They’re a huge source of joy, but they turn every other source of joy to shit
One of the truest quotes ever about parenting. I lvoe my children to the point of pain but goddamn they can be irritating as all fuck at times. The Elfling has an obsession with deconstructing everything. Without even realising she is doing it she will take almost any toy, object whatever and methodically take it apart until it is in all of its original pieces - which often won't go back together again. Or will lose a key component.
I bring home a million and one funky pens from work. Not drug company ones because I'm no longer allowed those. But insurance companies and strategy companies and advertising companies and "week" pens. Pens with multi grips and spring loads etc. And every time I need a pen I find myself in a sea of springs and deconstructed crap and not a single working pen.
Toys drive me singularly insane. I ban any complex toys or games with multiple pieces because they will be scattered, and there will never be a full set of anything. For someone that is anal about keeping all the bits of her toys together just watching them "play" sometimes makes me break out in a cold sweat.
I am not a very OCD person. I can live with clutter and I like mismatched things. But until I had children I never realised just how beautiful order can be. Or at least how nice it is to have a "place" for everything.
My eldest child does not share this joy. She screamed and tantrumed for 20 minutes the other night about having to sort out 2 buckets oftoys she'd upended that would have taken her 10 minutes at a stretch. But the arguing and the tears at the inhumanity of having to tidy up made me want to walk out the front door and never come back.
When they are delightful they make my heart sing and feel incredibly grateful. But the flipside is the sensation sometimes of having sold my soul to some task master and having to whore myself out for 20 years to get it back. I;m just not mature enough for this parenting thing sometiems, and I read Larkin's verse and want to just rock in a corner and agree. Counting the therapy bills for my poor children.
And then I realise that sometimes you can navel gaze too much, and it's about just doing the best you can without ever straying into the territory of actual harm. And putting aside some money just in case.
Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.