the other morning, as I was roused from a blissful slumber by the sound of a chair being dragged across the kitchen floor (undoubtedly it was Rowan up to no good again), this brief thought flitted through my mind--what challenges, in this business known as 'child rearing', would I be faced with today?
as I leapt out of bed and scrambled down the stairs to intercept yet another catastrophe, I vaguely recalled my husband's words of wisdom--don't think of these moments of trials as 'challenges', but rather as 'character building experiences'. character building? pfft. well then I must have enough character by now to put mickey mouse and all his sidekicks to shame I thought, as I hefted Rowan down from off the counter and began cleaning up the peanut butter mess left in his wake. argh.
sure. that's easy for him to say as he's tucked safe and sound in his quiet cubicle at work. yeah, I realize that being the sole bread winner and fielding complaint-filled phone calls from your frustrated wife every hour on the hour is not a walk in the park either.
but to sit and relax in front of a computer that doesn't talk back and to freely use the restroom without anyone pounding on the door yelling "I'm hunnn-gry. when's lunch?" sounds pretty doggone lovely if you ask me.
yes, child rearing poses all kinds of challenges and frustrations in our daily lives. probably more than we had ever bargained for.
that being said, if I would have known about all the floods in the bathroom I'd have to mop up, the never-ending kitchen mess to deal with, the dirty footprints covering my freshly cleaned floor, the yelling, screaming, whining, fighting and arguing, the fits and tantrums, the perpetual boogers smeared on my patio door and the fact that I wouldn't get a full night's sleep for the next 30 years, I just might have reconsidered saying "I do".
but on the other hand, I wouldn't have known about the slobbery toddler kisses, the delightful sound of a baby giggling, that fresh newborn smell, the feel of a small hand clasping mine, the blossoming teenage years and the unending trust a child places in their parent.
I know there will be countless more challenges to face because really, we are only just beginning. but maybe if I think of them as character building experiences, they will be easier to get through. I hope.
you better watch out superman! here I come!