The Daddy: Toddlerhood- Not Always a Total Pain in the Ass, or Damn, He Can Really Be Adorable Sometimes!
The Momma: You know, in the day to day slog, sometimes it’s easy to let the struggle overshadow the awesome, but really, sometimes toddlers are awesome.
D: Super Sugary Alert!!
D: I listen to a few podcasts, and other places I find people I admire chatting away, and the topic often comes up that people without kids don’t want to hear about them. I get some of the STFU Parents rants, but the honest truth is that there is very little I’ve experienced that breaks open your heart into a new level of warmth and happiness than when the kid makes me smile. It’s simply a feeling that was unmatched before his birth, much as I love you and our relationship.
M: Exactly. I mean, you’re great, and our relationship is great, but he? Well, he’s so much more than great. Even when he’s being VERY TWO, one little giggle out of that kid is enough to make my heart burst. I think that’s the thing too, that you can’t possibly explain that to anyone who doesn’t have kids. It doesn’t necessarily make any logical sense, that even in the midst of tantrums and diapers you can have this thing that is so amazing.
D: People equate the feeling to the pleasure in owning a dog sometimes, which is just batshit crazy to me. I mean, WE own a dog and the feeling isn’t even close. I know part of it is the fact that you are responsible for keeping it alive, but the joy a kid brings is far different than any pet. Seeing that love and joy come through is palpable. And tells us he’s “happy!” It never ceases to make me think about myself and my own happiness. No dog’s gonna do that.
M: Yeah, when he goes through and lists everyone in the family who is happy it’s one of the sappiest sweet things ever.
M: I have to say, I complain a lot about parenting (uh, like everything else), in part because he’s not an “easy” kid. But DAMN is he a happy one.
M: And that’s just such a fantastic thing, an awesome JOY, that I can’t help but be insanely grateful that he’s in our lives. (could I possibly be any more saccharine?)
D: No, I get you. It’s really hard to talk about without sounding like you’re barfing up rainbows and glitter, but it’s true. Maybe there’s something to that as well. I know it’s been the case for me, that the new experience of him in my life has caused me to rethink a lot of my super hard wired cynicism and negativity. Don’t get me wrong, I can still get pretty snarky (as you well know) but there’s a new level of…something that’s come directly from his positive influence in our lives. I would hesitate to call it maturity, because that sounds grown up and responsible and shit.
M: Heaven forbid!
M: If nothing else, it’s at least a chance to look at the world through the lens of someone that is experiencing everything new. It’s so much more exciting and awesome when you don’t have all the baggage, you know? And it’s easy to get caught up in his enthusiasm for the littlest things…which can lead to perhaps a little perspective on what’s worth negativity and what’s not.
D: There’s a weird recurring theme since the birth of the kid of all the tropes you’ve heard your whole life about the “fresh perspective of a child” and “simple pleasures” etc. that I was trying to resist. There’s a reason some things are stereotypes, and again, it comes back to that not knowing, pre-child that causes a cynical or at least…ignorant viewpoint of what it means to have a child. Once it happens, once you’re in that new existence, there’s no going back, and all those hackneyed sayings start to have real meaning, instead of just cheesy Precious Moments cards. Granted, we don’t veer down that cheesy road too often, but still some experiences are unavoidable.
M: I think nature provides us with those heart bursting moments to keep us from throwing the kids to the wolves when they’re in the middle of a 20 minute screaming fit. So you know, it all balances out.
D: Nature’s playing for keeps on this one then, because it works incredibly well. I guess the happy feeling HAS to be intense to balance the other side: the most impatient and frustrated we’ve ever been in our entire lives.
M: Hey, no one ever said it would be ALL lollipops and unicorns!
D: No, but the lollipops and unicorns we’ve had have been pretty fantastic. Makes the other stuff worth it.
Wait, did I actually just say that?
M: See? This parenthood thing CHANGES YOU man!
D: No! I’m holding on to my youth! No! I’m an immature kid! La La La La La!!!