Snack words
Snack words
Scott Dunlop

Hello, eternal optimists!

Edible words. Parents get those all the time. They’re usually preceded by the phrase “I’ll never be like that with my kids”. There’s an almost audible countdown that starts as soon as you utter those words before you find yourself eating your words.

Despite parenting being unpredictable, there are some things that are predictable, but if you’re like me, you forget this little truth.

I had a whole feast of words this weekend. Fortunately, they were about something other than parenting, but the similarities are obvious.

I’ll never get a dog. The dog will never sleep in my bed. I won’t pick up the dog’s poop. The children will have to be responsible for the dog. Almost everything I’d ever said about my lack of interest in having a dog came back to bite me. We got a rescue dog.

Thank goodness this new dog of ours isn’t our baby. He’s being very spoilt, and, naturally, has gravitated to sleeping on my bed. I’m being a helicopter pet person, but fortunately, as he’s a dachshund, Presley is close enough to the ground to avoid the rotor blades.

It reminds me of the effort it takes to stick to your guns as a parent. A superhuman effort is required not to give in to the incessant nagging for things, or to make up rules and then not break them. Children can be very persuasive. You think back to the way your parents brought you up or the way you’ve seen other kids being parented and you think you know better until you’re going through the experiences yourself.

Perhaps it’s all part of the learning curve. We’re supposed to be teaching our children about how to become adults, but at the same time they are teaching us often-humbling lessons, too. If what we do is called “parenting”, then what they do to us should be called “childrening”.

Although a lot of time has passed since I became a parent for the first time, I have never forgotten that apprehension about what becoming a parent would be like. Even though I’d read some books to prepare for it, my brain could not compute what it would be like. Maybe your experience has been like that, too: Lots of fretting and fear until the moment you hold your baby for the first time. Marvel at the little fingernails and fuzz on the cheeks. Instant parent.

And so begins your journey of snacking, munching and feasting on words.

Why not share your stories with us about how being a parent has made you eat your words?

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