Monday, October 3, 2011

The Joy of Parenting

Of all the tedious tasks related to parenting, assembling toys is by far the worst. While there is nothing sweeter than seeing a child's face as they open a birthday gift, that happiness is quickly overshadowed by the parental responsibility of putting that shit together. The excitement of the shiny, new in the box present mean one thing to the kids, and another to the adults in charge: ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.

The concept of putting together crap from China starts before your baby is even born. Welcome to F.U. parenting 100, an entry level, beginners guide to becoming a mom and dad. For newbies, this journey through Hell begins with cribs, high chairs, strollers and changing tables. The depths of this course accelerate as the child grows, and needs additional gear.

At around age two, the adults enter parenting 101 at F.U., a more advanced course. Now, the stakes are higher because you are assembling bigger plastic structures with more parts, fewer instructions and a curious toddler assistant. Remember the infamous and oh so adorable,Rose Petal Cottage? My dad and Jeff still have nightmares about that- four years later. Shudder.

As the monkeys get even older, the F.U. graduate level course, Parenting 110 is mastered. As the children get more advanced in creative play, the entertainment of the age appropriate toys contain electrical parts, moving pieces, sounds and even fewer instructions for the construction of the toy. Batteries are obscured by tiny screws and directions are in a foreign language. It is as if the Chinese factories do this on purpose- I picture an engineer in China saying, "Good luck suckers, I left out two key steps and threw in some extra parts just to mess with your head!"

As much as the boys were thrilled to receive thisrace track toy, there was a moment of panic on Jeff's face when he saw it. Assembly required. Oh shit, this is going to hurt. And it did. Jeff would not even attempt it by himself.

Cue the nightmares and flashbacks again. Fortunately, Jeff had extra men here to offer words of,(cough, cough, cough) "encouragement." Papa absolutely refused to get involved and then ended up caving into give his two cents of advice.

We had to call in additional, experienced workers for the task. Thankfully, our friend Rich

was here to help. Rich has a masters degree from F.U. and a doctorate in parenting. After two hours, two glasses of wine and a few too many swear words, the job was complete. Rich would have given me the finger, but he knew it would end up on the blog, so he curbed his enthusiasm so to speak.

Of course Pennylane was there to supervise,
and provide managerial oversight from a Jack Russell perspective. Nothing gets passed her without approval.

Once the kids were able to, literally test drive this toy,

it was all hunky dory. They played with this contraption until it was past bedtime.

Perhaps, when I am preparing for my Masters Degree from F.U., I will watch this video and listen to the sounds of pure happiness in the voices of these kids.

Ahhhhhh yes, all the hassles and frustration are worth it. Truthfully, this is true parenting joy. Watching your children having a blast makes all the snide bitching, moaning and complaining subside.

Because in the grand scheme of things, all sarcasm aside, this is really the joy of parenting.

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