I was once one of those young childless people who, upon witnessing a public out of control full-blown toddler meltdown, would obnoxiously declare that when I have children I will never allow that to happen. Then I had my first baby and shit got real…real fast. Sometimes kids are just gonna do what they’re gonna do; they’re like people that way. Sure, as a parent, in your on the job training, you may learn a few techniques to run interference on a tantrum or how to thwart it, or how to prevent it from happening in the first place, or how to put that fire out in record time. But, let’s face it, sometimes there are those moments where if your child decides to lose his mind at the restaurant dinner table, that’s exactly what is going to happen and take your meal to go. And while you’re immersed in the frustrations that go along with toddlerhood, you tell yourself that as they get older it will get easier because at least you will have the ability to reason with them. Talk it out. Explain how their behavior affects others. And for a couple of years you do get that reprieve.
Then there is a teenager in your house. And that makes you long for the days of wedging your flailing, screaming three year old securely under your armpit, and walking out of the store leaving a cart full of groceries in aisle five. Even in those moments where you felt you had lost control of your small child, you really did have the upper hand. If it happened in public, you left. If it happened at home, well, go to town little dude…knock yourself out… I will just be right over here ignoring you, Punkass kid.
I’m still reeling from a recent act of teenage defiance that, despite the details, left me feeling much more ill prepared for this parenthood job than I had previously thought. And thank God for Mr. Farklepants and his ability to open up an epic can of “dad voice” that would knock any teenager on the receiving end down a peg or two because I, admittedly, had not trained hard enough for this.