I lied about truth #1 being the hardest pill to swallow…because this one clearly trumps it. And good luck making anything in the bedroom happen with the fear of a tip-toeing toddler sneaking in mid-thrust. So speaking of hard, plan not to be for the next several years. If you’re a guy, that is. If you’re a woman, be as hard as you’d like. At least somebody will be.

3. You will never catch up on sleep…ever

I used to be naive enough to believe that those stretches of days where I’d get two hours of total sleep per night would be outweighed weeks later when both my kids were sleeping (as the expression goes) like babies. But that never happens. They just keep waking you up when you’re utterly exhausted. It’s like legal fraternity hazing.

4. Your kid is going to use curse words

Despite our best efforts to shelter our innocent children from the seedy, dark corners of the English language, they’re going to use the language and sculpt it as they see fit (and whether you like it or not). The best we can do is to teach them the right context and setting in which to use them. I’m not saying to sit them down for a Joe Pesci movie marathon at age 3, but as they get older and these words find ways to their ears, don’t be foolish enough to think your child is waiting until they get their driver’s license to let the four-letter words fly. In fact, between ages 11 and 17, they will likely do more to prepare for what they’ll be shouting in traffic than for the actual driving part. So, put simply, our job is not to pretend these words don’t exist, but rather teach our children the correct context to use them in.

5. Someone out there could do a better job of raising your kids

I accepted this truth before I even had kids. I knew from the start that I wasn’t born with a great deal of patience, intellect, savvy, disciplinary skills….you know, the foundation for any respectable parent. So, you could likely throw a dart out the window and hit someone better suited to be a guardian than me. They could tie a double knot faster than me. They could give my kid a better answer for “What does your daddy do for a living?” They might even feed my kids healthier diets, taking the extra time and money to buy only organic, scouring the Internet for product recalls and sending them to the best schools in the area. But this is the truth we all should be okay with. Because there’s a reason your kid needs you and not the perfect parent (who’s totally fictional, of course). It’s the same reason we need Bob Dylan and not Michael Bolton. It’s because, quite simply, heart outweighs technical ability.

If this list has done nothing else, I hope it has proven an overarching truth…that we’re never alone as parents.

 

You can follow Joe on Twitter: @JoeDeProspero

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About the Author

is a guest contributor to Dad Men Walking. A former fantasy football champion and current father to two young boys, Joe goes to the dark, taboo corners of fatherhood with his writing. Author of the comedy fiction book "The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt" (available on Amazon.com), Joe’s writing is also featured on the blog section of Parents.com. He lives in New Jersey with his family where he changes diapers, drinks coffee and catches inadvertent knees to the groin (usually when he’s changing diapers and drinking coffee). His writing has been referred to as “outrageous,” “brutally honest,” and “completely embarrassing,” all by his mother.



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