Monday, February 16, 2009

Raising babies

Is war, make no mistake about that. Your kids are beautiful, inspiring and life-affirming, but they are also your nemeses.

No one on the planet gets to know you better than your children do. They discover weaknesses you never even knew you had. There's no hiding anything from them, and they see through all the facades you put up for society, and even your closest friends, and call you out for what you really are. Raising children puts you on the battlefield and it's you and - if you're lucky enough to have a spouse around - and your significant other against the underage enemy. Survival and success depend on your ability to strategize, execute and out-think your unpredictable opponents. Teamwork is absolutely crucial, as is outright luck. You're a bird on a wire with baby hatchlings stacked on your shoulders, unwittingly attempting to tip you over and send you hurtling toward disaster.

I'm told things only get more trying as they age. Newborn Emma keeps me up all hours of the night because she won't sleep unless she's in my arms or Jessica's, and she'll make me just as much of an insomniac once she's a teenager. 2-year-old Luke already knows how to turn me into a speechless idiot, by snidely muttering "eh?" when I ask a question he doesn't like. By next year the kid will have figured out how to steal my credit card to go on online shopping binges.

One thing I've grown fairly certain of over the past week is those who have more than two kids are either certifiably insane or callous enough to hire outside agents to raise them.

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